Smart driving practices
Fuel efficiency starts when you turn your engine on. Proper warm-up helps lubricate components and seals, reducing wear and leakage. Starting your truck properly can save money on fuel. As a driver, you can help to protect the environment from the harmful effects of driving by following these suggestions:
- When starting your vehicle, make sure you use zero throttle and are in a gear that doesn’t need any throttle.
- Don’t pump the throttle unnecessarily; the amount of fuel required for starting is pre-measured. Pumping the throttle wastes fuel and can damage cylinder walls.
- Use ether sparingly when having difficulty starting your engine; excessive use can harm the engine.
- Let your vehicle warm up for three to five minutes — if the temperature is below 0 degrees Celsius, allow it warm up for seven to 10 minutes. Do not rev the engine; let it warm up gradually.
- Warm up your vehicle after the initial idle time by driving easily; don’t try to get too much speed out of the engine by pushing the throttle down hard.
- Ensure oil and air pressure are in their normal operating ranges during start-up.
- Back off the accelerator when going down a hill; let gravity and momentum do the work.
- Use cruise control where appropriate.
- Change gears smoothly — shifting professionally will result in about 30 per cent improvement in operating costs.
- Always use the clutch; failure to do so can wear down the gear teeth in the transmission.
- Practise progressive gear shifting at approximately 1600 RPM. Shifting before you reach the maximum governed RPM reduces equipment wear, decreases noise levels and saves fuel.
- Run the engine in the highest gear range to keep it in a low-rev range.
- Use your retarder properly and turn it off when you don’t need it. Allow the terrain to work for you.
- Turn off your engine when you stop for any length of time. You will save fuel, reduce maintenance requirements, prolong engine life and prevent unnecessary emissions.
Fuel-consumption techniques summary:
If you learn and practise the following techniques, you’ll be well on the way to good fuel consumption:
- Use good starting procedures.
- Get going as soon as you can.
- Control your idling.
- Be an RPM miser.
- Use progressive shifting.
- Maintain efficient engine speed.
- Manage your road speed.
- Operate efficiently in traffic.