How to save fuel

The subject of fuel consumption in a truck should always be front of mind. In this video Diesel’s European Correspondent, Brian Weatherley, learns some lessons from a driving trainer around a course in the UK. The annual Volvo Fuel Challenge happened just the other day, a national competition where drivers duke it out over a fixed 11.6 km route, over two legs, to see who is the most fuel efficient.

The winner of this year’s challenge was Scott Chandler who drives for Connect Trading Transport in Brisbane. He came in with a very economic result, using just 42.53 l/100 km (2.35 km/l) to get the the 38 tonnes GCM semi pulled by a Volvo FH around the varied course. Second place went to Tony Mansell of  AJM Transport in Newcastle with  44.15 l/100 km, followed by Glen Goldthorpe, a Caltex driver also from Brisbane with 44.42 l/100 kms.

Between the two runs some of the basics of saving fuels were discussed and the most improved driver between first and second run was Steve Wastell, from Queensland company, Blu Logistics, achieving a 16 per cent improvement at the second attempt. The results on the day serve to demonstrate the wide variation, even among the best drivers, with up to 20 per cent difference between best and worst.

Parallel to the drivers’ event was one for truck journalists attending the event, won by Diesel News’ own Tim Giles with 44.25 l/100 km. One of the most effective fuel saving tactics was to get the Volvo to engage I-roll feature, where the driveline disengages if no motive power is needed to maintain speed and the engine drops to idle. The best idling result on the day was achieved by West Australian Terry Thompson from BGC Transport, who spent 48.2 per cent of the route coasting at idle.

Saving fuel is not just the domain of the Europeans, even in the US, with its low fuel prices, fuel economy is a big deal. Here is a video where Cummins explain the basic principles behind saving fuel:

Here’s the Detroit take on the same topic, but spending more time on the features available on the DD15: