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2022 22 Plate SCANIA S500 Highline Tag – BV22LHB

  • 490,121 Kms
  • Tractor Unit
  • 2022
  • 500 Bhp
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2020 69 Plate SCANIA S500 Highline Tag – PY69KKL

  • 490,121 Kms
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  • 2020
  • 500 Bhp
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2020 70 Plate SCANIA R450 Highline Tag – PO70ZLE

  • 490,121 Kms
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  • 2020
  • 450 Bhp

10 Tips for Fuel-Efficient HGV Driving

GET IN TOUCH

HGV fuel consumption can set you back quite a bit, especially given the hefty weight of your truck, its haul, and the long distance you’ll likely need to cover. Now, of course, there are plenty of trucks for sale , which makes fuel efficiency a major consideration when deciding which is right for you and your fleet.

While the average UK driver drives less than 15,000 miles per year by car long-distance HGV drivers cover around 125,000 miles (that’s 2,500 miles a week!).

With the cost of fuel the way it is, maximising your HGV’s MPG (miles per gallon) for even just a fraction of this journey can bring huge savings to yourself or your business, particularly when spread across a fleet.

red and white hgv trailer

10 TIPS TO GO THE DISTANCE WITH YOUR HGV FUEL ENGINE

1. PLAN AHEAD: REDUCE OUT-OF-ROUTE MILES

Super simple – mapping out your route in advance means you can get to your destination in the shortest amount of time. The less journey time, the less fuel needed.

By planning ahead, you can avoid the parts of the trip that are heavy on fuel. Things that slow you down quite literally, causing you to have to stop and start back up again will be what your chosen route should aim to avoid.

ROUTES TO AVOID FOR BETTER HGV FUEL EFFICIENCY

  • Areas of high traffic
  • Rural and rough terrain
  • Meandering routes
  • Steep inclines
  • Construction zones

 

HGV DRIVER TRIP: Depending on the distance of your destination, you will likely need to refuel at some point. Factor fueling stations into your route so that, when you spot you’re running low, you can fill up the tank without detouring far out in search of a station.

2. REDUCE TIME SPENT IDLING

How much fuel do you burn when idling? Well, one hour will rob you of at least a gallon – believe it or not! That’s why it’s important that you idle only as a last resort.

Especially on those frostier days, you might be inclined to keep your HGV running in order to keep it toasty inside. Perhaps it’s only a quick pit stop or break for a coffee, and you won’t be long. Though it might be tempting to switch into idle, this is ultimately reducing your fuel efficiency, weighing on your wallet.

Minimising your idle time can also reduce truck maintenance costs .

HGV FUEL EFFICIENCY TIP: Did you know, a 10% annual reduction in idling is worth about 1% in fuel economy? That’s not bad at all.

3. DON’T ADD TO THE VEHICLE WEIGHT UNNECESSARILY

On their own, HGVs can weigh anywhere from around 7 tonnes to a 44-tonne flatbed lorry . The more weight on board, the more energy it’s going to take the lorry to get from A to B.

Though your lorry is, of course, designed to transport large quantities of goods, you do not have to keep it filled to the brim if it’s not necessary. Therefore, you should be unloading between trips if you don’t need to bring the full haul. Alternatively, if you drive as part of a fleet, find out whether there are smaller trucks available that are more suitable for lighter hauls.

HGV DRIVER TIP: If you’re driving between sites and don’t necessarily need your haul, consider our quality range of pre-owned Scania trucks , which allow you to drive with or without your HGV trailer.

4. AIM TO DRIVE AT A CONSTANT SPEED

Every time you accelerate your HGV, you burn more fuel. This is because the engine needs to work harder to push your vehicle forward. With the weight of the HGV factored in (often, we’re talking over 7 tonnes), it’ll come as no surprise that slowing up and down across a long-distance trip will have your vehicle glugging far more fuel than it has to.

HGV DRIVER TRIP: Use cruise control where you can to reduce your lorry MPG by 20% . Cruise control allows you to maintain a set speed without having to manually accelerate. It works best on flat surfaces, so reserve its use for the smoother parts of your journey, such as motorway driving.

5. RESIST HARSH BRAKING

Due to the weight of your HGV, not only can harsh braking cause potential damage to your truck, but it can also prove dangerous. Every time you brake, you lose energy and need to accelerate again from a lower momentum – this is bad news for your fuel efficiency.

When planning your route, aim to anticipate areas of high traffic congestion and always be sure to drive at a distance.

HGV DRIVER TIP: The DVSA recommends HGV drivers leave a gap of at least one metre for each mph or at least a 2-second gap between you and the vehicle in front.

Smithbros dealership

6. DRIVE IN A HIGHER GEAR

When you drive in the highest gear possible for your speed, your engine operates at lower RPM (revolutions per minute). This is great for improving your HGV fuel efficiency.

The higher the gear, the less effort your vehicle has to exert to maintain the speed it’s at. Fuel efficiency, after all, is all about getting as far as you can in as little effort.

On the flip side, if you push your engine to higher speeds (higher RPMs) but in a lower gear, you’re looking at consuming up to 45% more fuel than your truck actually needs. That’s a real dent.

7. CHOOSE FUEL-EFFICIENT TYRES

Your lorry’s tyres contribute around 20-30% of its overall fuel economy. When choosing your lorry – for example, should you be in the market for a pre-owned rigid for sale – you should consider energy-saving tyres, which are designed for a low rolling resistance.

As you’d expect with all types of heavy goods vehicles, when you brake, they typically roll further than a car would. This tyre roll causes drag and friction, which results in energy loss.

HGV FUEL EFFICIENCY TIP: You should also ensure your tyres are inflated. For every 10 psi that your tyres are under-inflated, your vehicle consumes 1-1.5% more fuel .

8. MAKE SURE WHEEL AND TYRE ALIGNMENT IS CORRECT

When your tyres misalign with your wheel, it causes drag. Similar to the above tip on choosing the right tyres, the added drag and resistance here will mean your HGV is chugging along while guzzling more than it needs to.

Ultimately, better alignment means reduced rolling resistance .

Even tyres at a ¼ degree off straight will drive 10-15 feet sideways for every mile if not caught and corrected.

9. DRIVE IN A HIGHER GEAR

When you drive in the highest gear possible for your speed, your engine operates at lower RPM (revolutions per minute). This is good news for improving your HGV fuel efficiency.

The higher the gear, the less effort your vehicle has to exert to maintain the speed it’s at . Fuel efficiency, after all, is all about getting as far as you can in as little effort.

On the flip side, if you push your engine to higher speeds (higher RPMs) but in a lower gear, you’re looking at consuming up to 45% more fuel than your truck actually needs. That’s a real dent.

10. LIMIT THE USE OF YOUR AIR CON

Air conditioning boosts your vehicle’s fuel consumption at a rate of 0.2-0.4 miles per gallon. Why? Well, you might not immediately think of the HGV’s air con as a fuel economy factor, but the process of converting hot air from outside, heating or cooling it, before pumping it into your truck takes fuel.

Now, in the warmer months, and especially for those long distance trips, air conditioning is the difference between making the job comfortable rather than unbearable. It’s a necessity.

That said, if it’s not too hot and simply opening the window would work just as well, then it’s always the more fuel-efficient option for HGV drivers.

HGV DRIVER TIP: If your vehicle has an air con recirculation button, this uses the cooler air inside your truck by crawling it through the vents. This option has less of a strain on your engine and is more fuel efficient.

large orange hgv trailer

MAKE YOUR HGV’s FUEL TRAVEL THE DISTANCE WITH SMITH BROS.

Here at Smith Bros., the full team is on hand to help you with anything truck related. Though we specialise in pre-owned Scania trucks , we’re backed with over 50 years of experience in commercial vehicles and will be happy to help you source the right transportation.

If you’re looking to upgrade your fleet to something with better fuel economy, we also offer a buying service. So, should you wish to sell your pre-owned truck , get in touch and we’ll get you a good deal.

Contact our team today.

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