Fuel-saving measures are one of those factors which are undeniably useful for all drivers, but especially so for fleet managers. While savings in fuel bills for a single vehicle is reward enough in itself, these savings can become even more significant when multiplied over an entire fleet. The experts at Ford have recently publicised some helpful tips which fleet managers can use to optimise their efficiency across their entire fleet of refrigerated vehicles – we’ve summed them up for you below!
The importance of a regular fleet maintenance schedule really can’t be overstated. Preventative maintenance can help save fleet managers considerable sums, and they’re equally applicable with fuel emissions. Ford advise servicing all vehicles on a regular basis, taking care to check the oil level. As they’ve pointed out, correctly maintained cars operate more efficiently.
The advice from Ford is for tyres tests to be carried out monthly, to ensure that all tyres are up to optimum pressure. Properly inflated tyres decrease rolling resistance, requiring less energy from the engine to keep the refrigerated van moving, and thus increasing overall fuel efficiency by as much as 4%. It might not sound like much, but it all adds up! As an added bonus, it also lengthens the useful lifespan of the tyre, which allows for incremental savings in maintenance costs.
It’s no secret that the payload of a vehicle has a direct impact on its fuel efficiency, with heavier vehicles requiring more energy to get up to speed, reflecting the difference at the pump. Therefore, it’s a good idea to implement measures to save on vehicle weight where you can. It’s not always practicable with the cargo itself, for example when making catering or consumable deliveries for various markets, but if you might well find you’re able to cut down on the amount of unnecessary tools or equipment your drivers are hauling around.
This is one that’s sometimes underestimated by drivers and fleet managers alike. Removing empty roof racks and keeping the windows closed while driving can cut down on the van’s wind resistance, which can improve its fuel efficiency by up to 10%. (This can be more noticeable in the smaller, more streamlined vans such as the Peugeot Partner fridge van, as opposed to the larger models, for example the Mercedes Sprinter.)
Sudden braking and acceleration can both have a tangible impact on a vehicle’s fuel efficiency, which means that careful driving is another helpful way to save on fuel. Similarly, drivers can improve fuel efficiency by selecting higher gears as early as possible while accelerating, which saves the engine from expending unnecessary fuel revving away in lower gears. It may be worth fleet managers investing in telematics systems to monitor the driving techniques of their staff, with the added benefit that it can also be used to discover shorter, more efficient routes.
All the vans we stock here at CoolKit are certified to Euro 6 standard, so they meet the European Commission requirements on fuel emissions. You can browse a fantastic range of them here on our site, with new fridge vans and freezer vans from leading brands like Ford, Peugeot, Renault and Citroen. If you’ve got any questions or need any further clarification, our sales team are always happy to help – just give us a call on 0808 250 3994!