ECO DRIVING

Eco-driving is a term used to describe the energy-efficient use of vehicles.


It is a great and easy way to reduce fuel consumption from road transport so that less fuel is used to travel the same distance.

SMOOTH DRIVING

Not only will you save fuel by about 15% by driving smoothly, but you will also reduce the amount of wear and tear on your vehicle and reduce pollution.

Good planning will reduce the emissions being dispersed into the air and cause less environmental pollution.

GREEN BAND DRIVING

Most large vehicles have a rev counter that is divided into coloured bands. This helps you drive in the most fuel efficient way and avoid damage to the engine.

The green band is the one giving adequate torque and power with the optimum fuel economy.

Driving with the rev counter in the red band will cause the engine to wear prematurely and lead to expensive repairs. This could result in the vehicle being off the road for some time.

UNNECESSARY POLUTION

Turning off the engine is safer and emits fewer fumes into the environment. Leaving the engine idling will also waste fuel.

Some ancillary systems use power from the engine to operate. The downside to this is that fuel consumption can increase. Air conditioning can increase fuel consumption by up to 15%.

When starting an engine fitted with an engine management system, you don’t need to press the accelerator because the engine management system automatically regulates the fuel/air supply. Using the accelerator at start-up wastes fuel, causes increased engine noise and is harmful to the environment.

LONDON LOW EMISSION ZONE

Large Goods Vehicles (LGVs) must now meet Euro VI (NOx and PM) emissions standards or pay a daily charge of up to £300. These standards apply across most of Greater London and match the emission standards of the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

RED DIESEL

Red diesel is subject to less excise duty than standard diesel, so it’s considerably cheaper. It may only be used for authorised purposes.

Red diesel is commonly used in agricultural and off-road vehicles. It is illegal to use the fuel to power a vehicle driving on public roads. However, retailers and fleet operators can use it to power secondary engines for refrigeration units on trucks.

Any driver whose vehicle is found to be using this fuel illegally faces penalties.

VEHICLE MAINTANANCE

You should ensure that maintenance schedules are followed and that filters are changed regularly, exhaust emissions meet current regulations, and diesel injectors operate efficiently.

Less fuel will be used to move your vehicle at the same speed if you use a tyre with reduced rolling resistance compared to one of standard construction.

Wind deflectors direct the wind either around or over your vehicle.

Your vehicle then requires less power to make progress against the wind. As a result, your lorry will use less fuel.

If your vehicle does not have wind deflectors, keeping the height of the load as low as possible will reduce the vehicle’s wind resistance.

It’s particularly relevant when using a flat-bodied lorry or trailer.

Road-friendly suspension reduces the vibration caused by the impact of the wheels on road surfaces and bridges.

Air suspension provides a smoother journey than traditional suspension and transmits less vibration to the road surface, under-road services and nearby structures, such as bridges. It’s considered to be environmentally friendly because it reduces damage to the road network.

Suspension faults may result in road damage. 

Lorries and buses are much heavier than cars and will have a greater impact on the road surface.

Check tyre pressures at least once a month and before driving at high speed

Low-sulphur diesel reduces the levels of sulphur-dioxide particles in exhaust emissions.

It’s widely available and contributes to reducing emissions that are harmful to human health.

Using cruise control can help save fuel. The sensitive electronics make continuous micro-adjustments that improve efficiency.

It should only be used when you can see well ahead in good road conditions. Be prepared to switch it off immediately if the traffic situation changes

Missing out intermediate gears, when appropriate, reduces the amount of time you spend accelerating.

Your vehicle uses the most fuel when you’re accelerating, so reducing this will reduce your vehicle’s fuel consumption.

NOISE POLLUTION

If possible, turn off your engine when parked.

Not only does this benefit the environment, but it is also considerate, especially in urban areas.

It is an offence to operate an audible warning system on roads with a speed limit of 30 mph or under between 11.30 pm and 07:00 am unless in immediate danger.

Have some consideration for the residents and don’t disturb them with excessive noise.

DVSA ROADSIDE CHECKS

Local-authority environmental health departments check vehicles’ exhaust emissions.

They have the power to prosecute the driver and the operator, as do enforcement bodies such as DVSA.

ROUTE PLANNING

Plan your journey before you set out. This can help to make it much easier, pleasant and help ease traffic congestion. Look at a map or use an online route planner to help you do this.

Try and avoid busy city centres’ by using bypasses. You are more likely to travel at a constant speed on a bypass which will benefit the environment.

AdBlue

AdBlue is added to your exhaust and mixes with the fumes your vehicle produces. It reacts with nitrogen oxide gas (NOx gas) created by your engine and breaks it down into harmless nitrogen and water vapour. This technology uses AdBlue to break down and reduce harmful emissions.