April 27, 2017
Your van is a vital asset to your business – without it, you can’t work. So, with ever-increasing costs associated with operating a van, running costs can quickly escalate – more so if you happen to have more than one van in your fleet. It’s just as vital to make a concentrated effort to reduce your van running costs.
The good news is that bringing down your van running costs is actually quite easy – as easy as evaluating your driving habits, as well as those of your staff. There are three things to consider when trying to adopt a more efficient driving style; anticipation, concentration and observation.
It goes without saying that when you’re driving any vehicle, your concentration should never drop. Even the slightest lapse can result in an accident – incidents can occur very quickly – so you need to be able to react instantly to the environment around you. Just because you are comfortably cruising along the motorway, it doesn’t mean you’re safe.
Your own driving behaviour is one thing, but there are so many other variables at play – changing road and weather conditions, different speed limits – not to mention the behaviour of other drivers. You may be a very careful and responsible driver, but that doesn’t mean every other driver is too. If a driving situation develops, your awareness and driving skill will be all you have to avoid a collision.
While driving, you should be constantly monitoring the road around and ahead of you. By looking around and being aware of the road ahead you can anticipate upcoming hazards and make the necessary driving adjustments.
Most accidents are caused by speeding, coupled with a lack of distance between vehicles on the road. By simply adhering to speed limits and keeping your distance, you immediately reduce the risk of being involved in an accident as well as using less fuel – bringing down your van running costs.
Also, don’t forget that your physical and emotional state can affect your driving. If you’re tired, anxious or stressed consider taking a break.
Ask When you buy a new van, speak to the retailer and ask for some advice. They should at the very least be able to give you some driving advice as well as some efficient techniques to bring down your van running costs.
Service This may sound like common sense but a lot of people miss their scheduled services. A non-maintained vehicle of any kind is susceptible to poor fuel efficiency – as much as five percent more consumption.
Tyres Keep on top of your tyre pressure levels, and inflate them when necessary. Under-inflated tyres degrade faster while increasing fuel consumption.
Air-conditioning The air-conditioning system in any vehicle uses fuel. Try to only use the air-conditioning in your van when it’s absolutely necessary.
Racking If you don’t need the fittings on your van all the time, take them off when not in use. This will improve the van’s aerodynamics, making it more fuel efficient. Some vans have addressed this issue with collapsible racking.
Plan Before starting your journey, work out your route. This means you’ll avoid getting lost, which would result in additional stop/start driving.
Speed Travelling at just 10mph over the national speed limit means you use 20% more fuel than at the legal speed. If your mileage is high, then this can severely affect your van running costs. You may find it easier to stick to limits with cruise control and/or a speed limiter.
Weight Never carry anything you don’t need. Any unnecessary weight just adds to your fuel consumption.
Idle An engine uses fuel when running, whether you’re moving or idle. If you’re in congested traffic, consider turning off your engine – or better still, get a van with start/stop technology fitted.