Fuel consumption is greatly influenced by driver behaviour. Modifying a number of common driver behaviours, such as speeding, over-revving, aggressive driving and idling, can make a significant difference to fuel consumption. Fleet magazine’s MONIQUE TERRAZAS looks at helpful tips fleet operators can employ:Moderate the speed drivers are allowed to drive at. Fuel consumption increases significantly when driving at speeds greater than 100km/h. THE TRUTH ABOUT IDLINGProhibit excessive idling, which also increases fuel consumption. In addition, wasted fuel is known to cause future engine and ignition problems. Most vehicles do not need to be “warmed up” except perhaps in extreme cold conditions or after long periods of non-use. Do not leave the motor running when the vehicle is stationary. HIGH-REVVING A WASTEEngines operate most efficiently when revving from 1 500 - 2 500rpm. When using a manual transmission, shift up a gear as quickly as possible. An auto will shift up a gear more rapidly if the driver eases back on the accelerator once the vehicle has momentum.Enforce smooth driving and avoid harsh acceleration and braking. Less aggressive driving can improve fuel consumption by as much as 30%. PLAN YOUR ROUTEExcellent route planning will avoid unnecessary journeys and the consequent waste of fuel. Solid logistics will also ensure areas and times of heavy traffic congestion can be avoided. Optimum fuel economy is achieved during steady constant speed driving. Stop-start driving significantly increases fuel consumption, accounting for as much as 40% of average fuel consumption in city driving. Gert Pretorius, managing director of MiX Telematics (Africa Fleet Solutions), said: “An effective fleet management solution enables fleet owners to minimise fuel consumption, as well as maintenance and operating costs, while providing a solution to calculating and managing the carbon emissions of large or small vehicle fleets in response to the carbon tax coming into effect in South Africa from 2015.”“’By equipping fleets with on-board computers and 24-hour access to information about their drivers and vehicles, fleets are able to identify and gain insight into poor driving trends, while boosting fleet efficiencies through reduced fuel consumption, better vehicle utilisation and route planning as well as a reduction in wear-and-tear costs.” Implementing these strategies to “green” your fleet’s fuel consumption will not only reduce environmental impact and carbon tax liabilities, but will also deliver significant improvements in bottom line profits and go a long way to improve the sustainability of the fleet over the medium-term.Back to the main story Click here to win one of four sets of tyres!