GOODYEAR INSIGHT

Increasing Fuel Costs. Efficiency matters.

Driven by a perfect storm of economic, environmental, and geopolitical crisis, fuel prices are record high across Europe. With fuel making up about a third of the running cost of a truck in 2021, these rising costs are sufficient to challenge the profitability of many fleets.

How to boost fuel performance to remain competitive!

Here’s how you can act immediately to reduce fuel costs as much as is practical in the short-term, while evolving medium and long-term strategies that will further increase the financial sustainability of your operations.

Four easy ways:

1) Driver behaviour

The driver can positively impact a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Aggressive driving can wipe out many of the gains obtained from investments in fuel-efficient tyres and engines, aerodynamic devices or synthetic lubricants. The numbers speak for themselves: by 33% in highway driving and 5% in urban driving.1

 

With today’s technology, it is possible to accurately measure the amount of fuel a vehicle uses over a period of time allowing for programs to be set up to reward drivers for good fuel efficiency.

 

In the market there are multiple added value eco and driving modules available. With the aid of advanced systems such as predictive cruise control, eco-roll and retarders, as well as eco-driving trainings these can bring significant savings, especially on today’s busy roads.

2) Regular tyre pressure checks

Underinflation of 15% can easily cost 1.494€ extra in fuel and reduced tyre life, per vehicle, per year.2

 

Fleets using straightforward solutions such as Goodyear’s TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring Solution) and Goodyear DrivePoint, have seen a boost in fuel efficiency and tyre life. Did you know DrivePoint is really easy to install and can be up and running in just 2 hours?

3) Alignment

Besides regular tyre pressure checks, we suggest making regular wheel alignment and tracking tests part of your fleet maintenance policy. Vehicles used in arduous conditions and local service require more frequent checks.

 

Incorrect axle alignment drastically influences the tyre rolling resistance on the road surface, increasing fuel consumption and causing accelerated tyre wear. If any axles on a truck are not properly aligned, drag increases and the tyres wear out much faster. This means more fuel used and accelerated tyre wear.

 

Goodyear’s Service Network can check tyres for uneven wear across the breadth of the tread.

4) Aerodynamics

A vehicle’s aerodynamics and its travelling speed have an extremely large effect on how much fuel is consumed. The force created by the aerodynamic drag of a vehicle goes up exponentially with the speed of the vehicle. Tyre rolling resistance increases linearly with speed, but tyres are a proportionally smaller percentage of the total drag on a vehicle as the speed increases.

 

It is also recommended to check adjustable aerodynamic aids (if fitted) on tractor units. Many articulated trucks have adjustable roof mounted air deflectors. The roof mounted air deflector should be adjusted to guide airflow over the highest point at the front of the trailer or load. As a rule of thumb, remember that for every ten centimetres of the front of the trailer exposed to airflow, the fuel consumption will worsen by 0.04251437 km/l3.

 

Sliding fifth-wheels can reduce the gap between the rear of the cab and the front of the trailer to the minimum safe distance, to achieve better aerodynamics. Protruding accessories such as spot lamps should be removed if they are not needed.


Some interesting facts:

 

·      By implementing a fuel management programme, a fleet’s fuel consumption can typically be reduced by at least 5%4.

 

·      Cost of idling: when leaving a 420hp heavy-duty truck idling or stationery, its engine will consume around two litres of diesel an hour4.

 

·      Fuel consumption rises steeply with speed: adjusting a truck speed limiter down by just 2 km/h can already improve fuel economy.

 

Safe Driving Increases Fuel Efficiency & Lowers GHG Emissions - Safety - Automotive Fleet (automotive-fleet.com)

2 Based on following assumptions: Tractor 4x2 + semi-trailer 6x0 single, GVW 40t, 150.000 km/year; 28l/100km average fuel consumption; 15% underinflation on Steer, Drive, Trailer tyres, 100%  of axels,  average Diesel cost of 1,884 € /l (dd 18/04/22 source: https://www.cargopedia.net/europe-fuel-prices,)

3 Source: American Trucking Associations’ Technology and Maintenance Council

The Fuel Efficient Truck Drivers’ Handbook Pocket Guide (unep.ch)