MALALANE – The constant fuel price hikes are not just cutting into motorists’ budgets, but are also a challenge for small and medium-sized transport companies.
Arnoux Maré, managing director of Innovative Staffing Solutions, explained that these companies have to make admin or operation changes every time the fuel price rises significantly.
But there is a solution to lessen the impact. “By ensuring their drivers adopt smart driving habits, transport companies can decrease their fuel usage significantly,” Maré said.
This the company has learned through their years of employing thousands of drivers and working within transport and other industries.
Maré recommended the following:
• Get vehicles checked regularly
Ensure that vehicles are roadworthy and in good working order by checking tyres, brakes, leaks, lights and other mechanical checks. This will ensure that the many small things that can lead to increased fuel consumption are checked out and fixed timeously.
• Drive consistently
Maintain speeds evenly. Do not constantly accelerate, drive at high speeds or brake as this can result in high fuel consumption.
• Keep your tyres at the right pressure
Doing this will result in less resistance on the roads and less fuel usage. The right tyre pressure and good wheel alignment also reduce wear and tear on tyres. It is a good idea to check both things if you have hit a pothole or another obstacle.
• Get in the right gear
Where you can, drive in the higher gears as they are designed to reduce fuel consumption. However, drivers should not do so when it can place others in danger, strain the engine or the revs drop too low.
• Switch off the air conditioner when not necessary
Although this seems like a necessity in the Onderberg, switching on the air con may not always be necessary. Maré urged drivers to rather roll down the window when they are travelling at lower speeds.
• Avoid traffic-congested roads
Although most transport companies have a planned route that drivers must follow, accidents or severe traffic congestion can necessitate changes. Maré explained that avoiding main highways during peak traffic times or in case of an accident can lead to significant fuel savings, even if the trip takes a bit longer. He recommended teaching drivers to use traffic apps to see alternative routes.