When optimising a fleet’s efficiency it is essential to ensure that you do not under estimate the role that the driver has in ensuring that the vehicles are operated to their full potential. No matter how safe and fuel-efficient the vehicles you operate are, they will all perform poorly with an inefficient driver behind the wheel.
Eco-driving refers to a driving style characterized by lower speeds, gentler acceleration and braking, and "thinking ahead" in traffic. With improved driver behavior, there are great safety benefits. Better driving also saves on fuel consumption, and maintenance costs for brakes, clutches and vehicle suspension.
For more information on the benefits of Eco-Driving, please visit the Clean Fleet site
What are some tips for eco-driving?
- Start slowly, avoiding rapid acceleration.
- Avoid idling or long warm-up and cool-down periods.
- Gear-up, use the highest gear possible and lower the engine speed.
- Aim to maintain a constant speed, and avoid pumping the accelerator.
- Anticipate traffic conditions.
- Accelerate and decelerate smoothly, avoiding aggressive braking: it is safer, uses less gas, and reduces brake wear.
- Drive at posted speed limits. Use cruise control on the highway.
Because the transportation sector significantly contributes to air pollution in Lebanon, IPT Energy Center (IPTEC) has launched in 2012 the "National Campaign for Air Pollution Reduction in Lebanon through efficient energy use in Land Transportation", with the support of the Ministry of Environment (MoE), ESCWA, and UNDP.
As part of the dissemination activities undertaken by IPTEC, an Eco-Driving brochure in English and Arabic were distributed. The brochure describes easy to implement practices in order to reduce fuel consumption and the level of pollutants emitted whilst driving. More information can be found on their website.
To increase the effectiveness of driver training and other awareness raising activities, you should investigate the use of driver league tables, or some other form of performance awards. This can add an element of competition and fun to the often serious topic of driver management.