For new drivers, going through training can be tough at first, with so much information to memorize. Here, a UD Trucks trainer covers some basic issues that drivers need to master to improve fuel efficiency.
Paul Munro is a driver trainer for UD Trucks in Australia. From his experience of working with many freshman drivers, here are some essential points to start your learning journey.
Read the rev meterThe green colored zone of the tachometer, from 1,000 to 1,500 rpm, is the range where the engine delivers the most torque, and where it is the most fuel-efficient. This is where the engine should be driven the majority of the time. The black zone, after the green zone, is the horsepower range in which the torque of the engine drops off and isn’t fuel efficient, but it can be used sparingly to maintain momentum to climb steep hills and mountains. The black zone is also the most efficient rpm for the use of the auxiliary brake, with maximum retardation at 2100rpm.
Engine idle is an engine life reducerAs engine idle is an engine life reducer, unproductive and a large contributor to fuel inefficiency. So restrict idle time to a minimum. Forget old myths that there is still a need to warm up and cool down engines before and after a drive; there is no need to excessively idle engines unless they have been under high load pressure up steep hills or mountains. Most idling is for personal comfort.
Learning theory is also importantMost drivers aren’t aware of the difference between torque and power. Torque is the force that gets the truck moving from stationary and gets it up steep hills. It could be described as the pure strength of the engine. Horsepower is a more theoretical value, the product of the torque and the engine rotations. Horsepower is responsible for moving the vehicle along and gives it the ability to cruise on the highway and accelerate in normal conditions.