The most significant recurring expense for any business operating a fleet of commercial vehicles like Luton vans is fuel. And with the fuel prices steadily creeping up, it sure makes a considerable dent in your bottom line. While there are alternatives like electric vans, most small businesses cannot afford the high upfront costs.
Thankfully, there are several ways to improve the fuel efficiency in Luton vans and keep your bottom line healthy. Take a look-
1. Eliminate Excess Weight
According to Energy Saving Trust (EST), by reducing the loads by only 75 kilograms, businesses operating LGVs (Light Goods Vehicles) in the UK could save over £50 million every year. This would also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by around 100,000 tonnes.
Needless to say, the heavier the Luton van is, the more fuel it’ll consume. So, one of the most effective ways to make your vehicle more fuel efficient is by eliminating excess weight.
While it could be challenging to shed the weight of a van full of tools and equipment required for the job, you sure can figure out ways to reduce at least 30-50 kilograms. The savings might not look worth the effort initially but they’d add up over time and help you save significantly, especially if you have a fleet of Lutons.
2. Drive at a Steady Speed
Reading the road ahead and driving at a steady speed without suddenly accelerating or braking can also work wonders when it comes to fuel efficiency. Experts suggest that aggressive acceleration and braking at regular intervals can increase the fuel consumption of your Luton van by up to 50%-60%.
So, maintain adequate distance from the vehicle in the front as it’ll make it easier for you to adjust your speed when required without using the brakes aggressively. When you need to slow down, remain in gear but lift your feet off the accelerator as quickly as possible.
Not to forget, driving at a steady speed of 55mph-65mph will also considerably reduce the risk of accidents which can prove very expensive and life-threatening.
3. Plan the Journey in Advance
Planning the trip is also a smart way to save fuel. If you’ve not planned the trip and are stuck on the busy route at the peak hour, your Luton will surely use a lot more fuel compared to driving on a quieter road that has less traffic.
Many vans now come with a sat nav or a central console with apps like Google Maps that the drivers can use to plan their journeys. These systems can also offer advance traffic notifications and suggest alternative routes.
It is also worth noting that routes with more traffic also end up wasting a lot of time and cause a lot of stress for the drivers. So, with adequate planning, you can save money on fuel, reach your destination on time, and enjoy a pleasurable ride.
4. Keep the Tyres Properly Inflated
Most people don’t think about the tyres when it comes to their Luton van’s fuel efficiency. However, their impact on how much fuel your van consumes is significant.
Without explaining the phenomenon in great detail, the basic premise is tyres that are well-inflated help minimize the drag for the engine. Studies suggest that keeping the tyres inflated as per the van manufacturer’s recommendations can reduce fuel consumption by up to 5%. This is also the reason why many of the newer vans now feature tyre pressure monitoring systems.
Also, if you have the budget, you can consider investing in good-quality tyres with a lower rolling resistance. These tyres reduce the loss of energy when the tyre rolls to decrease the rolling effort and enhance fuel efficiency by up to 10%-15%.
5. Regularly Service Your Luton Vans
Not much of a secret, but a common mistake that most van owners would agree they commit. If your Luton van’s performance is not optimal, it’ll directly impact its fuel efficiency. The best way to ensure optimal performance is regular service and timely maintenance.
If you are looking for ways to make your van more fuel efficient, regular inspections by professionals who can check the air filters, the tyres, change the oil, and perform essential maintenance are an absolute must.
Regular servicing and maintenance also help prevent severe breakdowns that might require expensive repairs or replacements at a later stage.
6. Reduce Battery Drain
Air conditioning, heaters, and demisters increase the fuel consumption of your Luton van by up to 10%. A lot of van drivers also leave the van heater on when idling to clear the windows. The habit not only increases consumption but also contributes to pollution.
If there is condensation or ice on the windows, it’d not take more than a few minutes to scrape the frost off and clear the condensation with a dry cloth. Also, avoid using the air conditioner whenever possible when driving at low speeds and simply roll down the windows to let the fresh air in.
However, at higher speeds, it makes more sense to not have the windows down and use the air conditioner as the outside air entering your vehicle creates resistance due to which the engine has to work harder and consume more fuel.
7. Consider Regular Top-Ups Over a Full Tank
Remember the first point where we talked about reducing excess weight? Well, having a tank full of fuel also increases weight, resulting in higher fuel consumption.
A smarter alternative is to consider smaller fuel top-ups at regular intervals as the lower van weight will make it more fuel efficient. But to make this work, you’ll have to carefully plan every journey to ensure you always have a fuel station nearby.
Also, remember that the fuel prices are considerably higher on the motorways and remote locations. So, if the trip mostly involves such busy motorways and remote areas, it’d be better to fill the tank enough to last the entire day.
8. Remove Roof Bars and Racks When Not Required
Accessories like roof bars and racks are a great way to increase the cargo-carrying capacity of your Luton van. However, they also have a considerable impact on the aerodynamics of your vehicle.
If you won’t be using these regularly, it’d be better to invest in detachable roof bars and racks so that you can easily remove them when not required and ensure that your Luton van operates at optimal performance levels.
9. Find the Best Fuel Deal
While this tip is not directly related to your Luton van or boosting its fuel efficiency, it sure can save you plenty of money in the long run.
The price of most things we purchase can vary significantly between shops. The same is true for fuel as well. Spending some time finding the best deal in the local area is a smart and effective way to reduce your fuel costs.
Moreover, you don’t even have to physically visit the fuel stations as there are various online platforms where you can find up-to-date fuel prices across the UK. So, use one such reliable platform to find yourself the best deal.
10. Train the Van Drivers
Most businesses looking for ways to reduce fuel consumption often overlook training. Regular driver training and periodic refresher sessions are essential to ensure safety, reduce operational costs, and minimize environmental impact.
The training should revolve around topics like fuel-efficient driving techniques, vehicle maintenance, optimal speed practices, route planning, and environmental awareness.
Businesses can also consider hiring professional trainers who can equip their drivers with the right knowledge and build a culture of fuel-efficient and safe driving in their organization.
11. Switch to Electric Vans
If you’re serious about cutting down your fuel costs, there’s no better alternative to electric vans. Leading brands like Renault, Mercedes, Citroen, Nissan, Iveco, and more, now offer a wide range of electric vans in the UK.
While electric vans are generally more expensive than traditional fuel-powered vans, the cost savings on fuel make up for the higher investments in the longer run. If you cannot replace the entire fleet with electric vans, you can start with one or two vans initially to reduce fuel expenses.
Electric vans will also help you future-proof your fleet and enable you to play a role in building a sustainable tomorrow. But ensure that you analyze the total miles your vans currently drive daily and the electric van’s range before making a purchase.
Making Luton Vans Fuel-Efficient and Maximizing Your Savings
Making your Luton vans fuel efficient is not just good for your business but also the environment. Use these tips to enhance the fuel efficiency of your business fleet, reduce fuel expenses, and contribute to a greener tomorrow.
If you’re looking to purchase, lease, or rent Luton vans in the UK as an individual or a business, Bobs Luton Vans is your one-stop solution. Through our vast network of dealers and manufacturers, we can help you find quality Luton vans at highly affordable prices. Contact us or schedule a callback to learn more.