Every self-employed courier is aware of the rising price of fuel and the need to economise on its use as much as possible. By achieving a better mile per gallon (MPG) average, you will make a huge contribution to saving money on fuel. Here are a few tips to show you how you can start making a difference to your fuel efficiency and ultimately your annual profits.
The Right Foot
Leave the racing driving to the experts. No more accelerating away too quickly from traffic lights and no more 80mph on the motorway. Your MPG can drop by 15% if you reduce your average motorway speed to around 65mph, and by moderating your speed up to traffic lights the likelihood is that you won’t need to come to a complete stop and the vehicle won’t need to demand extra fuel to start off again.
It is really important to know that if the manual says use ‘regular fuel’, it means it. Any premium fuel you put in will only be a waste. Most self-employed couriers don’t drive high-performance cars and so there is no need to waste money on premium fuel.
Access the Internet
Take the time to compare petrol prices in your area by going online. This doesn’t improve your MPG but it will help you reduce overall fuel costs.
Tyre pressure needs to be regularly checked. Lower pressure means that you are driving on a high rolling tyre resistance and this really taxes your fuel efficiency. Take note of the manufacturers recommendation and ensure that your tyres are checked regularly.
Ditch The Roof Rack
Although some self-employed courier drivers may need a roof rack at times, if you are not using it, take it off. It only adds drag to your vehicle, which means that more power is required to deal with it. This in turn reduces your MPG.
Change The Air Filter
This important protective component of the engine needs looking after. It gets very clogged up and the more blocked it is, the harder the engine has to work to suck air through. The reduced airflow means that the engine relies on a higher petrol usage to keep it running. Replace the filter at least once a year and your MPG will definitely improve.
Change The Oil Filter
Keep the engine fresh and in tip-top condition by changing the oil and filter regularly.
New Spark Plugs
Old spark plugs tend to be covered in carbon deposits, which can decrease the efficiency of your engine. Get them changed every 30,000 miles and your MPG will visibly reduce.
Ultrasonic Cleaning for Fuel Injectors
Get your fuel injectors cleaned regularly. Once clean, they work with an even fuel-air mix, which equals a more efficient fuel usage brought about by a more predictable cylinder function. They will need to be professionally cleaned in an ultrasonic bath to eliminate the entire carbon residue.
Any self-employed courier who adheres to the advice given above can look forward to an improvement in MPG of about 15%. This could add up to annual savings of several hundred pounds. Definitely worth it!
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day self employed courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Over 4,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.