|Category:||Helpful Tips and Ideas|
|Tags:||conservation, energy, fuel, gas mileage, idling, route planning, safe driving, savings, vehicle maintenance|
Whether you drive a 40-foot big rig or a two-door Prius, fuel conservation is a concern for most anyone. With a fleet of 88,000 vehicles on the street every day, logging over 2 billion miles a year, the automotive engineers at UPS can offer motorists some solid advice for saving fuel.
1. Plan your route. When doing your holiday shopping, consider the best way to get to the locations without backtracking. When taking a long trip, use maps or Internet sites to determine the quickest and most direct route. Another point to consider when planning your route is to avoid left turns and rush-hour traffic. Waiting to turn left and sitting in a traffic jam wastes gas. So if you can, plan your stops like UPS does, keeping them on the right-hand side of the street for the majority of your trip. Try it—it works to save fuel, time and money.
2. Schedule regular car maintenance. Maintaining your car can affect its gas mileage. Following the maintenance schedule in your car’s owner’s manual will keep your car properly tuned and help it burn less fuel. Making sure you have a clean air filter is another tip that can have an impact on MPG.
3. Check your tire pressure. Tires can lose air over time because of temperature fluctuations. When tires are under-inflated it creates more resistance with the road. That resistance means more gas is used to move the vehicle. You can use the tire pressure guide in your owner’s manual or on the driver’s door jam to fill them to the proper PSI (pounds per square inch).
4. Drive responsibly. Driving style can affect the gas mileage of your vehicle. Making a fast start from a stoplight or driving over the speed limit can reduce fuel economy. Aggressive driving not only wastes fuel but also is harder on car parts like tires, brakes and steering components.
5. Reduce the weight in the vehicle. Unnecessary items in the trunk can contribute to lower gas mileage. Eliminate anything you don’t need.
6. Use the car with the best gas mileage. If you have more than one car, use the one that gets the best gas mileage when making long trips. UPS tries to match its vehicles to the needs of its routes. In some cases, that means deliveries are made by bicycle, particularly if the streets are too congested to pass through easily.
7. Reduce idling. UPS has a “no idling” policy, which means all of our trucks, no matter how short the delivery stop, are turned off. When you sit idle you are getting zero miles per gallon. That does not mean you should turn your car off at a red light, but if you are running errands you should turn the car off and pull the key when leaving the vehicle. Idling for 30 seconds uses more fuel than restarting your engine, and idling for 10 minutes a day wastes an average of 24.6 gallons of gas per year.
8. Don’t drive. There are probably times when all of us could walk, ride a bike, carpool or take public transportation. While UPS drivers don’t take the bus to make deliveries, we do use bicycles, mopeds and even “walkers” who deliver documents in dense urban areas on foot.
Bonus Tip! UPS drivers practice safe driving habits that also help save gas. Leaving a space cushion between you and the car in front can help smooth out your driving pattern. This technique helps you avoid not only accidents but also lessens the need for hard braking and the accompanying acceleration that follows. If you smooth out your driving you will save fuel like the pros at UPS.