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Driving for the environment

There has been much discussion about this in recent times, and as large vehicle drivers we can do our bit with responsible driving for the environment. With the rising cost of fuel, driving with more consideration will also have a positive impact on your wallet.
It is possible to drive a horsebox in a way that is a little less harmful to the environment, but this is said in context of ‘safety first’. If changing the way you drive effects the safety of you, your load and/or other road users, then common sense must prevail and safety put first.

How can you drive more efficiently?

  • Hazard awareness and planning – a good awareness of what is going on around you to plan and react in good time. This will avoid the need for any late braking and quick acceleration – which both result in high fuel consumption
  • Starting up and driving away – avoid over-revving your engine
  • Choosing your speed – drive within the speed limit and choose a speed to match the road conditions. Driving just a few miles an hour faster can see fuel consumption rise significantly
  • Use the accelerator smoothly – taking your foot off the accelerator where possible whilst going downhill uses a considerable amount less fuel without hampering control of the horsebox. Driving smoothly can reduce fuel consumption by 15% as well as reducing wear and tear
  • Gear selection – it is not always necessary to accelerate through all the gears. Acceleration uses most fuel, where possible use block changes to move up through the gears, missing some on the way. With modern engines you will find that you can make use of higher gears at low speeds. When changing down through the gears, allow the revs to reduce before selecting a gear
  • Use engine breaking – with your foot off the accelerator the engine uses very little fuel, so take advantage whenever possible
  • Plan your route carefully – try to avoid known traffic congestion points. Plan your route carefully to avoid getting lost and using fuel unnecessarily. When stationary for a prolonged period, stop the engine
  • Keep your vehicle well maintained – a poorly tuned vehicle will use more fuel
Last updated: 25/06/2010
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