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Driver Hire targets 10% customer savings with fuel-efficient driving campaign

The most fuel efficient agency drivers in the business. That’s what Driver Hire is promising with the launch of a major ‘green driving’ initiative. The programme will see every one of Driver Hire’s drivers specially trained in fuel-efficient driving techniques, route planning and appropriate vehicle checks.

With a national network of over 100 franchised offices, Driver Hire is the market leader, providing an average of 20,000 temporary staff shifts per week to UK industry and the public sector, as well as permanent placements.  Customers include international hauliers, major supermarket groups, builders’ merchants and multi-drop delivery companies.

Driver Hire’s Chief Executive, Chris Chidley, comments: “A year ago, the average annual fuel cost for one Category C+E vehicle was around £36,000. Today that figure is more like £49,000. With that in mind, we’re aiming to help our customers make significant savings on their fuel bill.

“Based on figures from the Department for Transport, if a company could achieve a 10% improvement in fuel efficiency across a fleet of just ten Category C+E vehicles travelling an average of 80,000 miles per year, they could save over £45,000 – not to mention the clear environmental benefits. In the current economic climate, anything which improves a company’s bottom line is crucial. We want our customers to realise the optimum savings from their transport operation.

“Fuel and oil accounts for some 34% of the total cost of running a commercial vehicle. While manufacturers of trucks and vans are developing a vast array of technological changes to make vehicles more fuel-efficient, safer and less harmful to the environment, driving technique and planning is vital to optimizing those efficiencies. This means a fuel-efficient driver can be one of the most valuable resources a transport division can have – and that’s what we are aiming to provide.”

Driver Hire’s nationwide fuel-efficient driver training programme covers:
• Defensive driving techniques, focusing on awareness, anticipation, control and planning
• Efficient use of speed, braking, gear and clutch control
• Effective route planning
• Measuring and managing fuel consumption
• Daily vehicle checks, including vehicle body, tyres, fuel tank, wheel alignment and load positioning and security

“Some of the simplest techniques add up to huge fuel efficiency gains over time,” says Richard Armitage, Driver Hire’s Head of Training. “When parking your vehicle up, for example, try to make sure it can be driven away on the next shift with no need to manoeuvre. Slow-speed manoeuvring, especially with a cold engine, is a heavy user of fuel.

“Another simple tip is to fill up at the end of the day, rather than the beginning. It avoids queuing for the pumps with a cold, idling engine burning away fuel while you wait. Tightening up your fuel cap is also vital – up to 30 gallons of fuel a year can be lost from the average goods vehicle through spillages.”

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