August 25, 2022 at 4:14 PM

Are you looking for tips to improve fuel economy in your commercial van? If so, this post is for you! Following from our post on how your driving style can effect fuel economy, we've looked into what else can be done to help reduce trips to the fuel pump.

With the constant increase in prices, the fuel ‘crisis’ is slowly evolving into a global problem. For entrepreneurs who rely on their fleets to run their businesses, even the slightest increase in fuel price can lead to a considerable profit reduction. While you can’t do anything about the ever-increasing prices but pray for a miracle, there are a few things you can do to make the most out of every litre that gets into your van.

Here are a few tips to help you enhance fuel efficiency in your commercial van:

  • Regular maintenance
  • Avoid aggressive driving
  • Invest in modifications to improve fuel efficiency
  • Pick the most efficient routes

How to Improve Fuel Economy in a Commercial Van

Regular Maintenance

Whether your van is commercial or not, proper vehicle maintenance is essential to increasing fuel economy. Poorly maintained vehicles tend to consume more fuel since malfunctions negatively affect performance and increase emissions. With that in mind, it is essential to take special care of your engine if you want to improve van fuel economy.

Some of the basic maintenance you should carry out on your commercial van include:

  • Oil Change – Oil is essential for lubricating engine parts, preventing friction and cooling. With time, it collects dirt and loses viscosity, resulting in poor performance. So, you should consider oil regular and scheduled changes every 10,000 to 20,000 miles.
  • Air filters – Air filters help eliminate dirt from the air that goes into the engine to facilitate proper combustion. If dirt accumulates and chokes up the air, your engine might lose power, forcing you to step harder on the gas pedal to burn more fuel and maintain speeds.

Other maintenances include spark plug changes (every 20000 miles), wheel alignment and proper tyre inflation according to specifications.

Avoid Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving is one of the leading causes of lower fuel economy. During the work day it's easy to feel rushed or like you've fallen behind, and this can encourage such driving styles. However, faster speeds and overtaking more vehicles on the road might be doing more harm than good in terms of increasing profits.

If you drive the commercial van yourself, switching to a more efficient driving style is much easier. However, most entrepreneurs work with fleet drivers – which makes it harder to establish a more fuel-efficient driving culture. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible.

Fleet owners can discourage aggressive driving by facilitating training and driver monitoring. Training can focus on aspects such as smoother braking, less frequent acceleration and limiting four-wheel drive. It might cost you an extra dollar to facilitate driver training and monitoring, but it is a long-term investment with well-worth returns.

Invest in Modifications to Improve Fuel Economy

Besides eco-driving habits and maintenance, you can make extra excellent modifications to your van to increase fuel economy. These mods vary in prices depending on how they impact your vehicle’s performance. While some are cheaper and can be installed using DIY procedures, others are much more costly, requiring the help of an expert. So, it is essential to consider how much of a difference they can make, especially if fuel economy is the primary reason for the modifications.

Some of the most common modifications you can make on your van to improve fuel economy include:

  • Switch to high-performance spark plugs
  • Invest in aftermarket cold hair kits
  • Use low-rolling resistance tires
  • Get rid of excess weight (e.g., fitting lighter body panels and putting less fuel in the tank)

Pick the Most Efficient Routes

Another great way to increase your van’s fuel economy is by choosing the most efficient routes. Most fleet drivers set out on their operations without creating a plan on how to travel to their daily destinations. While that works most of the time, it is not a very efficient way to manage fuel costs.

Picking suitable routes is the key to improving fuel economy and saving time. When choosing routes for your fleet, it only makes sense to consider the distance. However, you need to research and choose routes with less traffic or reschedule deliveries to the time of day when there are fewer vehicles on the road.

Using high-traffic routes involves a lot of braking, stoppages and idling. For an individual trying to save some money, that is very costly. To make fuel consumption efficient, ensure you anticipate traffic and drive on routes where you will most likely maintain consistent speeds.

Final Thoughts

Improving fuel economy in your commercial van is the key to increasing your profits. While there are many other ways to enhance fuel efficiency in vehicles, these are the top ones. You can also consider other options, such as utilising fuel tracking technologies, which help you gather helpful information about fuel consumption. With such info, you can easily compare vehicles’ fuel efficiency and pinpoint areas you ought to make changes.