I have often been asked what my blue print of a truck driver would be like. It’s a tough question, as there are many qualities you need to have to be a great driver. But one thing I do know is that now more than ever, being as fuel efficient as possible is something a blue print truck driver would happily embrace.
So, most importantly, my blue print driver would have a curious mind and a willingness to evolve with new technology in order to drive more fuel efficiently. In other words, they would be interested in finding new ways to use modern tools to help them save fuel. A driver who understands that using cruise control and automatic gears so that they can focus on – and be clever in – other areas of their driving is a winning quality for me. He or she must also love the job.
Ultimately, if a truck has been made to make a driver’s life easier, a blue print driver would welcome its benefits with open arms. Today, energy is not free of charge, so if you want to do a good job you need to consider how you can take cargo as far as possible on as little fuel as possible. This is a basic prerequisite of being a long-haul truck driver.
There are many great drivers out there, but they could still drive more fuel efficiently. I would challenge them to use their truck in a way that optimises how it has been designed. If you do this, lowering your fuel consumption won’t be hard. Nowadays, trucks make it easy to save fuel – you just need to learn how to use them in the best way possible.
With a fully-trained driver who loves his or her job, a transport operator will see excellent results in terms of reducing fuel costs. Fleet owners must therefore identify what training their drivers need and ensure they get it. Not just the basics to meet legal requirements, but ongoing fuel efficiency training, too. Then we can even go the full circle – with the best drivers feeding back to truck manufacturers on what they could do even better to reduce fuel consumption.
Tatu has several years of experience as a truck driver and is currently working with driver development at Volvo Trucks. His job is to ensure the driver trainers at Volvo Trucks know how to drive a truck as safely and efficiently as possible. And in the end, enabling customers, who learn from the trainers, to make the most of their truck’s technology.
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