As fuel prices around the world hit a record high, every driver is looking for ways to squeeze as many miles as possible from every precious gallon or litre. If you are a broadcaster with a fleet of Outside Broadcast vehicles, how do you stop fuel overheads from rocketing and eating in to your hard earned profits?
Recognising that fuel is not a discretionary purchase, systems integrator Broadcast Networks has come up with a list of Ten Top Tips that will to help broadcasters keep their fuel bills to a minimum.
“Reducing fuel consumption is better for the environment and better for broadcasters’ profit margins,” says Managing Director Tom Haye. “In recessionary times it pays to think about how you can cut fuel costs – and it’s surprising how following our simple tips will really help keep fuel overheads down.”
Here, then, are Broadcast Networks Ten Top Tips for fuel savings. Happy motoring!
Pick The Right OB Vehicle For the Job
The larger the truck, the more fuel it needs so where possible use a smaller OB vehicle. Broadcast Networks has just launched a very small, fuel efficient OB that is built inside a Land Rover Discovery. These nippy vehicles, kitted out with the latest high tech equipment, are the future of OB for many broadcasters and are well worth investigating for the long term.
Tighten Up Your Fuel Cap
All fuel, but especially the high octane ones, will vaporize when exposed to heat. Reduce evaporation by fully tightening the fuel cap (to the second click) every time you fill up.
Service Your OB Trucks
Regular services will ensure your truck is running efficiently, using less fuel and producing fewer emissions.
Check Your Tyre Pressure
Properly inflated tyres last longer and can also make your vehicle up to 3% more fuel efficient. When tyres heat up the pressure alters, so check them at least once a month when they are cold. Single-wide tires can improve gas mileage by 4-8% because they are lightweight and have lower resistance on the highway. They also have lower repair costs and require less maintenance.
Drive Slowly and Smoothly
Drive smoothly because fuel consumption is increased through rapid acceleration, hard braking, stopping and starting and changing gear too frequently. Speed also has an impact - driving 55 miles per hour instead of 65 miles per hour can save up to 20% of fuel usage, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Don’t Be Conned By Your Air Con
Air conditioning, in-cab heaters, demisters and rear window heaters all use up fuel, so only use them when you really need them. According to the AA, using both front and rear demisters can increase your vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 6%, so use elbow grease, a cloth and de-icer to clear frost and condensation. Using air conditioning at low speeds is less economical than opening a window, but on the motorway air conditioning is more cost effective because open windows cause drag, which can have a greater impact on fuel consumption.
Watch Your Weight
Every extra 100 pounds carried reduces fuel economy by roughly 2%. Therefore avoid carrying equipment you don’t need. Try to compact the entire production system into one vehicle so you don’t need for a tender truck and only have to drive one vehicle to an event rather than two.
Don’t Be a Drag
Keeping windows closed when driving at speed will reduce resistance and save fuel. A properly designed OB vehicle will be sufficiently aerodynamic to reduce drag to a minimum so it is worth investing in the best coach build you can afford.
Plan Your Route
Use a sat-nav with real-time traffic alerts to plan your route and avoid unnecessary traffic jams. Big trucks should also avoid hilly terrain and if you do get caught in a queue, turn off the engine because a typical 420hp heavy-duty truck engine consumes fuel at the rate of around two litres an hour when left idling and stationary.
Be Smart When You Buy
Fuel prices vary from filling station to filling station so shop around using specialist websites that give accurate area by area fuel prices. Premium fuels give smoother running, better performance and a better return on your mileage. Driving with a full tank increases vehicle weight so, unless you are on a motorway where fuel prices are much higher, apply the little and often rule when it comes to filling up.