In Japan, the cost of maintaining a vehicle is very high and ¾ th of that cost is attributed to the fuel cost. This cost is very high especially for trucks, so Japanese Trucking industry is giving emphasis to what is called as Eco driving. Eco-driving is a driving technique which can help to curb emission of greenhouses gases and conserve fuel. In Japanese language eco-driving is called as ”eko-doraibu”. Eco driving can lead to safer driving, cost cutting and will be friendlier to both planet and human.
Fuel consumption in trucks is influenced by three factors, namely, driver operation, driving circumstances which are outside the control of the driver and the vehicle itself. Significant amount of fuel can be saved just by practicing fuel conservative driving habits. Tests show that a truck having average of about 35,000 miles yearly could alone reduce fuel consumption by more than 1,200 gallons just by using eco-driving techniques.
Research has shown that one can easily drive at a speed of around 30 km/hr without pressing accelerator even once, when one starts the vehicle slowly in low gear and engages the clutch. One can save about five cc of fuel this way. Moreover while running the truck there is no need for drivers to use accelerator as engines (rpm) revolutions per minute is very high. One should try to maintain steady speed while driving trucks which reduces the need for accelerating and decelerating trucks, which ultimately can help to cut down the fuel consumption.
If the speed of truck is reduced by 5 to 10 miles per hour while driving on highway; fuel economy can be enhanced up to 12% or even more. Idling of truck for long time also wastes fuel.
Make sure that tyres are properly inflated and avoid unnecessary use of the exhaust brake. It is advisable to use engine brakes as it requires longer distance to slow down the truck and fuel consumption is less. Other precaution to be taken to reduce the fuel consumption is to minimize the usage of electrical accessories, particularly air conditioning which can increase fuel consumption.
Thus Eco-driving is a cheap, simple and effective way to suppress about 10% fuel-burning CO2 spillage of every driver, which is large amount if properly applied to every type of vehicle usage. Japanese Government sponsors programmes promoting eco-driving with training campaigns, eco-driving program models and public events. Japanese truck manufacturers such as Isuzu also encourage eco-driving concept.