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For the month of April 2013, the AA reported an average price of 139.9 pence per litre for unleaded petrol in the UK. Petrol prices may be falling slightly, but they are up more than 50% from just a few years ago. No one understands the implications of this more than companies operating van fleets do.

As a business owner or manager, did you know there are some practical things you can train your van drivers to do that will save fuel? Indeed, van driver training that provides a bit of extra technical and practical knowledge can go a long way to reducing company fuel costs. Business Green even devoted a recent blog post to the topic, offering five easy tips most companies can implement. Let’s discuss two of them here.

Technical Driver Training

When a van driver initially earns his or her commercial license, he or she is rarely taught how to operate a vehicle from a fuel efficiency standpoint. Most of their training has to do with highway safety and hazard prevention, and rightfully so. However, a couple of additional classes make a big difference in fuel efficiency.

Van drivers need to be trained to change the way they think about technical driving skills. In other words, they need to pay attention to things like acceleration, braking, gear use, passing, and so on. More importantly, this training is helpful regardless of how long a van driver has been behind the wheel. Let’s face it; the pressures of driving commercially lead to forgetfulness among even the most seasoned drivers.

Practical Driver Training

The second component of van driver training includes practical things. One of the most important is decreasing loads whenever possible. Business Green uses the example of a van driver who regularly hauls around excess equipment that only gets used on an occasional basis. Yes, it may be a hassle to load that equipment into the van on days it will be used, but leaving it back at the garage when not needed can be a significant fuel saver.

Other practical training topics include route-planning, delivery scheduling to reduce load as quickly as possible, and adjusting driving practices to weather conditions. When van drivers begin to look at these practical things they often see a measurable reduction in the amount of petrol used.

Ready to Train You

The HGV Training Centre is available to supply you or your employees with the van driver training necessary to be safe and efficient on the road. We work with individual drivers by preparing them for their tests and giving them real world, behind-the-wheel experience. Our category C1 program can be completed in just a week.

Corporate customers can also benefit from our training services as well. We currently work with some of the UK’s largest and most well known transport companies; we can work with you and your drivers as well. It matters not how big or small your van fleet is; all of your drivers can benefit from our training.

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