Have you ever wondered
how a truck really works, how it’s built, how it’s developed? Let us show you.
This is Trucks’ Anatomy. Fuel accounts for roughly one third
of the total operating costs in the long-haul business. In this episode of Trucks’ Anatomy,
we will focus on fuel efficiency and how Volvo Trucks’
fleet management system Dynafleet can be used to ensure
that every drop counts. A number of factors
can affect a truck’s fuel consumption, including tyre pressure, weight,
axle alignment, weather conditions and the overall condition
of the vehicle. However, one of the biggest factors
is actually the driver. Right. How the vehicle is driven
is key when it comes to fuel efficiency. So, to see just how much the driver
can reduce fuel consumption, Andrew Low, Volvo Trucks’
driver development manager, invited me
for a small fuel-saving contest. And, as it happens, our showdown today
will take place at the very same track as this year’s
Drivers’ Fuel Challenge final. The track measures 7km
and the rules are simple. Finish the circuit in under 15 minutes
and obey all traffic rules. And the contenders are:
me, Peter Sundfeldt, former race-car driver
and automotive journalist, Andrew Low, Volvo Trucks’
driver development manager, a real expert
when it comes to fuel-efficient driving. Right, Andy. I’m ready with the stopwatch
and we’ve reset the systems. – So I’ll just…
– Start the truck, yeah. Make sure we’re in neutral first.
Now the clock is running. – As soon as the engine’s started.
– And we’re off. I’ve been driving
a couple of practice runs and got some driving advice
from Andrew, but now the challenge is on. It’s like driving a motorcycle, right?
I mean, you think ahead. The techniques are very similar. What we’re trying to achieve is
in some ways slightly different, but braking hard into corners
and things like that is what we’re trying to avoid. Now we have a stop. We’re forced to do a stop here.
We’re joining the main road again. I feel like a truck driver. Now we’re building up speed
towards the long straight. Exactly. We want to get up
to a good, comfortable cruising speed in a quick and efficient way. – I’m letting go of the accelerator.
– Yeah, nice and early. It’s very different
when you have the weight of a truck pushing you down the road
compared to a car. Yeah, exactly. You really do feel it. You can see now, again,
we have I-Roll engaged. You’re on target
to be within your 15 minutes. That shouldn’t be a problem for me,
driving fast. Exactly, yeah. Maybe the time
wasn’t your biggest issue today. I can see some of my numbers
on the on-board trip log and I really hope it adds up
to a good score in the end. When you turn the engine off,
I stop the time, so we need to make sure
we’re down there. And off. – You’ve got your iPad out.
– Just getting all the figures together. You ended up with the average score
of 89 points out of a maximum 100. – That’s actually really good.
– That’s good. – OK, then beat it.
– I’m gonna try. Hit me with your best performance. You set a good target there,
so let’s see how close I can get. There we go. Quick off the line, as we say in racing. Quick and efficient off the line,
in this case, though. I’m going to study carefully
what you’re doing in the first hill. I’m using the flat part here to build up
and now we’re in a good gear here. I’m looking at trying to hold this gear, at getting off the throttle a little bit
early, very similar to what you did. I’m using as much of the energy
as we’ve put into the truck as possible. Here you throttled a bit,
which is a bit of a habit, which I’ve not done here because
I feel I have enough momentum and I know
we’re gonna be turning left here. Just after a few minutes
with Andrew behind the wheel, it’s clear to me
that he’s a skilled driver, using the truck’s physics
to take control of the vehicle. A little bit of engine braking here,
even gonna change down. – I left it to the truck totally.
– Exactly. And the truck will handle it
in a very good way. But quite often you need to be
the eyes of the truck as well. I can see that there’s an obstruction,
a corner, a hill or whatever it may be, so I’m giving my feedback
back to the drive train on what it is that I want to do and why. So now we’re up to 50. I’m gonna put on
the cruise control myself. Then I know it’s an efficient way
of keeping that constant speed. I’m really curious about this race,
this challenge. Did I coast long enough
on the long straight? Was my downshift on the steep hill
a thirsty one? Well, we’ll see soon enough. Coming to a complete stop soon. – Right, let’s have the verdict.
– I can see you’re really keen to know. Let’s take a look in the Dynafleet app
and see what the result is. I’m sorry to say, Peter, but I’ve
ended up slightly beating your score with 96 points. 96, and I had 89. Well, not too bad. No, you’ve done very well. But we can take a closer look
at some of the data, see where those differences were. Here you can see you ended up
using the brake pedal on average 165 times per 100km, compared with my 105 times. – That was a difference.
– There’s a difference there. And then if we look at the coasting, I ended up with a total
of 39.4% of the time of just purely rolling,
so it’s really high. But you end up with a result of 30%,
so still very good. It’s good, but it’s a big difference. But if we combine all these figures, we end up with a difference
in fuel consumption of around 11.5%. That’s a bigger difference, 11.5%. So all those small differences
really add up. – Absolutely. Every drop counts.
– In my case, it would be a small lake. Yeah, maybe, but you can really see
with all these added up, then, that it’s really making a difference
to the operator’s bottom line. As you’ve seen,
it’s only the small differences that add up to this big difference. With what I’ve learnt today, with all
these little techniques and your tricks, I think I can beat you. – Maybe. You could give it a shot.
– I will, next time. Thank you. Pleasure. Thank you. That’s it and see you
on the next episode of Trucks’ Anatomy. – Bye-bye.