The driver is the key to putting the brakes on your fuel costs


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Dear Al Shirawi Enterprises (ASE) Customer,

In case you missed last week, let me introduce myself: I am Lars Möller, General Manager, After Sales, of ASE, and it is my mission to help you get more out of your vehicles than you may think is possible.

I’m starting with fuel consumption and the impact the driver has on your overall operating cost, because this is where the biggest potential savings are, but also where the biggest problems lie.


Whenever I ask a company owner if he would trust a driver to deliver a plastic bag filled with AED500,000 in cash to the bank, the answer is always: Never.

But isn’t that what you’re already doing?

The driver has the single biggest impact on your vehicle’s profitability and yet they have often the lowest status. Here are some eye-opening examples of why it is important to get the best drivers and treat them well so they stay.


Four key issues:

  1. The driver’s impact on repair cost and uptime.
  2. The driver’s impact on fuel consumption.
  3. How idling affects your fuel bill and engine life.
  4. What ASE can do to help you turn things around.


1. The driver’s impact on repair cost and uptime

I have examples from Dubai where the actions of the driver counts for up to 50 per cent of the difference in repair and maintenance cost.

Several years ago I had a customer that ran a repair and maintenance contract for 10 identical trucks. Over three years, all had done around 700,000km on the same routes with same speed and load. The average difference in repair cost was 25 fils/km or in this case AED175,000 between the most and the least expensive trucks. The only difference was the driver.

Add to the above, loss of income caused by unnecessary extra days in the workshop and the total bill for the owner really went through the roof.

The interesting thing is that most of these remedies are completely free; they just require a slight change of mind set.


2. The driver’s impact on fuel consumption

Studies and inputs from various truck manufacturers speak a very clear language. The driver has a major impact on the fuel consumption of the truck.

There are of course other things such as load, road conditions, vehicle specification and maintenance as well, but the really big influence comes from the driver.

Route planning, keeping the “four second rule distance” from the truck in front of you, handling the vehicle correctly before a traffic light or a roundabout are all factors that can save you a lot of money. Based on our long experience, we estimate it to be between 10-20 per cent off your current fuel bill.

At ASE we have recently hired a professional driver competence developer with extensive training and experience on how to drive safely and economically.


Drop us an email or call us so we can set up an appointment to show you what he can do for your fuel and repair bill.

Learn more
from this study by Scania (File size: 626kb) which shows in detail how you can save on your fuel costs
How idling affects your fuel bill and engine life


I recently came across some shocking facts about idling. We had downloaded data from three rigid tipper trucks which all had clocked over 15,000 running hours on the engines. The shocking news was that the idling time was around 9,000 hours or 60 per cent of total engine time.

On idle the engine consumes around two litres of fuel per hour, so in this case around 18,000 litres were wasted for each truck. For the owner that meant AED50,000 per truck went up in smoke for nothing. How much does unnecessary idling cost for your fleet every year?

In addition, idling does not just waste fuel, but it wears your engine faster, much faster. John Deere has done a study which shows that idling wears the engine twice as much as running under normal conditions.

This is mainly caused by low operating temperature during idling that reduces the combustion efficiency as it leaves a lot of unburned fuel mixing with the oil causing faster wear.

In addition excessive idling causes cylinder lining glazing. The liners are honed to have a specific cross pattern that helps the piston rings to seal better and create better combustion and fuel efficiency as well as ensure that enough lube oil remains on the inside of the liners for proper lubrication.

During excessive idling, this cross pattern becomes like a mirror surface reducing engine efficiency and increasing the wear. In the end this means you spend more on fuel and repairs. You can fix this by changing bad driving habits.


ASE can help you turn things around

As mentioned earlier, we have an expert who can coach drivers to drive in a safer and more economical way. In the end, your trucks will consume less fuel, spend more time on the road and be less prone to accidents. Clearly this will positively impact your business.We also have experts on hand to run a performance analysis of each truck to help you find other areas for improvements and cost savings.

Call us toll free on 800 24702 or fill in the form alongside and we’ll call you.In this letter we showed examples that could save you up to AED225,000 per truck. In our future letters, we will touch on other areas where your bottom line can get a real boost.


Learn more from the John Deere Study
“The Evils of Idling” (File size: 278kb).


Learn more by from this report:
Idling Myths and Facts (File size: 23kb)


Next Week

I’ll show you why substandard fuel and filters work out more expensive in the long run.

We look forward to your feedback. Let us know what you think and what areas of maintenance and repair you’d like to learn more about.

More Time on the Road
with Al Shirawi Enterprises (ASE)

Lars Möller, General Manager, After Sales