Driver train­ing by Hino Mo­tors can cut fuel con­sump­tion by 20%

COM­MER­CIAL NEWS

Business Day - Motor News - - COMMERCIAL NEWS - Mo­tor News Re­porter

Well-trained truck driv­ers can re­duce fuel con­sump­tion by an av­er­age of 20%.

Hino Mo­tors says its com­puter-based Eco-cien train­ing pro­gramme has achieved mean­ing­ful ben­e­fits in teach­ing driv­ers to save fuel and to drive safer.

“The ob­jec­tive of this ini­tia­tive is to ed­u­cate driv­ers and op­er­a­tors on fuel-sav­ing and safe-driv­ing tech­niques, as well as less­en­ing the im­pact of Hino ve­hi­cles on the en­vi­ron­ment, us­ing both lec­tures and prac­ti­cal cour­ses,” said Les­lie Long, Hino SA’s se­nior man­ager of prod­uct plan­ning and mar­ket­ing.

“There are also ad­di­tional ben­e­fits af­ter driv­ers have un­der­gone this pro­gramme. One of these is less­en­ing po­ten­tial dam­age to the trucks. Im­por­tantly, there is com­ple­men­tary train­ing for cus­tomers, which we see as a tool the deal­ers can use to ce­ment re­la­tion­ships with their cus­tomers as part of the in­ter­na­tional Hino To­tal Sup­port strat­egy.”

The fuel-sav­ing pro­gramme was de­vel­oped at Hino Mo­tors’s Cus­tomer Tech­ni­cal Cen­tre, lo­cated along­side the Ha­mura man­u­fac­tur­ing plant in Ja­pan.

“We have adapted the pro­gramme to suit lo­cal con­di­tions. Train­ing takes place at the fleet own­ers’ premises and driv­ers use the trucks they usu­ally drive for the train­ing,” adds Long.

“Our train­ers, Joseph Peme and Zen­zele Mafokate, have had a busy year, train­ing 523 driv­ers from 70 com­pa­nies be­tween Jan­uary and Oc­to­ber.

“Each driver can eval­u­ate up to six driv­ers a day to im­prove their tech­nique.”

The ma­jor fo­cus of this pro­gramme is fuel-sav­ing, but it in­cludes all as­pects of driver be­hav­iour and ap­pear­ance as they are very im­por­tant am­bas­sadors of their com­pa­nies while driv­ing branded trucks and in­ter­act­ing with their com­pa­nies’ cus­tomers.

The course starts with a the­o­ret­i­cal ses­sion that stresses driv­ing in the green band for max­i­mum en­gine ef­fi­ciency and fuel econ­omy, but also in­cludes pre­sen­ta­tions on de­fen­sive driv­ing, the role the driver plays in man­ag­ing fleet-re­lated costs and gen­eral com­pany im­age, as well as the im­por­tance of a driver al­ways be­ing aware of his or her sur­round­ings so as to be proac­tive and not re­ac­tive.

The sec­ond part of the course in­volves prac­ti­cal driv­ing over a fa­mil­iar route of about 20km. The first trip is driven with the trainer as a pas­sen­ger, eval­u­at­ing the driver. All data of the trip is recorded on a com­puter at­tached to the truck’s ECU.

A sec­ond trip is then un­der­taken with the trainer coach­ing the driver in terms of the Hino Eco-cien pro­gramme.

The data from both trips is then down­loaded and a com­par­i­son made in terms of fuel con­sump­tion, harsh brak­ing, over-revving and the like. The big­gest im­prove­ment in fuel con­sump­tion logged by the Hino train­ers to date has been 50%, with the small­est be­ing 11%.

Long says one com­pany has al­ready seen big im­prove­ments in terms of less­en­ing in­ci­dents in­volv­ing its trucks.

In this case there was a dra­matic drop from 1.8 in­ci­dents each month to zero, mea­sured over six-month pe­ri­ods.

The Hino ex­ec­u­tive says some fleet op­er­a­tors are even us­ing these statis­tics to ne­go­ti­ate lower in­sur­ance rates.

The Eco-cien course in­cludes a the­o­ret­i­cal ses­sion, which stresses as­pects such as driv­ing in the green band for max­i­mum en­gine ef­fi­ciency and fuel econ­omy.

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