As a service announcement to all drivers, in your personal and company vehicles, Metro Delivery would like to offer the following tips on Hypermiling, i.e. driving to conserve gas. Studies have shown that extreme hypermilers can use up to 30-50% less gas than some lead-footed, Big-Gulp guzzling gashog.
So what can we do to use less gas?
1. A Red Light Need Not Be a Surprise: Look ahead to anticipate red lights, traffic backups and stop signs and coast to a stop instead of braking. Braking uses gas! If your vehicle has a stick shift, put it in neutral as you coast and when at a stop.
2. A Green Light is Not the Flag to Start the Race: Easy, gradual starts use much less gas than jackrabbit starts. Acceleration uses more gas than anything else you do in the vehicle. Plus, you’ll conserve the rubber on your tires instead of leaving it all over the asphalt.
3. Cruise Control is your Conservation Copilot: If your vehicle has the option, cruise control is terrific on long, relatively level roads. Maintaining a steady speed in general is great for conservation. However, in hilly regions Cruise Control is a clumsy, wasteful robot to leave in charge, so if you’re driving over the Porcupine Mountains you’d be better off without it.
4. Idling Vehicles are the Devil’s Tools: Oh, for goodness sake don’t leave the vehicle running if you can turn it off for a couple minutes. No dashing in while your truck chugs away at the curb, no sitting at the Chick Inn Drive In Restaurant waiting for your Paul Bunyan Burger in a running vehicle.
5. Look for Prime Parking: Ideally, park facing down a hill to use less energy while starting, and park in the sun so you use less energy getting the car warmed up.
6. Nobody Likes a Squishy Tire: Keep your tires at the maximum possible air pressure, which reduces the drag on the road. Also, watch for bad tire alignment and have it repaired, for the same reason.
7. Consider Walking Instead of Driving: Do you have two stops to make downtown that are several blocks apart? Walking instead of reparking could save you time as well as gas, especially considering how difficult it can be to find a parking space these days.
8. Open Windows in Town, a Little A/C on the Freeway: at high speeds, open windows kill your gas milage. If you don’t need A/C but you want some air circulation, leave windows open just an inch or so on the freeway, at most. Of course, for in-town driving, open windows are certainly better than running the air-conditioning, plus you get to share that great song you’re listening to on WDET with everybody on the sidewalk.
9. Plan Your Route: Strategize to make your stops in the most efficient way possible, with the least milage. Avoid rough roads with lots of potholes, take a level road instead of a hilly road if there’s an option, avoid areas with stop-and-go traffic. A couple of minutes of planning could save you a couple of quarts of gasoline.
…Now, nobody expects Couriers in our “Hotshot” Business Model, where crucial things must abruptly be delivered in most any direction, sometimes hundreds of miles away, to have gas conservation as their top priority. The top priority is still HOLY JUMPIN’ SPIDERS GET THAT STUFF WHERE IT’S NEEDED, PRONTO!!!
Nevertheless, opportunities to reduce consumption of gas will present themselves, and if we keep these principles in mind and apply them when appropriate, as a company we’ll save thousands of gallons of gas, and we’ll all have less exhaust and more air to breathe.
Additionally, an informal office poll indicates that all of us here would like to see less of our company’s hard-earned revenue handed directly to BP, Exxon and Shell Oil, as admirable as those corporations are…(cough).
…And yes, we ARE looking into alternate-fuel vehicles, and we’ll revisit that subject here another time.
Thanks for your attention! We now return you to your normally scheduled deliveries.