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Save Diesel in Buses and Trucks

Every drop is precious

Diesel is a critically important petroleum product. But our reserves of crude oil are limited. What
should we do? How do we meet the inevitable rise in prices, the possible shortages?
You, as a fleet operator, can help save diesel till an alternative source of energy is found.
We, at the Petroleum Conservation Research Association, have set up model depots in several
Government Transport Undertakings where we have proved that it is possible to save about 20% of
the diesel consumption in normal fleets and over 6% in even the best of fleets by concerted
efforts. Broad approaches to diesel conservation have been clearly identified and their utility
tested and proved in the model depot projects. Put these proven approaches to work in your fleet
too, starting today.

Good driving the key to diesel economy

Tests carried out with 100 drivers, relating diesel consumption to driving skills, have revealed
that, if all the 100 drivers could drive as well as the best 5, fuel savings would be over 10%.

A careless driver may cover 1000 kms on 280 Liters of diesel; an efficient and alert driver would
need only 250 Liters. A clear saving of 30 Liters in one trip!

Are our drivers efficient?

Do you know that drivers often ignore the finer points of driving? Perhaps unknowingly. The result?
More diesel consumption and less profits.

We at PCRA conduct training program for groups of drivers in major transport fleets. Our program
have so far covered over 25000 drivers. The table below indicates the percentage of drivers in
whom various driving flows were observed before training:

No. Reason Percentage

1. Overspeeding 42%
2. Rash and rough driving 39%
3. Sudden acceleration 30%
4. Jack rabbit starting 12%
5. Violent and sudden braking due to Non-anticipation of stops 37%
6. Gear change without double de-clutching 39%
7. Improper gear selection 30%
8. Clutch riding 27%
9. Use of a clutch to hold the vehicle gradient 12%
10. Unnecessary riding 12%

Can training improve driving habits?

A good training program explains to drivers the effects of good and bad driving habits, and seeks
to remove doubts about personal consequences, such as increase of travel time additional effort
required. And so on. It also guides them on how to save diesel.

Some of the bad driving habits identified during Driver Training Programs:-

Gear changing by single de-clutching or without use of clutch.

Improper synchronization of gears and vehicle speed.

Tendency to drive in top gear in congested city traffic.

Switching off the engine while in gear.

Unnecessary idling.

Racing engine for removing crowd.

Clutch riding.

Delayed acceleration after shifting to higher gears.

Poor anticipation of curves, road obstacles and sudden shifting to lower gears at high

Tendency for over-speeding.

Racing and longer travels in lower gear.

Jack rabbit moving.

Sudden and erratic acceleration.

Delayed gear changing.

Rash and rough driving.Poor anticipation of obstacles and sudden brake application.

Negotiation of curves at high and

A unique training methodology
To train drivers in good driving habits and maintenance practices in order to develop a cadre of
good drivers and thus to promote and propagate fuel conservation.

Field surveys conducted by us have revealed that there are a number of misconceptions among
drivers about good and bad driving habits. More significantly, they were surprised at the extent of
fuel savings possible through improved driving habits. Therefore, we have developed a training
methodology, which enables the driver to see for himself the effect of good and bad driving habits
on diesel consumption.

← Selection of about 10 KMs long suitable route.

← Driving test for each driver to identify usual driving habits and diesel consumption from
calibrated tank.

← Class room session on good driving and maintenance practices.

← Analysis of driving habits of each driver.


← Driving test for each driver as per the directions of instructor and diesel consumption from
calibrated tank.
← Performance evaluation of drivers.

← Report preparations.
The program is best organized for a batch of 15-20 drivers. A suitable route covering city and
moffusil traffic of a distance of 10 kms is chosen. A special Tank with 20 cms diameter And 60 CMS
ht. Calibrated up to ¼ liter is used. The fuel supply to the engine is taken from this tank and the
return lines go back into the tank.

The drivers are then asked to drive as per their usual driving habits, and see for themselves the
quantity of diesel consumed. The instructor then explains to the group how good driving habits
led to low diesel consumption for a few drivers and how bad driving habits led to high diesel
consumption for other drivers.

The drivers are also shown two training films on diesel economy- “Driving for diesel economy” and
“Fifteen points” (Maintenance for diesel economy) and slides specially developed for the program.
Further, lectures re also given by the leading manufacturers and suppliers in the heavy vehicle

The drivers are now taken on the same route again along with the instructor, who corrects driving
mistakes as soon as they occur.

The average saving noticed on such program is 15% going up to even 40% in particularly bad cases.
This generally serves as an eye-opener for most drivers and is remarkably effective in improving
driving skills.
Motivate your drivers and monitor their performance
It would be a good idea to make an appraisal of the driving skills of your drivers. Calculate the
average diesel consumed on the same routes by various drivers. Talk to the careless drivers to
improve their driving habits. Give incentives or awards to good drivers. The results will be

Eliminate smoke
Smoke is a visible indicator of poor engine performance. Traffic surveys at several traffic centers
in the country have revealed that over 50% of our heavy commercial vehicles emit visible levels of
smoke. A bus or a truck which visibly emits black or dark grey smoke, consumes nearly 10% more
diesel. Some transport fleets which have implemented a program of elimination of visible smoke
have recorded diesel saving of 10%, reduction of pollution apart.

Why do vehicles smoke?

A study was conducted on a fleet which had a program of rectifying smoking vehicles through
maintenance. Injectors were found to be defective in 60% of the cases. Defective fuel injection
pumps were responsible for smoke in 39% of the cases and poor engine compression was noticed in
21% of the cases. These are the three principal contributors to smoke. The maintenance of the
fuel injection system and top engine overhaul on schedule will eliminate smoke in all vehicles. For
a typical operator, the cost of repairs and maintenance will be recovered in a few days and at
worst within six months, due to reduced diesel consumption.
Fuel Loss at Traffic intersections
PCRA conceived a research project and entrusted a study with Central Road Research Institute
(CRRI) to estimate the average fuel loss per day due to idling of vehicles at all traffic intersections
in Delhi. The study revealed that the petrol/diesel wasted by vehicles every day at traffic
intersections in Delhi alone are to the tune of 3.22 lacs/1.01 lacs of Liters respectively. At the
prevailing rates as of September 1999,the total loss of fuel works out to staggering amount of Rs.
320.22 crores per annum.

The major remedial measures suggested to reduce vehicular delays and consequent loss of
petroleum products due to idling of vehicle:-

← Installation of vehicle actuated traffic signals.

← Optimization of signal cycle timings.

← Synchronization of traffic signals.

← Provision of adequate road geometric.

← Switching off engines at re lights.

← Observance of lane discipline.

← Following good driving habits.

Can you afford to wait?
Start a smoke elimination program today. If your vehicle emits smoke, check for the following
defects, one after the other, and rectify them immediately.

1) Injection should be clean and efficient.

Defective injectors lead to higher diesel consumption. The opening pressure and spray pattern of
an injector should always be correct. This can be checked on an injector tester. The injector must
be cleaned properly with a brass-wire brush after soaking it in kerosene. Blocked spray holes
should be cleaned with a steel wire, of correct diameter.

2) Check fuel injection pump calibration and mounting.

Get the pumps calibrated at a well-equipped center. It is equally important to ensure that the
calibrated pump is mounting recommendations. This will ensure delivery of the right quantity of
fuel at the right pressure and at the right time to each cylinder for combustion.

3) Check engine compression.

A weak engine may emit black smoke, show poor compression pressure on a compression tester or
consume abnormal quantities of engine oil. If your engine exhibits any of these symptoms. Have it
checked and overhauled. A top engine overhaul may be adequate in most cases. A delay can prove
more costly than you may think. And precious diesel will keep going up in smoke.
15 Simple tips on better maintenance

1 Stop that leak at once

Loss of one drop of diesel per second costs you over 2000 Liters
every year.

2 Avoid spillage
Check if the fuel tank cap has a good rubber seal.

3 Correct lubricant is important

Use standard grade oil and save up to 2% in fuel consumption.

4 Check byre pressure regularly

Save on diesel consumption and tyre life.

5 Dirt-your worst enemy

Check cleanliness of air cleaner and change oil/air filter
periodically. Without an air cleaner, ring wear shoots up 115 times.

6 Keep vehicle ready-to-start, always
Check battery, dynamo, voltage regulator and fan belt regularly.
Idling at even short halts wastes fuel.

7 Check fuel filters

Use filters of good quality and replace them at recommended
intervals, but not all at the same time.

8 Keep the engine well tuned

Tappet clearance of valves should be checked every month, with a
feeler gauge. Also check idling speed.
9 Injection should be clean and efficient
In case of engine trouble, check the opening pressure and spray
pattern of injectors at once.

10 Check binding brakes and wheel drag

Check for free rotation of wheels by jacking up. Also check brake
pedal free play.

11 Keep wheels properly aligned
Improper alignment leads to wobbling, extra diesel consumption and
reduced tyre life.

12 Prevent clutch slipping

Replace worn out liners and fingers.

13 Attend to clogged silencer

Check periodically for carbon deposits. Replace the silencer, if

14 Keep the engine in good condition

If the compression pressure is low or if the engine emits black or
dark grey smoke or consumes abnormal quantities of oil, have the
engine overhauled immediately.

15 Correct fuel injection pump calibration and mounting

Always get the pump calibrated at well equipped centers. Also,
ensure mounting of the calibrated pump as per mounting
Procedure for Correct Mounting of Fuel Injection Pump
1) Rotate the flywheel so that the first cylinder is at the Top Dead Center as per flywheel marking.

2) Rotate the flywheel backwards so that the injection commences in the first cylinder as per the
flywheel marking.

3) Mount the pump on the engine so that the markings match.

4) Remove the delivery valve holder of the first cylinder of the fuel injection pump from the
drive-end and remove the delivery valve, pin, spring and peg.

5) Replace the delivery valve holder and connect a swan-neck pipe to it.

6) Feed clean fuel to the pump by gravity or by operating the feed pump hand primer, so that it
overflows through the swan-neck pipe.

7) Lock the injection timer, wherever provided.

8) Precisely adjust the position of the pump so that the overflow is just out off.

9) Tighten the pump mounting nuts and re check spill cut off.

10) Remove the swan-neck pipe and assemble the delivery valve, pin spring and peg.

A mistake can mean improper timing of injection and wastage of diesel.

6 simple tips on better driving

1 Faster is not economical

The ideal driving speed for diesel economy is 40-60 km/h. Extra
diesel is burnt in overcoming increased air resistance at high speeds.

2 Sorry, no idling of vehicles

Idling wastes diesel at the rate of 2 Liters per hour. Switch off the
engine for stops of over 2 minute.

3 Shift gears correctly

Driving in wrong gears can increase diesel consumption by 10%. Use
the same gear for coming down as for going up the same gradient.
4 Stop gently by anticipating stops
Make use of engine as the brake. Sudden braking wastes engine
power and diesel. Tests prove that a vehicle driven at 60 km/h can
travel a distance of 650 miters, without consuming additional

5 Drive at a steady speed

Accelerate gradually. Sudden acceleration injects more diesel than
necessary. Always maintain a steady speed while driving.

6 Clutch-riding costs more diesel

Avoid using clutch pedal as a footrest. This causes loss of
transmission and rapid wear of clutch components. Avoid holding
the vehicle on a slope by using the clutch and accelerator-use the
hand brake instead.

Points your drivers must keep in mind

Checks before every journey:

← Level of engine oil and radiator water.

← Leakage of diesel, lubricating oils or water.

← Tyre pressure and condition.

← Fan belt tension and condition.

← Free play of clutch and brake pedals.

← Engine oil pressure, ampere meter charging rate, air tank pressure and radiator water
Cold engine starting:
← Ensure the gear lever is in neutral position.

← Depress clutch pedal to reduce load on starter motor and crank. ( Release clutch pedal
after starting.)

← Release hand brake fully.

← Do not race engine. Start driving in low gears till water temperature reaches 65 C.
Look out for and report:
← Leakage in fuel lines.

← Under-inflated tyres.

← Self-starting problems.

← Poor pickup.

← Binding brakes.

← Black smoke.

← Tappet noise.
Petroleum Conservation Research Association is an organization set up by the Government of India
to promote conservation of petroleum products. Its principal objectives include the following:-
← To formulate strategies and promote measures for accelerating conservation of petroleum
← To create awareness among masses about the importance, benefits and methods of
conserving petroleum products & clean environment by enhancing information and
capacity building.

← To promote research, development and deployment efforts aimed at petroleum

conservation & environment protection, support & facilitate efforts for adoption and
dissemination of fuel efficient technologies and substitution of petroleum products with
alternate fields and renewable.

← To establish synergistic institutional linkages at the national & international levels in the
areas of petroleum conservation & environment protection.

← To provide training and technical advisory services, designed to achieve economy &
efficiency in use of petroleum products for cleaner environment.

← To function as a “Think Tank” to the Govt. of India for proposing policies and strategies on
petroleum conservation and environment protection aimed at reducing excessive
dependence on oil.
For further information or assistance, please contact:
Petroleum Conservation Research Association
Sanrakshan Bhavan, 10 - Bhikaiji Cama Place, New Delhi - 110066

Regional Offices
New Delhi Mumbai
PCRA, Sanrakshan Bhavan, PCRA, C-5 Keshva Building
10 - Bhikaiji Cama Place, New Delhi - 110066 Ground Floor, Near Drive-in Cinema
Ph: 91-11-26198856,Fax: 91-11-26109668 Bandra-Kurla Complex
E-mail: pcrad@del2.vsnl.net.in Bandra East, Mumbai-400051
Ph:26542587/26542181 Fax: 022-26590034
E-mail: pcrawr@bom3.bsnl.net.in

Calcutta Chennai
Everest House, (2nd Floor) 5th Floor, 739 Anna Salai
46-c, Chowringhee Road Chennai-600002
Calcutta-700071 Ph: 28521662/28520417 Fax : 44-28521662
Ph: 2887250/2881913 Fax: 91-33-22880763 E-mail: pcras@md2.vsnl.net.in
E-mail: pcras@giasclo1.vsnl.net.in

Sub Regional Offices

Ahmedabad Dy. Mgr. 079-26588511
Bangalore Mgr. 080-5715335
Bhopal - -
Bhubaneshwar - -
Chandigarh Mgr. 0172-2638901
Cochin Dy. Mgr. 0484-302980
Guwahati - -
Hyderabad Mgr. 040-3323429
Jaipur Mgr. 09313506333
Ranchi Dy. Mgr. 0651-2412342
Lucknow - -
Nagpur Asst. Mgr. 0712-2549507
Raipur Asst. Mgr. 0771-2263587
Visakhapatnam Asst. Mgr. -
Coimbatore Asst. Mgr. 0422-318219