Save Diesel in 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.
Petroleum Conservation Research Association, have set up model depots in several Government Transport Undertakings where they 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.

PCRA conducts training program for group of drivers in major transport fleets. Their program has 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 helps drivers to know 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 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 speeds.
  • 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

Training drivers for good driving habits and maintenance practices helps to develop a grade of good drivers and helps to promote and propagate fuel conservation.

Field surveys conducted by PCRA have revealed that there are 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, PCRA 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 lead 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 are also given by the leading manufacturers and suppliers in the heavy vehicle segment.

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 amazing!

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 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
lorryguru_tips1 1 Stop that leak at once

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

2 Avoid spillage lorryguru_tips3
Check if the fuel tank cap has a good rubber seal.
lorryguru_tips4 3 Correct lubricant is important

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

4 Check tyre pressure regularly lorryguru_tips6
Save on diesel consumption and Tyre life.
lorryguru_tips8 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 lorryguru_tips10
Check battery, dynamo, voltage regulator and fan belt regularly. Idling at even short halts wastes fuel.
lorryguru_12 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 lorryguru_14

Tappet clearance of valves should be checked every month, with a feeler gauge. Also check idling speed.

lorryguru_tips16 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 lorryguru_tips19

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

lorryguru_tips21 11 Keep wheels properly aligned

Improper alignment leads to wobbling, extra diesel consumption and reduced tyre life.

12 Prevent clutch slipping lorryguru_tips24
Replace worn out liners and fingers.
  13 Attend to clogged silencer

Check periodically for carbon deposits. Replace the silencer, if necessary.

14 Keep the engine in good condition lorryguru_tips29

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.

lorryguru_tips31 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 recommendations.

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
lorryguru_tips33 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 lorryguru_tips35

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

lorryguru_tips37 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 lorryguru_tips39

Make use of engine as the 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 diesel.

lorryguru_tips41 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 lorryguru_tips43

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 temperature.
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 products.
  • 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,
10 - Bhikaiji Cama Place, New Delhi - 110066
Ph: 91-11-26198856,Fax: 91-11-26109668
PCRA, C-5 Keshva Building
Ground Floor, Near Drive-in Cinema
Bandra-Kurla Complex
Bandra East, Mumbai-400051
Ph:26542587/26542181 Fax: 022-26590034
Kolkata Chennai
2,Gariahat Road, Dhakuria,
6th Floor,
IOCL Bhavan,
Kolkata -700068
Ph: 033-24145092/88 Fax: 91-33-28240486
PCRA, TMB Mansion
5th Floor, 739 Anna Salai
Ph: 28521662/28520417 Fax : 44-28521662

Get in Touch

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you, please give us a call or drop us an email.
We welcome your comments and suggestions about this website and/or any other issues that you wish to raise.

Contact Info


Stoneridge Center,

Sri Vignesh Towers
Tirumala By-Pass Road, Tirupati-517501.
Chitoor Dist, AP.

P: +91 8500 6 41414, 8500 7 41414
P: +91 8500 8 41414, 8500 9 41414
Can't read the image? click here to refresh.