KE’s Bussar has been operating with Drivec EcoDriving since the beginning of autumn 2019. We had a chat with the company’s most efficient driver, David Barnes, to find out what he thinks of Drivec’s energy-efficient driving solution.
About David: He is 57 years old and has been driving heavy vehicles for 38 years, the last 10 years of which as a driver for KE’s Bussar. David is a musician and has being driving the band’s tour bus across Sweden for many years. He has also made use of this experience in his work at KE’s Bussar.
So you’re saying that your background has played a role in the way you drive a bus, in what way?
I think that being a musician has helped me to listen the engine, and I can tell when, for example, it’s getting pushed too hard. Others may not think that way. I listen a lot to the sound of the engine, like you listen to the sound of an instrument. Plus, my father was military and he taught me early on to take care of the engine and the vehicles I drive and that it’s important to have respect for the vehicle.
Has Drivec EcodDiving changed the way you drive? If so, how?
I was relatively good at driving efficiently even before the system was installed. But I now have confirmation of what I did well and what I can improve on. My driving style has changed since the installation. The first 4-6 weeks were a lot about learning about what kind of feedback you get from the driver display/app. It was really interesting to discover how your driving style affects consumption. You learn a lot from the feedback you get through the system. Once I’d learnt the basics, I was motivated to learn to drive even more efficiently.
What specifically have you gotten better at?
I’ve gotten better at coasting. And at planning my driving. Something I’m also noticing now in the summer, when we drive more tours, is that I’m getting better at driving efficiently on a new route after driving it a few times since I can plan my driving better. I also feel less stressed at work when I’m calmer as a driver. And that means I also feel that I’m driving more safely.
Overall, I’m a better driver now than before. Another thing I noticed is that planning your driving demands more concentration, which means I’m very tired when I get home from work. But I see that has proof I’ve done a good job.
How has the installation of Drivec’s energy-efficient driving system been received by drivers in the organisation in general?
Just like with most changes, there’s always some resistance. But it is moving in the right direction and more and more people understand that there is much to be gained from working together with the system. As with all changes, it takes some time to gain wide acceptance. But I am convinced that Drivec EcoDriving is an important piece of the puzzle in KE’s sustainability work. The way I see it, information is key. And it allows for good dialogue between the driver, the supplier (Drivec) and management. We are on the right track.