Remi Skillingsås, Head of Transport at fuel suppliers Qstar knows perhaps better than anyone the value of fuel. This is why the company has always focused sharply on fuel-efficient vehicles – and skilled drivers.
It all started with a modest filling station in Östra Husby in the county of Östergötland, Sweden in 1990. Today, you can see Qstar’s characteristically bright-red filling stations in 400 locations all over Sweden. The emphasis is on the whole country, because Qstar focuses intensely on covering smaller towns and rural communities where many larger companies wind up their operations.
“This means that we have all kinds of runs: short and long, on country roads and on motorways. This variety has led us to always stress the importance of driving our tankers in a fuel-efficient manner,” says Qstar’s Head of Transport Remi Skillingsås.
Qstar currently has its own fleet of two tractor units, eleven trailers and six drivers employed by the company. Also, the company works with subcontractors who drive another nine tractor units. Scania is the natural choice for Qstar, according to Remi Skillingsås.
“After all, we want to have the best drivers. They need to feel happy with us and stay with us. That’s why we invest in the best vehicles. As a fuel supplier and haulage firm, we naturally want to take responsibility for our customers and for the environment. And that’s why we always want to improve efficiency and challenge ourselves,” says Remi.
A fuel saving of five percent
Qstar became interested in Scania’s new generation of trucks at an early stage for this precise reason. A fuel saving of five percent was enticing, and the decision was made to buy in a Scania R 500.
“The savings promised have even been exceeded – our calculations show that we’ve reduced our fuel consumption by between seven and eight percent, which we’re extremely proud of,” he says.
The new truck is not the only thing behind this reduction. Qstar has also used Scania’s driver coaching to hone the skills of its drivers and further reduce consumption, explains Teddy Soneland, whose role is “Driver no. 1” at Qstar and who is responsible for a large share of operations in the haulage business.
“We’ve always driven economically, but to move up a notch in our development, we took part in Scania’s driver coaching. It’s meant a great deal to follow things up on a daily and monthly basis. Driver coaching also means that you never stagnate but instead always try to develop. Good can always be better,” he says.
Teddy Soneland praises the feel of his new Scania.
“I personally gain a great deal of benefit from Scania’s technical solutions, such as the cruise control with GPS. And the new gearbox with extremely good rollout,” says Teddy.
Comfort is also worth a great deal, he adds.
“I like the details, like there being a convenient place to put your flask, good storage spaces, opportunities to charge your phone, and being able to connect two mobile phones simultaneously – details that mean that being at work is enjoyable,” he says.
Based on these impressive results, Remi Skillingsås is now considering a suitable reward for the company’s drivers.
“We’ve achieved fantastic things, and we’re hugely proud of our drivers, who did all the work,” says Remi in a mixture of Swedish and Norwegian. “We’re now thinking about doing something for them in return, and we’ll see what that turns out to be.”
Qstar’s five top tips for saving fuel:
- Hunt decilitres, not minutes (change your mental attitude).
- Always drive at the right speed (driving too fast is the single biggest drain on fuel).
- Make use of rollout on roundabouts and crowns of hills, for example.
- Use technical aids such as cruise control with GPS.
- Be extremely predictive. Read the traffic in advance. Braking wastes fuel.