Fuel prices and consumption are always an important topic for fleets. Your bottom line and probably your profit margins are dependent upon lowering fuel costs. Fleet managers, therefore think a lot about fuel, but advice abounds. What are the most time and cost effective methods for lowering fuel consumption? Read on for the most effective ideas large and small that will make a big impact on your fuel budget.
Big Ticket, BIG Impact Fuel Saving Measures
These ideas aren’t only for larger fleets, but if you are a small fleet, they may simply take longer to implement. Considering implementing into your 2017 – 2020 budgets.
1. “Rightsize” your fleet. Having a mix of vehicle sizes in your fleet will make your business more efficient. Don’t use a semi-truck when a van can handle the job. Use a cross-over instead of an SUV or pickup whenever possible. How about adding a couple of sedans to your fleet instead of minivans?
2. Incorporate more four-cylinder trucks into your fleet. Unless every load you haul is heavy, then you should consider adding more fuel-efficient, four-cylinder vehicles to your fleet. Trucks and vans of many sizes are available in four-cylinder models.
3. Introduce electric and hybrid vehicles to your fleet. These new high-tech vehicles aren’t in the distant future anymore. Dozens of new hybrid models will hit the market this year and as competition grows so will the prices drop. Mercedes has even introduced an all-electric heavy duty truck, although the 124 mile range means that it’s still impractical for most purposes. And Tesla is not far behind, having already announced its intention to build a pure electric semi-truck. You will also like the government tax incentives for purchase of hybrid and electric vehicles, as well as vehicles that have been converted to plug-in electric.
4. Consider fuel hedging. For large fleets, fuel hedging might be a good option to reduce your spend on fuel. If you aren’t familiar with fuel hedging, work with a business analyst to establish a fixed cost for fuel each season. This will save your fleet from unexpected costs due to fluctuations in gas and diesel prices.
Inexpensive, BIG Impact Fuel Saving Measures
5. Educate your drivers about fuel saving. Don’t assume that your drivers understand all the ways that they can help the company save fuel. Show them how much money can be saved if they practice ideal behaviors. They will probably be surprised! And of course, provide an incentive for drivers that save the most fuel. A free lunch or gift card to the top driver each month could go a long way toward lessening your fuel spend.
6. Reduce idle time. This one is the most obvious ways to save fuel and using the FleetUp ELD and Online Platform will help you closely track idle time by truck and driver. Make sure that your drivers know that restarting an engine requires the same amount of gasoline as idling for 30 seconds. If they will be sitting for more than that, they should shut the vehicle down. Creating incentives for your drivers to reduce their idle time will also have a measurable impact on your fuel waste immediately.
7. Improve your routing plans. If you’re not already using a system, implement a solution that helps your fleet managers create optimal delivery routes, but also adjust on the fly for traffic congestion, poor road conditions, and weather problems.
8. Put the brakes on aggressive driving. Your FleetUp ELD will help you easily track drivers that brake or speed excessively, as well as take turns at inadvisable speeds. The data provided by the FleetUp Online Platform can help you create Driver Scorecards to track and coach offenders to improve behavior.
Stay tuned for part 2.
To learn more about how FleetUp can help you save on fuel, schedule a demo.