As you may know, the profit margins in the trucking industry are thin. Moreover, in times of economic downturn, the escalation and volatility of fuel cost only adds to the misery of trucking companies. Fuel cost is the second largest expenditure for these companies. As you may have guessed, reducing fuel consumption and maximizing fuel efficiency is one of the major objectives of all truck fleet operators. Although fuel costs are beyond the control of the industry, fleet managers can take several steps to streamline fuel costs:
A simple step to cut down fuel consumption is reducing the driving speed. According to estimates, an average truck traveling at 65 mph will consume 27% less fuel compared to one going at 75 mph. Therefore, restricting your speed to 65 mph can potentially save you about 2.8 billion gallons of fuel over a ten-year period. Therefore, the lesson is simple: limit your truck’s speed.
You may not realize this but an idle truck is a massive fuel guzzler. Drivers usually idle their engines while resting to provide air-conditioning or heat for their sleeper compartments. They also have the habit of keeping their engines warm during cold months. Estimates place the costs of idling around 1.1 billion gallons of fuel each year. Did you know, 98% of fuel waste is due to idling? Ask your drivers to stop this practice and you will save a huge sum on your fuel costs.
Drivers, along with being the number one expenditure for most companies in the trucking industry, are also a key factor in determining and controlling their second biggest expense, which is fuel cost. Estimates predict that skilled and professional drivers can get you as high as 35% better miles per gallon compared to their non-skilled counterparts. Therefore, educating and training your drivers is a valuable tool in your fuel economy arsenal, which can save you big dollars.
A truck’s fuel utilization increases considerably depending on the vehicle’s weight. A heavier truck needs more fuel for accelerating and climbing hills, which reduces the cargo that can be transported on the rig. If you opt for lighter trailer components and tractor, you will reduce your truck weight by a couple of thousand pounds. As per SmartWay, a reduction of about 3000 pounds from a bulky truck can reduce your fuel consumption by 200 to 500 gallons per year. This can reduce your fuel bill appreciably.
Taking the above measures can help you greatly in streamlining fuel costs and improving profit margins. However, a fleet management solution will help you optimize your operations and provide insight so you can make better business decisions. Ready to explore your options? Contact us for a personalized demo.