The business efficiency of commercial vehicle fleet operations mostly depends on generating fuel efficiencies because fuel costs remain one of the biggest costs associated with the business. Almost a third of the total business costs come from fuel. Therefore, fleet managers are always keen to improve fuel efficiency to maintain a healthy bottom line.
Reducing fuel cost being the main agenda in improving fleet efficiency, let us look into the various possibilities of achieving the goal.
Use fuel cards
Using fuel cards for truckers help to generate savings on fuel purchases. Various kinds of fuel cards are available that generate different amount of saving from 2c per gallon and can go up to 10c per gallon depending on the type of card chosen. Besides, there are other savings in the form of volume discounts and cash back offered by the card issuing company.
Efficient Route planning
The manner of vehicle operation influences fuel consumption, meaning how often the vehicle is starting, stopping and idling the time away. The more frequent is the cycle, higher is the fuel consumption. To optimize fuel consumption, you must optimize the routes and plan vehicle movement as much accurately as possible. Streamlining the routes will ensure that vehicles have minimal stops. To assist in better route planning some fuel cards for trucking are equipped with mobile site locator, which is an added advantage. Proper route planning takes into consideration traffic accidents and road closures to ensure the least mileage coverage while enhancing vehicle productivity that lowers fuel consumption.
Reduce unwanted idle time
Idling time is a critical factor in fuel consumption because even though the vehicle does not move but idles for 2 minutes, it consumes as much fuel as it would have done when covering one mile. Knowing the reasons that cause vehicle idling should help to take steps to reduce it. Leaving the engine running during deliveries or stop, warming up the engine for too long and keep the engine running to operate equipment and radio in the vehicle are the major reasons why drivers keep idling the vehicle. Tracking vehicles and recording driver behavior by using Telematics can improve driving efficiency that turns into fuel efficiency by reducing idle time.
Improve driving behavior
Harsh braking and applying too many brakes followed by changing gears and acceleration shoots up fuel consumption. Adopting better driving habits by staying alert about the surrounding and the driving path should help to anticipate potential hazards and take early action to avoid sudden application of brakes with too much pressure. Driving at a steady speed reduces the use of gears and accelerator that reduces fuel consumption.
Keeping the vehicle in good condition not only reduces breakdowns but also saves fuel. Maintaining proper tire pressure, reducing rolling resistance by keeping all axles aligned, using the right motor oil and timely replacement of fuel filters are all important to ensure that the vehicle uses less fuel.
Following the best practices, together with driver education, goes a long way to reduce fuel usage and improve fleet efficiency.