?Fleet Management and Fuel Savings

Does anyone remember the days when the only time we thought about high diesel fuel prices was when OPEC decided to mess with us? Fuel cards use to be handed out and drivers would fuel at any place they wanted. Actually for companies that still does happen. I guess for those few companies that still do that and back in the old days no one really paid attention to fuel management. It wasn’t that important. Today fuel management better be part of the picture or companies are just not getting the fuel savings that they should be.

Some people say you can’t control your fueling or diesel fuel prices, we save sure you can. The answer is fuel management as part of your fleet management for your company.

Any company can improve their fleet fuel efficiencies. It takes work and commitment from everyone in the organization both direct and indirect suppliers but with proper fuel management system in place your diesel fuel prices will go down. Many companies are making change in their fleet management programs to help reduce operating costs. We believe with the tips below as well as a solid fuel card program, your fleet manager will see the difference.

To help you adjust, here are Ten Ways to Cut Fuel Costs:

1. This is another lesson your drivers must be taught. Jackrabbit starts waste fuel and save less than 3 minutes per hour driving, but can result in using 40% more fuel so that is not going to help your fuel savings or help your own time delivery. Take it easy.

2. You’re not 16 years old anymore. Speeding is dangerous; it wastes fuel and creates higher levels of toxic emissions. Speeds over 60 mph drastically impact fuel efficiencies – cars travelling at 75 mph use 20% more fuel. Trucks travelling at 75 mph use 50% more fuel and they also emit 100% more carbon monoxide, 50% more hydrocarbons and 31% more nitrogen oxides. If those numbers don’t want you to put restricker on your trucks, I don’t know what will. If you think saving a couple of cents on your diesel fuel prices is big, wait until you put this in place.

3. Be aware of the time truck engines idle. No longer can we leave trucks and equipment running all day long. Stop your engines! Excessive idling adds to your fleet fuel costs by as much as 50% and can shorten the life of engine oil by 75%, adding more costs. Initiate a campaign to reduce idling time and reward participants. Allowing an engine to idle more than 3 minutes causes expensive damage which harms efficiency, shortens engine life and increases maintenance costs. It all adds up to big savings if you handle your fleet management correctly.

4. Extra weight places unnecessary strain on your vehicle’s engine and greatly affects its fuel efficiency. By removing as little as 100 pounds you can significantly improve your miles per gallon and we all want better miles per gallon out of our diesel fuel trucks. Check each vehicle and take out that unnecessary weight!

5. Proper tire inflation improves gas mileage or diesel fuel mileage. Statistics show improperly inflated tires can cost up to 2 weeks worth of fuel per year! How big is your fleet? Two weeks per year per vehicle adds up to thousands of dollars in lost profits! In addition proper inflation results in improved vehicle and braking performance, and increases tire life. You can never be to safe.

6. Whenever possible, invest in modern, fuel-efficient vehicles. Modern diesel engines are far more fuel-efficient and perform better with modern diesel fuels such as ultra low sulphur diesel, biodiesel and diesel fuel additives. Though it may seem expensive, new diesel vehicles can save thousands of dollars in maintenance, fueling and productivity per vehicle. Measure each piece of equipment for fleet fuel efficiency and get rid of the bad ones! Replace and upgrade your equipment regularly. It may hurt now but it will pay you back when you look in your fleet management program

7. You can’t improve what you don’t measure. If you can measure and your fleet management program better when you have the right information. Tracking miles traveled, average speed and engine efficiency is critical to cutting fueling costs. This information will help your drivers and managers optimize routes with better planning. Mapping software and GPS will eliminate thousands of unnecessary miles per week. Less time on the road means less fueling consumed, less wear on vehicles, decreased expenditures and overall increased productivity which will lower your overall operating ratios.

8. Does your company have solid Preventive Maintenance program or is your program when it breaks we fix it. Many companies “”fix it when it breaks.”” This attitude costs too much in wasted diesel fuel prices. A well maintained vehicle performs better, improves fleet fuel efficiency, reduces toxic emissions and, in the long run, will cost less to maintain.

The two most important things that we feel are part of savings in fuel management system are:

9. It starts with the people who have their foot on the gas pedal. Your drivers can control fuel consumption each time they fire up their engines, and proper training can improve fuel efficiency, economy and emissions. Hard acceleration, speeding and idling are the biggest causes of fuel waste. Initiate a training course for drivers and reward participation.

10. This is the most powerful way to lower diesel fuel costs and increase productivity. Is to have a fleet manager or an outside fuel management company that are experts in diesel fuel prices, fleet management services, fuel cards, diesel fuel additives, fuel cards, mobile fueling and have relationships with fueling companies. When you can have an expert on your staff with fueling knowledge your company will see more fuel savings through any of the methods above or with fleet credit card to provide fleet management solutions.

Until next time, go start your fuel savings by following these tips. You also might want to consider a better fleet card, diesel fuel additive, shop for lower diesel fuel prices and lastly you can’t go wrong with a good fuel management system.

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