How to reduce the fuel cost
A fleet manager can’t control the market forces driving average national fuel prices, eating into the company’s bottom line. However, there are some things you can do right now to soften the impact of volatile fuel prices and squeeze as much fuel savings as possible from the company’s vehicle fleet.
Regular Maintenance Check
Just as people feel better when they exercise, eat right and take vitamins, vehicles need the same level of TLC. Ongoing maintenance should include changing oil, filters and wiper blades; checking battery life and tire pressure; and rotating tires. A vehicle that’s not working efficiently burns extra fuel. According to a report, regular maintenance can improve fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent.
Planning of routes in a more efficient manner
Many local drivers generally know the “best” way to get from here to there. They may even know short cuts that have saved time in the past. But are they really plotting the most efficient path from jobsite to jobsite, especially when appointments change during the day? Even a well-thought-out route can quickly become disrupted by traffic, construction, accidents and other snarls that waste time and fuel. Planning routes more efficiently has another hidden bonus: Businesses might find enough time in their day to squeeze in one more job, consult or estimate. Those extra opportunities could mean a significant boost to business.
A solid check on the safety measures of drivers
The ability to track and correct driver behavior can not only trim fuel costs, but can also help cut maintenance costs and insurance fees. Aggressive driving wastes fuel and creates unnecessary wear and tear on vehicles. Not every driver is aggressive, but many are probably guilty of one or more of these aggressive driving behaviors:
- Speeding: Drivers that consistently exceed posted speed limits are burning excessive fuel, and risk being ticketed if caught.
- Rapid acceleration: It’s tempting to race off the line to speed ahead of the slower vehicles, but rapid acceleration burns fuel and causes wear and tear on a vehicle.
- Aggressive braking: Hard braking shows up not only in fuel costs, but also on the maintenance ledger when brakes need to be replaced more frequently.
- Hard cornering: Hard cornering can consume fuel excessively and create additional wear on tires that can affect fuel consumption.
Reining in on these behaviors can significantly help trim fuel costs.
Keeping the vehicle idle is bad for fuel
Drivers like to be comfortable, and that often means the engine is running while the vehicle is stopped to keep the interior cool during the summer or warm during the winter. But idling burns excessive fuel and also adds to the wear and tear on the vehicle’s engine.
Keep track of the spending on fuel
If all company drivers are using different cards for their fuel purchases, there’s no great way to centralize and track fuel spend. Fuel card integration incorporates gas card data, fuel card transactions and maintenance purchase information, making it easier to track spend and trends in fuel use and correct those that need adjustment to maximize savings.
How can Fleet tracking reduce fuel costs?
Managing driver behavior, optimizing routes and tracking maintenance logs and fuel spend can be very labor-intensive work. GPS fleet tracking solutions simplify these tasks, using a comprehensive dashboard that provides insight that can help construction companies reduce their fuel consumption and thus their costs.
A GPS fleet tracking solution can alert managers to poor driver behavior such as speeding and idling, ultimately helping companies improve driver behavior and reduce fuel spend. Fleet tracking can also help companies optimize their routes by taking the driver’s scheduled stops and creating the shortest and most efficient route. If circumstances change because of traffic or construction, drivers can be re-routed quickly via robust dispatching functionality. By optimizing routes, drivers are on the road for a shorter period of time, but getting more done. That means less fuel consumed and more money saved.
Finally, fleet tracking solutions can help companies extend the life of their vehicles and ensure they are operating at high fuel efficiency. Maintenance schedules take the guesswork out of maintenance and ensure preventative upkeep is top of mind and within regulatory guidelines.
Vehicles are a key business tool for all construction and contracting companies. By utilizing fleet tracking solutions, companies can keep their fuel costs in check and their fleet operating like a well-oiled machine.
Learn about the possibility of fuel fraud among your drivers, and how you can prevent it.
By taking a few small actions, you can make some big changes. You’ll see the most benefits when you apply all of the strategies together.
- Invest in driver safety training to reduce aggressive and fuel-wasting driving behaviours
- Use seasonal driving best practices
- Help drivers plan better routes, either through GPS tracking software, or with a mobile app
- Avoid idling when heating up a vehicle in winter, or while waiting in traffic
- Choose fuel efficient tires, and check tire pressure regularly
- Choose the lowest grade fuel each vehicle allows
- Find gas stations with the lowest prices
- Take action to prevent fuel fraud
Don’t miss this opportunity to reduce fuel costs and improve your company’s bottom line. You’ll thank us later!