Ways to Save on Your Fleet’s Fuel Costs

This article was published on: 02/19/20 by the Robert Hall

Fuel is a necessary expense for service, delivery and trucking companies. These expenses can add up fast when you’re constantly managing multiple vehicles and employees, so it’s important to find ways to reduce fleet fuel costs. Having a solid plan in place can help you take better control of your fleet and improve overall company finances.

Tips for Saving on Fuel Costs

There are several ways fleets can save on fuel economy while maximizing operational and travel efficiency. Thanks to modern tracking technology, it’s now easier than ever before to ensure that your staff and vehicles are performing at their best!

Plan Efficient Routes

Efficient routing is an important aspect of the fleet company process. When you have multiple vehicles out on the road, many variables can come into play, such as traffic, safety hazards and other potential delays. 

Planning out the most efficient routes possible helps your employees reach their destinations faster, which benefits your business partnerships, customer relationships and overall travel expenses. The more productive your schedule is, the more you may be able to save on fuel expenses.

Reduce Idle Time

When employees leave their company vehicles on idle, this can waste both time and fuel. You may have employees who leave their vehicles running when they make pit stops or interact with clients. Even a few minutes of idle time here and there can add up, leaving you with greater expenses at the end of each month. 

High-quality tracking software sends alerts about excess idle time so you can discuss more effective strategies with your employees. Limiting this fuel-wastage could save you hundreds or more per year! 

Monitor Driving Habits

If you’re unsure how to reduce fuel costs in a convenient, economical way, monitoring driver behavior can be an excellent place to start. Driving behaviors like sudden acceleration and hard braking can be contributing factors to reduced fuel efficiency. When you understand your drivers’ habits, you can determine how to encourage more efficient behaviors on the road. 

Read Next:   Do I Need Fleet Tracking?

Technology advancements have made it possible to monitor multiple vehicles at once from a single electronic device. You can use this software to keep track of driver location, speed, arrival times and more. With this valuable information, you can ensure that your employees stay on route and maintain cost-effective driving habits. 

Maintain Your Vehicles

While staying up to date on maintenance is vital for the safety of your employees and the longevity of your vehicles, it’s also one of many ways to save on fleet fuel costs. A vehicle that is properly maintained will run more smoothly while consuming fuel at a more efficient rate.

There are many maintenance issues that can present significant drops in fuel efficiency, like old engine air filters, damaged fuel injectors and worn out piston rings. When you regularly inspect your fleet vehicles, you can catch these problems before they lead to major increases in fuel expenses.

Better fuel consumption means fewer delays and lower costs for you. Your employees will be able to drive for longer without filling up their tanks, and this is great news for the business’s finances.

Get a Fuel Card

One of the best ways to cut fleet fuel costs is by monitoring spending. Fuel cards help manage fuel expenses across your fleet. Some cards offer discounts at participating fueling stations, while others can help drivers find the lowest prices in a given area.

If you’re looking for a better way to stay connected to your fleet’s fuel expenses, fuel cards are more user-friendly than standard credit or debit cards.

Check Tire Pressure Regularly

Tire pressure shifts often, especially when your trucks are driving through significant temperature changes. When your tires aren’t pressurized appropriately, the treads lack adequate traction, your tires wear out faster and your overall ride quality decreases. Beyond these factors, your fuel efficiency can drop too.

While some vehicles include tire pressure warning lights, older models might not. The best way to manage tire pressure changes is to check tires regularly. Truck drivers should have access to an air pressure pen for checking pressure at rest stops along their route. When pressure is out of range, they can handle it at a nearby pump right away.

Manage Truck Weight

Excess weight makes engines work harder. When loading up trucks, it’s vital to limit your payload to only deliveries. Keeping extra items on a truck trailer, like unnecessary equipment or packages, will add weight that’s not worth the loss in fuel efficiency. 

Match Vehicles to the Job

Every job comes with a payload, and when you use a much bigger truck for a smaller payload, you spend more on fuel than necessary. It’s best practice to scale down your delivery vehicle when your load is on the smaller side. These small vehicles will have much smaller engines that consume far less fuel. 

Keeping a diverse fleet of trucks will help you match the vehicle to the job. When developing your fleet, it’s essential to understand the jobs you take on regularly. If you’re almost always delivering large payloads that require 18-wheelers, you might turn to renting smaller vans should the need arise.

Set Speed Restrictions

As a fleet manager, you may ask drivers to get to their destinations as soon as possible, but it’s likely not the best advice. In addition to an increased likelihood of accidents, higher speeds require more fuel, especially when driving heavy vehicles like 18-wheelers. 

You can give directions to your drivers to keep their speed under a set limit. This requirement, alongside monitoring software, can help you keep track of drivers’ speeds on the road. While they may not reach their destination as quickly, you’ll experience significant savings with consistently lower speeds.

Read Next:   Why Calculate Trucking Cost Per Mile?  

Use Cruise Control

Acceleration and deceleration make your engine work harder and burn more fuel. With cruise control, drivers can maintain a consistent speed and reduce fuel consumption in the process. Cruise control is most effective on long stretches of highway when traffic is minimal. 

To reap the benefits of cruise control, it’s also helpful to set driving schedules during low traffic times. Allow drivers to take their breaks when they’re most likely to encounter start-and-stop traffic, so they can use cruise control and optimize fuel consumption on the road.

Dispatch the Closest Vehicles

Deliveries and pick-up appointments can happen at any time. When a new order comes in, it’s in your best interest to send the closest truck for the job. If you integrate vehicle tracking software into your fleet, you gain a clear picture of where every truck is at a given time. 

The moment a new appointment shows up, you can look at your fleet locations and contact the driver closest to the location. With less distance to travel, your fleet consumes less fuel.

Consider Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles (EVs) may be an excellent option when you’re looking for long-term savings. EVs can come with higher purchasing costs upfront compared to gas or diesel vehicles, but the return on fuel savings can make up for it. You likely won’t have the means to convert every vehicle in your fleet to electric right away, but even introducing one can help you save.

Add Value With Track Your Truck

All it takes is a few behavioral adjustments and improved management tactics to make major reductions to your fleet’s fuel costs. If you’re ready to save, consider investing in an easy-to-use vehicle tracking solution. We offer pre-tested and prepared GPS tracking devices and software at Track Your Truck, and we’re committed to helping your fleet stay safe and economical. Contact us today to request a quote or product demo!