5 methods to save fuel expensesNovember 9, 2021
Fuel is one of the most expensive components, accounting for around one-third of a typical fleet’s total operating expenses. However, its high cost doesn’t mean there’s no other way to get more fuel savings.
Increasing your fuel efficiency has several financial and environmental benefits, but figuring out how to do so may be challenging. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to save money on fuel. Take advantage with these five ways to reduce fuel expenses per mile and maximise your fuel efficiency.
Be familiar with your fleet
Thorough knowledge of your whole fleet is essential, including vehicle usage and health, driver performance, customer satisfaction, operational procedures and expenditures, as well as compliance with fleet rules. When trying to figure out why you are spending so much on fuel, it’s vital to look at the broader picture.
Consider the following questions:
● What are the best vehicle choices and fleet sizes for your business, both in terms of cost and efficiency?
● What is the uptime of your fleet, and do you keep track of how much fuel each driver consumes every trip?
Because every fleet is unique, it’s important to know your operations inside out and how you can enhance them to get better fuel efficiency.
Monitor the activities of your driver
According to recent research by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, driver behaviour is the most critical element in fuel efficiency improvement. According to the study’s results, the fuel consumption gap between excellent and poor drivers can be as much as 35%.
Speeding, braking and acceleration all have an impact on fuel consumption and can be controlled. You can aid your drivers in improving their driving skills by using telematics-enabled fleet monitoring solutions. Emphasise on safe driving to motivate your drivers into supporting the cause for increased fuel efficiency.
Environmentally responsible driving practices also tend to be safer. And last but not least, make sure your shipment or service windows provide adequate time for transportation to prevent drivers from rushing.
Avoid additional weight that isn’t essential
Fuel expenses can rise by as much as $0.03 per gallon, per 100 pounds of weight in your automobile. While this may not seem like a significant sum, adding together the costs from hundreds or thousands of gallons over a year will quickly cause it to become huge.
To optimise the amount of weight carried per vehicle, never load a vehicle with more weight than is necessary for each journey. And if you’re seeking to buy or lease a new vehicle, choose more fuel-efficient vehicles that weigh less and have smaller (therefore lighter) engines.
Examine tire pressure regularly
It’s been discovered by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that under-inflated tyres have a significant impact on gas mileage. Inflation at 75% of the appropriate pressure level increases fuel consumption by 3%, while inflation at 50% of the recommended pressure level increases fuel consumption by 10%.
By simply doing daily walk-around tyre inspections for under-inflation and other such concerns, these unintentional expenses and accidents can be avoided. A smart idea is to get drivers to check their tire pressure as part of their pre-trip safety inspections.
Tire-pressure monitoring systems can also aid with tire checks, but it’s always good to have visual inspections as additional safety measures, in case the system misses anything.
Maintain your vehicle
To save money on fuel, make sure your vehicles are in good working condition. When a vehicle malfunctions, more journeys must be made to make up for lost time and cover costly repairs. To avoid unnecessary breakdowns and emergency repairs, it is important to have your vehicles regularly serviced and monitored.
This may seem like a simple chore, but when your fleet managers are overloaded with vehicle dispatch and you have a growing number of vehicles to handle, keeping tabs on vehicle maintenance schedules and breakdown issues will not always be straightforward. To assist your fleet managers to stay on top of vehicle health and never miss another servicing date, consider using a fleet management system for efficient, fool-proof monitoring.
Although we’ve gone through the importance of fuel monitoring, fuel fraud on the other hand, is another challenge, and happens more frequently than you can imagine. To check for fuel fraud, one should always investigate for irregularities in vehicle mileage or unexpected increases in fuel costs. Using an automated fleet tracking system will notify you the moment fuel expenses are unusually high, enabling you to undertake rapid and efficient investigations to determine what is causing the problem.
Finally, one last tip on reducing fuel is to take into consideration the vehicle types in your fleet. Converting to alternative fuel vehicles, such as electric or hybrid vehicles, will result in considerable cost savings and at the same time, maintain performance and fuel-efficiency.