Save Pennies on Fuel to Save Thousands Each Year
The cost of fuel is often the biggest ongoing expense of running a fleet of vehicles. This is due to many factors, ranging from the relative inefficiency of trucks to the outright theft of the fuel. Here are a few ways to help keep these expenses under control:
- Insist on excellent fleet maintenance. Improperly-inflated tires, engines that aren’t quite in tune, oil that needs to be changed and other such factors will drag down the base efficiency of the fleet. Make sure that all vehicles are checked over on a set schedule to ensure that they’re running in top form.
- Install EOBR systems. EOBRs, or Electronic On-Board Recorders, track the truck’s location, speed, times of operation and other important parameters. This information can also help companies pinpoint instances of fuel fraud. When fraud or theft is suspected, an EOBR makes it easy to spot which vehicles have been making stops at suspicious locations.
- Find the most efficient routes. The most efficient routes are not always the shortest ones. EOBR-derived data make it easy to pinpoint areas where vehicles are stuck wasting fuel sitting in traffic jams or idling in construction zones. Once this information is known, it’s easy to plan speedy detours around problem areas.
- Test-drive routes yourself. Route managers sometimes become lazy and make guesses as to the time a route should take. These guesses are often wrong, and force drivers to either speed or keep driving for dangerous amounts of time. This may get the job done, but at the cost of increased liability for the company. Speeding also causes more fuel to be used, so it’s actually more efficient to set reasonable expectations for route times.
- Upgrade the fleet with more-efficient vehicles. Many options exist for today’s fleets, ranging from trucks that run on natural gas to those that are simply more efficient. A program to replace an aging fleet with modern vehicles can result in a direct decrease in ongoing fuel costs.
These methods can result in an immediate decrease in fuel costs. They also have the potential for allowing a company to improve its reputation for environmental friendliness. By running a campaign to let people know what your company is doing to be more efficient, you may even see more business coming through the doors.
Of course, the fuel consumption is mainly a financial concern for many companies, which is a very real issue. A company with a large fleet can save millions of dollars by increasing fuel efficiency, and needless to say, it’s always better to avoid needlessly blowing profits out of the exhaust pipe.
A few hours for scheduled maintenance and installing EOBR systems will be more than worth it thanks to the increased efficiency. Similarly, planning routes according to the most efficient path rather than the shortest will allow for faster deliveries and lower fuel expenditures. Take a look at your company’s fleet practices and you’re sure to find areas where the firm is being penny wise and pound foolish. Attack these areas first to derive the greatest benefits you’re your new efficiency program.