When it comes to fuel spending, there are several things that can be done to help cut your fuel costs and save money. The main two areas that it comes down to is either improving the fuel economy of already existing vehicles or acquiring new vehicles with better mpg. While upgrading a whole fleet isn’t always possible, it is important to consider fuel with every new vehicle purchase cycle.
Improving the fuel economy of existing fleet vehicles is an area that fleets can start working on today. Here are 10 strategies to help you reduce fuel consumption and spending.
1. Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
According to a study published by the NHTSA, fuel efficiency can be improved by an average of 0.6% up to a maximum of 3% with properly inflated tires (the correct psi).1 That’s because for every 1 psi below recommended tire pressure, you lose about 0.2% in fuel efficiency.
Tire pressure is also affected by outside temperatures, so be sure to check tire pressure frequently, especially when the weather fluctuates. This is especially true in cold climates or extremely hot ones.
Geotab telematics can help to ensure tire pressure is checked frequently by setting automated emailed maintenance reminders, or by including tire pressure in your drivers’ vehicle inspection (DVIR) checklist.
3. Choose smooth roads wherever possible.
An often overlooked contributor to fuel inefficiency is road surface quality. Energy from the engine is used for more than forward momentum — every bounce or shake of the vehicle takes away expensive kinetic energy that you paid for at the pump.
Unfortunately, road quality is rarely something under a fleet’s control. But with Geotab, you can help your drivers avoid bad roads by planning and dispatching routes that avoid those areas.
Traffic congestion is a similar issue. In a study published by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), traffic congestion was found to negatively impact a vehicle’s fuel economy by 20-40% depending on the level of gridlock.2
3. Keep an eye on idling and smart shifting.
The fewer times your engine is started, the less fuel your vehicle will consume. Changing gears sooner can help lower your overall revolutions per minute, resulting in lower gas consumption.
Another gas guzzling habit is idling. With vehicles running when they probably don’t need to be, unnecessary consumption equates to unnecessary costs, which is only amplified when a business operates more vehicles. Reminding drivers to turn off their engine can have huge paybacks in the short and long term.
Telematics technology can help alert drivers to turn their engines off when their vehicles have been put into “Park.” Idling reports can also allow managers to work with specific drivers who idle regularly.
4. Set speed restrictions.
Reducing and restricting your speed is another method for reducing fuel waste. The implementation of speed restrictions in fleet management can be helpful when it comes to saving fuel. This is due to the fact that slower speeds require less fuel, ultimately resulting in lower fuel expenditures. The UMTRI study found that driving at high speeds can lower a vehicle’s mpg by as much as 30 percent.
Telematics technology can also help drivers reduce fuel consumption by reminding them to slow down and stay within the speed limit. Reports can also provide managers a quick look at which drivers are violating the speeding policy.
5. Work with the right telematics partner.
Here at USA Fleet Solutions, we are dedicated to helping businesses realize a solid return on their telematics investment through our partner Geotab. Getting better mpg lies at the heart of what we do, as there are many contributing factors for reducing overall fuel expenditures.
- NHTSA. (2012). Evaluation of the Effectiveness Of TPMS in Proper Tire Pressure Maintenance. [Online] Available: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/pdfs/811681.pdf
- Sivak, M. & Schoettle, B. (2011, Aug). Eco-Driving: Strategic, Tactical, and Operational Decisions of the Driver that Improve Vehicle Fuel Economy. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. [Online] Available: https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/86074/102758.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y