Top 12 Ways to Cut Down your Fleet Fuel Expenses
Fuel prices are at their highest in the last seven years – So what does that mean and how can you reduce your fleet’s fuel expenses? Every Fleet Manager knows that Fuel is one of the main contributors to a fleet’s operating costs. Using the power of your Geotab telematics, there are several different strategies you can use to improve fuel economy and directly impact your fleet’s bottom line. Here are the top twelve ways you can reduce your fleet fuel costs:
- Idling is NUMBER 1 – Stop unnecessarily idling your vehicle.
Use your Geotab Idle Time Reports and challenge your drivers to improve your overall fleet idle time, or to work to reduce their individual idle time percentage compared to last month!! Email your dedicated USA Fleet Solutions Customer Services Professional and they can help you set up these reports or show you how you can use them to evaluate your fleet’s performance in this area
- Driver Behavior is NUMBER 2 – Curb aggressive driving
Using the Geotab Safety Scorecard Report to work with your drivers to reduce excessive speeding, rapid acceleration, harsh braking, and tailgating. These aggressive driving practices dramatically impact fuel economy (by an average of 31%). To curb this behavior, use the Geotab driver scorecard to effectively evaluate drivers based on how they drive and then coach your drivers to promote safer on-road behaviors.
- Track and manage fuel trends in MyGeotab
Using Geotab can Fuel reports can improve your MPG and reduce overall fuel spending. The Geotab Fuel Tracking and Fuel Economy reports help you track fuel economy, fuel cost, and monthly fuel spending.
- Optimize your routes and choose smoother roads
Choosing the quickest route and smoother roads can significantly increase the efficiency and productivity of the fleet while reducing costs. Smoother roads could lead to a 4.5% decrease in fuel consumption, and less wear and tear on vehicles. While controlling the road conditions are out of a fleets control, you can still help your drivers avoid bad roads through planning.
- Keep an eye on the tire pressure
Reduce fuel costs by monitoring your tire pressure, especially when the weather fluctuates. The U.S. Department of Energy found that under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 pound per square inch (PSI) drop in the average pressure of all tires. So this means that if you have 4 under inflated tires (by only5 lbs.), your fuel costs just went up 1% more while that vehicle was moving. Make sure that your drivers should check tire pressure before starting their journey.
- Conduct regular maintenance checks
Regularly maintain your vehicle by replacing air filters, changing oil, or just fixing any kind of maintenance issues. These checks can improve your fuel mileage by up to 40%. According to a report in Fuel Economy, just using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil can improve the vehicle’s gas mileage by 1%–2%.
- Match the right vehicle to the task
When you’re choosing vehicles for tasks, make sure to pick the right size truck for the journey. Using a large truck for a small load and short distance means you are increasing your fuel costs. A good practice is to downsize to vehicles with smaller engines that consume less fuel. Another option is to choose electric vehicles for lighter loads.
- Check that the oxygen sensor is working properly
Oxygen sensors primarily monitor the efficiency of combustion by keeping track of the amount of oxygen remaining in the exhaust. However, they do tend to degrade over time which adds to gas mileage. By repairing a faulty oxygen sensor, you can improve milage up to 40%.
- Use fuel cards
Improving fleet efficiency can also be established through a driver fuel card. A driver fuel card not only makes fuel payment more convenient for drivers, but also helps fleet managers keep track of fuel purchases and other employee transactions. USA Fleet Solutions and Geotab can integrate fuel and fuel card information directly into your Geotab Telematics portal.
- Start investigating EVs
Start considering electric vehicles (EV’s) for your fleet and consider where they might fit. Electric costs are generally less expensive than fossil fuels and more stable, allowing for better budgeting. They are more environmentally friendly and are a key part in creating more sustainable fleets.
- Set speed restrictions
As per a report by the U.S. Department of Energy, it is safe to say that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional $0.25 per gallon for gas. By reducing and restricting your speed, you use less fuel which results in lower fuel costs.
- Lighten your vehicle load
The lighter a vehicle, the more fuel-efficient it is. Car manufacturers now build vehicles with composite body parts, which significantly decrease the weight of the vehicle. This means that drivers are carrying only what they need as part of their cargo. The EPA reports that every extra 100 pounds of weight on a vehicle can lower fuel economy by 1%.
In their Short-Term Energy Outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicted that the U.S. average gasoline price will continue to rise due to crude oil price increases. The volatility of gas prices makes it difficult to confirm how high prices could possibly go. Fleet managers can respond to this uncertainty by using their Geotab telematics data and tools to promote more fuel-efficient practices and save fuel costs.
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