In the current turbulent economic environment, rapidly increasing gas prices are bound to put a strain on everyone’s budget. This could result in a sudden shock to a fleet manager’s budget that would cause missed financial targets and a lot of frustration. It is now more important than ever to implement strategies to reduce the consumption of fuel in order to manage the impact of high gas prices.
Here are 5 ways that you can use to reduce fuel consumption.
One of the easiest ways to cut fuel costs is to improve driving behavior. Two of the most wasteful behaviors that consume the most fuel are idling and speeding. According to the EPA, for every hour that a vehicle idles, it wastes one gallon of fuel. Also, for every 1 mile per hour in speed over 55mph, a vehicle loses 1.5% of its fuel economy. Drivers can make a conscious effort to eliminate idling when unnecessary and keep their driving speeds under 55mph to reduce fuel costs. Fleets can also implement a telematics system that can monitor excessive idling and speeding and display these activities on a scorecard to curb these wasteful habits.
According to the US department of energy, not keeping a vehicle properly tuned up could reduce its fuel economy by 4%. Drivers should note their manufacturer’s recommended maintenance thresholds and be sure to maintain their vehicles when due. A telematics system could also remind fleet operators when vehicles are due for service and even alert them when the engines detect certain mechanical failures.
Improving route planning could eliminate indirect routes to destinations. This would cut both fuel costs and vehicle wear and tear. A route optimization system could also help fleets better plan routes to make them more efficient.
When there is a combination of rising fuel costs and inflation, there is a temptation for some drivers to abuse the fleet’s fuel card. This abuse could include using the fuel card to fill a personal vehicle or to fill up gas cans while fueling the company vehicle. A telematics system like FieldLogix could identify the fraudulent use of fuel cards in order to eliminate fuel fraud.
Some drivers may abuse the privilege of taking their work vehicles home after hours. This abuse could take the form of completing side jobs or using the vehicles for personal errands. In fact, a study by Motorola found that abuse such as this is part of the reason why fleet fuel costs 13.2% higher when not using a telematics system. A system like FieldLogix could alert fleet operators when vehicles are driven after work hours or if they leave a designated area, thus eliminating this type of behavior.
While the changes in gas prices are uncontrollable, there are certain aspects of how the vehicles are driven that are. Fleet managers who are suddenly faced with volatile gas prices should do everything they can to eliminate wasteful fuel consumption. Tools like FieldLogix can help eliminate behaviors that waste fuel.