Analysts predict that gas prices will rise back over $4 a gallon during 2023. That’s why it’s important to understand fleet fuel management practices to save money and stay on budget.
But what is fuel management and how does it work to offset rising gas prices? The following fleet fuel management guide can help explain everything you need to know.
Read on to learn how to keep your tank and bank account full with a few crucial fuel-saving tips.
Understanding Fleet Fuel Management
Fleet fuel management systems help track and manage the fuel that fleets consume. They let fleet managers limit and enhance expenses related to fueling.
The average small trucking company needs to purchase about 80,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually. Feul is the second-biggest expense for trucking companies next to driver salaries.
Companies spend more money on fuel than repairs, tolls, maintenance, insurance, tires, licensing, and permits combined. Management systems help identify which factors contribute to unnecessary wasted fuel to reduce expenses.
The systems detect things like the habits of drivers and truck defects that might waste fuel. It makes fuel spending more effective and allows for bigger profit margins which both benefit the bottom line.
Management systems also let businesses know if a bulk fuel delivery service could save them money. All of these savings can go into other areas of the business such as training, hiring, and marketing to help it grow.
It’s important to gather as much data about your fleet as possible to properly manage fuel consumption. First, come up with an estimate for the total fleet’s fuel expense.
You’ll want to note the fuel consumption that each vehicle uses based on specific timeframes. Then, note the fuel efficiency of each vehicle including things like miles per gallon that drivers experience in their vehicles
Account for the total time that engines run for each vehicle in your fleet. Finally, document any mechanical problems with your vehicles that might impact fuel usage.
After gathering all of that information, you can develop a strategy for your fleet’s needs.
Many of the best strategies for saving money have to do with the condition of your current vehicles. For example, you can start by trading your vehicles in for newer models with better efficiency to limit the fuel you waste.
Make sure to clean both the inside and outside of every vehicle to limit their weight and boost fuel efficiency. Also, try to reduce the distance between the trailer and the tractor to make your vehicles more aerodynamic on the road.
You might want to use side skirts on your vehicles to enhance fuel efficiency by lowering their frames to the ground. They work vigorously to lower highly pressurized airflow and improve downforce.
Lastly, always keep your fleet up-to-date on a regular maintenance schedule and stick to it firmly. It ensures that all the engines work at their highest capacity to conserve fuel.
Both you and the drivers of your fleet have a lot to gain by applying efficient fuel cost methods. When they make fewer stops to fuel up their vehicle, it means better profits for everyone involved with the company.
Building a fuel management system and set of rules can launch your efficiency ambitions and help your drivers stay consistent. First, make sure they prioritize maintaining a steady speed.
It can force vehicles to use up more fuel when your driver accelerates and slows down quickly rather than keeping a constant pace. Note that different vehicles have different ranges of speed for obtaining the best fuel efficiency.
Instruct your drivers to always use their cruise control feature. It makes holding an unchanging speed much more effortless and lets drivers eliminate recurring acceleration or braking.
Keep in mind that cruise control presents the best benefits on flat, lengthy routes. Using cruise control while going uphill could hurt fuel efficiency objectives.
Idling allows drivers to remain relaxed while parked, but they should avoid doing so when possible. Unfortunately, idling a vehicle’s engine decreases fuel economy and costs a lot of money each year.
Make sure your drivers know how to inflate their tires properly. If inflated wrong, it can cause excessive resistance and heat which leads to wasted fuel.
Also, the stress and heat caused by inflating tires wrong can wear them out much faster. Consider using a system to automatically inflate tires and monitor and modify air pressure. It can enable tires to endure longer and help conserve fuel.
Make Adjustments as Needed
You’ll want to follow your progress after you’ve collected information about the vehicles in your fleet and apply your rules. Develop an auditing procedure that lets you monitor the success of the new strategies you’re using.
Determine what techniques have made the most significant impact on the progress of your efficiency and what techniques need adjusting. It’s ok to make changes as you go and you shouldn’t expect to get things perfect without a little trial and error.
Ready to Boost Your Fuel Efficiency?
Now you know what fleet fuel management is and how to use a few basic strategies to enhance your fleet. Remember, keep track of data, optimize your vehicles, properly train your drivers, and don’t be afraid to tweak a few things as you go.
We hope this guide helps you lower your spending on fuel and develop a helpful routine for your drivers. Take a look through our site’s business section for more money-saving tips to help your company grow.