With the average cost of fuel on a constant wax and wane, and the increased emphasis on environmental awareness and climate protection, improving fuel economy is much more important than just buffering your bottom line. At Reeder Distributors, we carry wholesale fuels of all types for vehicles of types and offer fuel management systems for fleet managers. We offer fuel delivery services and wholesale fuel options. Over the years, we have helped fleet managers and individual drivers conserve fuel and improve fuel economy. In today’s post, we are going to offer some tips to help you reduce fuel waste and improve fuel economy in your fleet.
1. Implement Fuel Tracking Management Software
There are several different fuel tracking management systems that can be implemented in fleets to help track and monitor fuel usage, cost, and patterns. Fuel tracking management software allows fleet managers to review the fuel usage and economy of each individual driver and vehicle to identify potential problems — fuel line leaks, poor vehicle fuel economy, waste or abuse. Many newer technologies can also help drivers quickly map, route, and find the most economical fuel options.
At Reeder Distributors, we carry and install a variety of brands of fuel management technology including FuelMaster® and DataPak. If your fleet is not already using some form of fuel tracking management software, contact us to get yours installed today!
2. Promote Wise Driving Habits
One of the best ways to use fuel more efficiently is to promote wise driving habits. Aggressive driving habits such as varying speeds, passing other vehicles, and braking suddenly not only cause more accidents but also use more fuel. Wise driving skills that promote optimal fuel consumption include consistent speeds, smooth braking, limiting four-wheel-drive usage, reducing idling, and using cruise control. Improving driving habits can improve fuel efficiency by as much as 20 percent per vehicle on the road.
For fleets with many vehicles on the road, some ways to help your drivers improve their wise driving habits include offering driving courses, reiterating these points, and paying attention to their routes in relation to schedules and traffic. Avoiding having your fleet on the main roads during peak traffic times can help your drivers maintain more consistent speeds, reduce idling, and make trips quicker — all of which protect your bottom line.
3. Maintain Vehicles
Another fairly easy way to optimize fleet fuel economy is to maintain the vehicles in your fleet. Regular preventative maintenance is paramount to reducing unnecessary costs and improving fuel economy. Maintenance should be scheduled at regular intervals and additional service should be scheduled when fuel tracking systems indicate abnormal fuel economy. Maintenance of fleet vehicles should include:
Tires – Proper tire inflation, tire rotation and balance for even contact with the road.
Oil – Regular oil changes with “energy conserving” features.
Engine – Regular tune-ups are critical and can improve average miles per gallon by more than 40%.
Air Filter – Clogged air filters should be replaced to improve fuel efficiency.
At Reeder Distributors, we offer fleet equipment and maintenance options for fleets of various vehicle types, including high-performance oil and lubricants.
4. Cool Drivers Wisely
Just like residential home and commercial building energy usage skyrockets in the warmer months, the same is true for vehicle energy usage, which is translated into fuel consumption. Offering practical cooling options for drivers helps to reduce fuel usage and improves driver satisfaction. Some ideas on how to make drivers comfortably cool and save fuel include:
- Avoiding driving at peak temperatures — drive earlier in the morning or later into the evening, while avoiding the afternoon.
- Use circulated air as much as possible rather than “Max A/C” settings.
- Aim for more neutral temperatures — between 70 and 73°F.
- Crack windows without rolling them all the way down.
- Have access to battery-operated personal fans — air blowing on the face can keep people cooler without having to drop the cab’s temperature dramatically.
- Avoid leather seats or seat covers.
- Encourage access to cold drinks.
Rolling the windows down and using the air conditioning can lower miles per gallon significantly. Discuss cooling options with your drivers and develop a plan that affords drivers the opportunity to be comfortable while maximizing fuel efficiency.
We are hopeful that implementing these four tips will be a good start to helping your fleet improve overall fuel economy. In part two of this two-part series, we will offer four more fuel optimizing tips for your fleet. For all of your fleet management and fuel needs, visit Reeder Distributors online today.