Welcome back to part two of our two-part post on improving fuel economy in your fleet. In part one, we began the discussion by offering four tips to improving fuel economy including implementing fuel tracking management software, promoting wise driving habits, vehicle maintenance, and cooling methods for drivers in warm weather. If you haven’t done so already, we suggest you go back and read part one before continuing. In today’s post, we will continue the discussion by offering four more tips on how you can improve the fuel economy in your fleet.
5. Use Fleet Fuel Cards
Fleet fuel cards are a great way to keep track of fuel expenses and have more control over expenses in your fleet. Fleet fuel cards provide your drivers with the ability to pay as they go without getting stranded while affording you the ability to work with fuel distributors to get the best prices for your fleet. Fleet fuel cards help you identify non-fuel expenses and monitor trends, maintenance, and fuel usage. Fleet fuel cards allow you to generate reports that can be very telling of the habits of the drivers of your fleet and the condition of the fleets vehicles. Fuel card reporting systems help prevent loss to the company and can help you identify the best routes and times of travel through trending reports.
At Reeder Distributors, we know the importance of fleet fuel cards and the positive impact they have on your bottom line. For more information, read about the benefits of fleet cards here and then learn more about our fleet card options. We are happy to answer any questions and get your fleet set up with a fleet card system.
6. Avoid Long Idling
Idling is a common culprit of using fuel without a real purpose. This not only contributes to emission pollution but decreases fuel economy. Long idling times are sometimes unavoidable, but drivers should make efforts to reduce unnecessary idle time. Cabs, buses, and delivery trucks often idle when they are waiting to drop off or pick up their next load, which is not always the most practical situation to attempt to avoid. However, making efforts to ensure timely delivery can help decrease the amount of waiting and idling time. For long haul truck drivers who idle overnight to keep their cabs powered, opting for a generator for power is a much better option — both in terms of fuel economy, engine life, and pollution control. While the front end cost of a generator may seem high, it will save a significant amount of money in longterm engine maintenance and fuel usage.
7. Move Loads Properly
For vehicles carrying any amount of weight, it is important to fuel efficiency that their weight is carried properly. The weight should be dispersed evenly to avoid drag or pull. Overweight loads should be avoided when possible, as should partial loads. Combining loads or splitting loads up to get the ideal weight for fuel efficiency will save money and fuel. This applies to all freight vehicles including Class 8 trucks, aircraft, and water carriers. Being mindful of load weight will also improve the vehicle’s engine performance and extend the life of the transportation vehicle.
8. Choose Routes Wisely
Fleet routes should be chosen wisely, keeping fuel efficiency in mind. There are many things to consider when selecting routes including:
- Access to cost-efficient fuel
- Elevation change
- Road condition
- Twists and turns in the road
- Time of travel
- Alternate routes
- Overlapping routes
When planning routes, all things should be considered, not just the starting point and ending destination. Most times, there are routes that offer time and fuel-saving options. Straight highways during less populated times are ideal, but not always feasible. If there is rough terrain that is unavoidable — mountain passes, isolated roads, etc. — traveling these areas during non-peak times is preferred. Not only will this help control speeds better, but it will reduce the chances of delays causing unnecessary idling and air conditioner usage.
Depending on the size and purpose of your fleet, and what kind of vehicles your fleet includes, implementing one or all eight of these tips will help you reduce fuel consumption and improve fuel economy. At Reeder Distributors, our business is fueling fleets and saving fleet managers money. Visit us online for fleet management options and contact us to partner with us.