Fuel is one of the biggest costs associated with fleet management. This makes achieving good fuel economy critical to operating a successful trucking company. While fleet managers can’t control the price of gas, there are some driving and maintenance techniques that will help conserve fuel.
When implemented along with a fleet fuel card program the following tips can help improve your fleet’s fuel efficiency and save your company money.
Driver behavior accounts for as much as a thirty percent loss in fuel economy, so it pays to monitor how fast your drivers are going. Driving faster than 55 miles per hour is especially costly. Each additional one mile per hour over 55 decreases fuel economy by 0.1 miles per gallon. If you aggregate that by the hundreds of trucks in a fleet, fast driving results in a significant reduction in profitability.
Fleet managers can train drivers in vehicle operating techniques that lead to better fuel efficiency. For example, instruct your drivers to coast to a stop rather than brake hard. Sudden decelerations and driving long distances at high speeds in top gear both affect fuel efficiency.
Your fleet fuel card company can also support your efforts to influence driver behavior by reporting on the fuel economy of each truck in your fleet. This enables you and your drivers to set goals for fuel efficiency.
The type and age of the tires the trucks in your fleet ride on affects fuel efficiency. The friction that occurs from tires meeting the surface of the road increases the temperature of the tires. This “rolling resistance” makes cooler running tires a better choice for fuel efficiency.
Even the type of road the tires are driving on can affect fuel economy. Rough roads increase rolling resistance. This makes how trucks are routed an important part of logistics planning for a fleet manager.
Driver speed plays a role here as well. Tires have the biggest impact on miles per gallon at around 50 miles per hour. Plus, every 10 psi that a truck’s tires are underinflated reduces fuel economy by one percent. Be sure to have drivers slow down and maintenance staff inspect tire inflation levels before heading out on the road.
Lubricants can also play a role in fuel efficiency. This is because oil thickens at lower temperatures and causes higher levels of fuel consumption. Lubricant oil that runs at higher temperatures is better suited for fuel efficiency.
Synthetic oil is not affected significantly by temperature so this makes it a better choice for fuel efficiency. Synthetic oil also has higher oxidation resistance which helps it to last longer. Losses in fuel efficiency can be minimized by using the proper lubricant. Your fleet fuel card company should allow you to purchase maintenance services and products. When you do, be sure to factor in fuel efficiency when selecting lubricants.
The Fuelz card does more than help your company save money at the pump. It provides real time reporting and online controls that put you in the driver’s seat when managing your fleet. Contact us at 855-GO FUELZ to find out more.