How to Handle Fuel Consumption in Hot Weather

Fuel managers are always looking for ways to protect their fleet’s bottom line, and utilizing fuel card services is a great start. Another way to save money is by educating your drivers on fuel consumption and how it differs by season. The good news is that a vehicle heats up quicker in warmer temperatures than it does in winter, making it more fuel efficient, but your drivers might still be guilty of overconsumption.

Here’s what you need to know about fuel consumption in the summer, and how your drivers can help improve fuel efficiency.

A Vehicle’s Air Conditioner is the Main Contributor to Fuel Consumption

The impact your vehicles’ air conditioner has on consumption relies on several factors, like the temperature, humidity, and the sun’s intensity. On the hottest days, a truck’s AC can reduce its fuel economy by more than 25%, especially on shorter routes.

Rolled Down Windows Eat Up a Vehicle’s Fuel

As tempting as it is to drive down the highway and take in the warm summer air, this habit is actually hurting your fleet’s fuel consumption.  With open windows, your driver has created a less aerodynamic vehicle, which eats up more fuel. Advise your drivers that the fuel consumption isn’t that harmful at low speeds, but they need to roll up their windows on the highway.

Speed Impacts Fleet Fuel Consumption

One of the easiest ways your drivers can improve fuel efficiency this summer is by watching their speed. According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), a truck that’s going 75 miles per hour (mph) consumes 27% more fuel than one going just ten mph less. As a result, the ATA has encouraged a national speed limit for larger vehicles built after 1992 to not exceed more than 65 mph.

Sitting Idly Impacts a Vehicle’s Fuel Consumption

Sitting idle is a huge fuel guzzler. Your drivers face two types of idling: discretionary and nondiscretionary. The former is by choice, and the latter is when they’re forced to sit in congested traffic. The ATA is helping to reduce nondiscretionary idling by implementing infrastructure and highway improvements.

Through new technology incentives, you can encourage drivers to stop discretionary idling. Drivers are doing this because they want their cabin to stay cool, warm, or maintain electricity. Let your drivers know that this type of idling consumes 1.1 billion gallons of gas every year.

If you’re passionate about improving fuel efficiency, consider joining the EPA’s SmartWay Transportation Partnership Program, a collaborative effort to between the EPA and trucking industry. Its goal is to improve energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gases and pollution.

Another way to save on fuel is by implementing a Fuelz fleet fuel card. We’ve been in the industry for over forty years and have been helping fleets like yours save money every day. Our fuel card was created by a fuel company, not a credit card company, so we understand your unique needs. Contact us today to learn more about our fleet fuel card.