When you want to save money on fuel, there are a host of options at your disposal – no matter the size or mission of your fleet.
Used by a lot of managers in larger fleets, and now becoming more and more available to the smaller ones, a gas price protection program can save you a lot of money when the market fluctuates.
More extreme changes in price happen when prices go up rather than fall down, which can make budgeting your expenses difficult.
Fuel Price protection lets you lock down a price for a small fee, which means when the price keeps climbing, you’re still paying a lower rate, and that can save hundreds of dollars every month.
State fuel tax has a great impact on your fleet costs.
You can’t change the amount of state fuel tax, which differs between each state, but you can work with an accountant to decide how you can utilize the change in tax between states to save you money on purchasing gas.
It’s also important to have an accountant so you can withstand an audit on your fuel spending.
Bashing the gas pedal when you drive onto the highway and overusing brakes are both great ways to drive fuel consumption through the roof. So is idling.
Fleet managers can forbid drivers to pay inside gas station stores, which decreases the amount of time they spend idling at a gas station. Another option are driving simulators. A UK study found that fuel consumption was decreased 1.5-3.2% among truck drivers who practiced maneuvers on a driving simulator.
Publishing a list of your policies can make a radical change on your business and the amount of money that you save in gas. Driver responsibilities cover anything from what kind of fuel you authorize your drivers to pump, enforced speed limits, laws of the road, and limits to idling.
The easiest place to start is by getting all of your drivers a fuel card. Made for fleets, they’re customizable, can save you big percentages at the pump and allow you to track all fuel purchases.
The best fuel fleet cards also allow you to limit purchases to only gas, which means your drivers won’t spend your fuel quota on Big Gulps.
Avoiding traffic may trump going along the shortest route – not necessarily to save time, but to lower the cost of fuel eaten in stop and go traffic.
You can also use internet mapping programs to factor weather into your routes, giving your drivers the opportunity to wait out storms and save your trucks from idling on the side of an icy, undrivable road. You also increase the safety of your fleet.
A well kept truck is going to get better fuel economy that will pay you dividends over time.
The more time you spend between tune-ups and periodic maintenance, the more expenses will be nipping at your heels down the road. That includes changing the oil, air filter, and keeping tires properly pumped, each of which can save fuel economy by as much as 3 or 4%.
Using software to capture and analyze fuel consumption data, you can get a granular view of what is happening anywhere, anytime in your fleet. You can see the gas mileage of one vehicle and driver and compare it to the rest. You look at every fill-up, and pinpoint areas that are ripe for improvement.
By spending money up front, you’ll be able to get more out of your vehicle and its fuel consumption. This may include insulation, which keeps the engine from working quite as hard in very cold conditions. It could mean installing a more fuel efficient engine, hybrid power and aerodynamic hardware.
If you’re wary of spending – did you know that government programs exist to help you lower your fuel costs? Federal EPA Smart Way website can help you innovate new ways to retrofit your fleet.