Effective fuel management is a key part of running any fleet. After all, fuel is one of the highest costs for a fleet and can account for upwards of 25% of a fleet’s total expenses.
However, there’s more to fuel management than just reducing a fleet’s mileage. Fuel management also entails good driving practices, how and when drivers pay for fuel and regular vehicle maintenance.
If you’d like to reduce your fleet’s fuel consumption, here are five easy ways to do so.
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Tip #1: Put Drivers First
When creating a fuel management strategy for your fleet, you need to think of your drivers first. Create driver policies centered around fuel-related driving behaviour. Speeding, abrupt acceleration or braking and idling all increase a vehicle’s fuel consumption. Educating your drivers on fuel-efficient driving practices can reduce your fleet’s fuel usage overall.
To encourage economic driving behaviour, set targets around monthly fuel consumption. Reward drivers who demonstrate economic and safe driving behaviour, and have systems in place to check drivers who aren’t following the company driving policies.
Read more: How To Have Happy Drivers In Your Company
Tip #2: Clear Clutter Out of the Vehicle
One of the easiest ways to reduce your fleet’s fuel usage is to clear out any empty containers, unused equipment and other items from your vehicles. All of that extra weight adds up quickly and may be driving up your fuel costs. For example, an empty roof box uses an extra three gallons of fuel per 100 miles!
Part of your fuel management plan should include regular vehicle checks to ensure drivers are carrying only what’s necessary for them to do their job.
Tip #3: Monitor Tyre Pressure
Another important — but easily overlooked — aspect of effective fuel management is checking each vehicle’s tyre pressure. Tyres that are fully pumped up allow fleet vehicles to run more efficiently. If the air pressure is even 0.2 BAR too low, fuel consumption can increase by 10%.
In addition to checking tyre pressures, you should also invest in energy-saving tyres. They can cut fuel consumption by up to 20%.
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Tip #4: Track Your Fleet
If you’re still managing a fleet with outdated paper logs, you’re costing yourself time and money. Fleet trackers like Fleet Geo can help optimise routes, track bad driving habits, reduce mileage and protect against theft. On average, businesses save around 15% with fleet tracking systems.
With Fleet Geo, you can review each vehicle’s route retrospectively. This allows you to make changes to ensure drivers are taking the most fuel-efficient routes.
Fleet Geo also tracks your vehicles in real-time, so you can dispatch the nearest driver to a last-minute call. This prevents unnecessary, fuel-wasting trips for other drivers and helps keep costs low.
Read more: Why Is it Important to Track Vehicles?
Tip #5: Refill Your Gas at the Right Time
Yes, there actually is a “right” way to refuel your fleet vehicles! If possible, avoid refueling your vehicles first thing in the morning as that’s when the price is the most expensive. You should also research which petrol stations have the lowest rates, and certain fuel cards can provide your business with discounts as well.
Filling up your vehicles at the right time and the right place can save up to 5% and 4%, respectively.
Effective Fuel Management for Lower Fleet Costs
Devising a fuel management plan for your fleet should take the following into account: driver training, vehicle maintenance, tracking vehicle and refueling your fleet at the right time and place.
Installing a fleet tracking system like Fleet Geo can make the process of creating and maintaining a fuel management plan so much easier. To learn more about how Fleet Geo can help reduce your fuel costs, contact our team of customer service representatives today.