Now, more than ever, it is essential for businesses to cut the costs associated with their fleets of commercial vehicles. One of their top priorities is cutting down on the money their fleet spends on petrol. Commercial fleets spend the largest portion of their operating budgets on fuel, which can be as much as 60% of total fleet expenditures.
Spend money keeping tabs on the drivers and teaching them new skills
Poor fuel economy is largely attributable to bad driving practises. Because there are many factors affecting the fuel efficiency of the vehicles themselves, fleet managers may find it easy to overlook how the vehicles are actually driven. Many common driving habits, such as the ones listed below, can counteract any fuel savings you might otherwise achieve.
- Rapid deceleration and directional changes
- Constantly switching between high and low velocities
- Incompetent changing of gears
To effectively eliminate these inefficiencies, fleet managers should take advantage of monitoring technology (such as vehicle telematics) and driver training. By keeping tabs on how each driver performs while on the road, you can determine which areas need the most work and tailor their instruction accordingly. While there will be some initial outlay required, the money saved on petrol should more than cover the expense.
Plan your routes more effectively
Your fleet’s fuel consumption may be drastically altered by the routes your drivers take. Fleet managers are responsible for planning routes that minimise fuel consumption without compromising on the timeliness or quality of service provided by the fleet. This calls for dedicated time and effort on your part. Some of the variables along the route that will affect fuel consumption are:
Traveled a great distance. Since this is the most noticeable factor in determining the fuel consumption of a vehicle, it is crucial that the mileage be as low as possible. Nonetheless, fleet managers do not merely focus on this aspect.
Traffic. Heavy traffic can be detrimental to fuel economy because it causes more frequent starts, stops, and idling. This is due to the fact that poor fuel economy is largely caused by things like frequent stops, starts, and idling. If you can help it, try to avoid going to or passing through congested areas at peak times of day.
How bad the roads are right now. Fuel consumption can be affected by the road’s smoothness, incline, and slope, as well as the posted speed limit.
The most efficient and economical routes can be reached by considering a number of factors, some of which are discussed below. An integral part can be played by route optimisation software and telematics, which can help fleet managers find ways to reduce fuel costs by analysing data about drivers’ current routes. Fleet managers should consult drivers for insight into the roads because a thorough familiarity with the terrain is crucial.
Make sure you have the right sized and shaped vehicles in your fleet
When calculating the fuel efficiency of a fleet of commercial vehicles, it is also crucial to take into account the fleet’s size and composition. Managers are responsible for evaluating their fleets on a regular basis to ensure that they have sufficient numbers and types of vehicles to meet their needs.
If the resources are there, cutting down on the size of a fleet can be a great way to save money on fuel and other expenses related to maintaining and operating the vehicles. However, the costs of overloading the remaining vehicles in terms of payload and mileage may outweigh the benefits, so care should be taken to make a decision after as much information as possible has been gathered. In most cases, the most cost-effective strategy involves first eliminating the use of older, less fuel-efficient vehicles.