Idea Box: Ways to Save on Gas Costs for Your Vehicles
How a Few Simple Changes Can Add Up to Big Savings on Gas for Your Vehicles
Date Posted: 10/5/2018
Gas and diesel prices have been rising steadily for the past few years recently hitting a four-year high. That means it could be a good idea to consider ways your pallet company could save money on fuel, especially if you have your own fleet. There are a variety of ways to save on fuel, some are easy to implement and others require a little more effort or even an investment in technology.
• Check tire pressure weekly. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), simply keeping the right amount of air in tires can improve gas economy by as much 3.3%. Depending on the number of vehicles you have on the road, that can create significant savings.
• Perform Regular maintenance. Simple maintenance procedures can also improve fuel efficiency. So, get engines tuned up when due, replace dirty air filters, and get your vehicles aligned if needed to reduce drag.
Driving and Operation:
• Encourage safe and sensible driving habits. According to the EPA, aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, heavy acceleration, and hard braking waste gas, lowering fuel economy by a whopping 15% to 40% on the highway and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.
• Reduce vehicle weight by transporting only what’s needed. Lighter loads mean lower fuel consumption.
• Encourage the use of cruise control. It keeps a vehicle moving without the driver having to step on the gas, resulting in better fuel economy.
Implement Technology for Route and Fleet Management
Even if you don’t have large trucks with electronic logging devices (ELD) requirements or only have a relatively small number of vehicles on the road, it can still be worthwhile to evaluate the use of technology to improve the performance of your vehicles. It used to be that telematics or fleet management meant buying expensive hardware in order to make it work, but now you can accomplish the same thing with inexpensive mobile apps.
Software companies and the major telecom carriers have developed a wide array of fleet management products that can be implemented on mobile phones. That means you can cost effectively deploy technology to:
• Monitor driving habits. By monitoring, you get a feel for employees’ driving behaviors and can coach them to drive less aggressively to reduce fuel consumption and the chance of accidents. Monitoring, by itself, is also a deterrent to unsafe driving practices.
• Optimize routes. This can reduce fuel waste while potentially improving customer service. What seems like the shortest route isn’t always the most efficient. When a driver has multiple stops, a fleet management app can plan the most efficient routes to save time and fuel.
• Avoid heavy traffic. When a vehicle is stuck in traffic, it’s costing you more in fuel. The traffic alerts provided by a fleet management app can help drivers avoid these situations and reduce the frustration of going nowhere.
A lot of what it takes to reduce fuel costs is common sense. But the potential savings can be worth taking the time to really think about it and require or encourage employees to follow guidelines. First consider how much you spend on fuel each month, quarter or year, and then imagine reducing that number by even 5% or 10%. Then take the necessary actions so you can add the savings to your company’s bottom line.
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