Fuel costs are the second largest expense for fleets. They can form up to 60% of the entire operating costs. So managing your fuel expenditure can translate to huge savings. But how do you keep fuel costs in control? One way is to start using a fuel card. And while fuel cards are the most realistic way to keep your gas spend in check, there are other simple tips, too. In this article, we tell you the measures to implement to reign in your fuel expenses and get more money into your pockets.
1. Switch to Fuel Cards
One of the best things that can improve your fleet’s fuel efficiency dramatically is using a fuel card. These cards allow you to track mileage and fuel usage across your entire fleet. This way, it becomes easier to see the routes or drivers that are spending most on fuel. Armed with this information, you can come up with strategies for improving fleet fuel efficiency moving forward. It also makes drivers more accountable.
Fuel cards come in different types. Some give you discounts per litre, which is critical in bringing your fuel spend down. The price of fuel is constantly fluctuating, and it can happen even when the economy is stable. Therefore, keeping fuel costs low is a critical way to maintain fleet fuel efficiency.
Fleet managers can access fuel card account online and monitor activities in real-time. Also, they can download reports easily. This enables them to streamline fuel data and cut down on the time needed for administrative tasks.
2. Go Digital
The ability to react and adapt is crucial for effective fleet management. A good example is using technology to improve the efficiency of your fleet. The first thing is to look at the extent to which you depend on files and paper records. Digitizing your records and files enables you to save lots of time that you would have used for searching and organising information. Also, you cut your spending on filing systems and paper, as well as save office space. Minimizing these costs frees money that you can use better on other aspects of the business.
The other thing you should think of is ways of using technology for improving fleet efficiency. The best place to begin is by making proper use of the dashboards and reports and that fuel cards provide. Using advanced telematics can give you more accurate data about the performance and location of the vehicle.
Thirdly and lastly, and this applies mainly to commercial fleets, where vehicle checks are mandatory. Using a digital app that can work with your fleet management system or telematics to do the checks dramatically reduce the paperwork and leads to time-saving.
3. Monitor Vehicle Health
Keeping tabs on the health of your vehicle is another simple way to better your fleet efficiency. If anything, this is among the best fleet management tips you can ever find anywhere. Vehicles are important assets and a critical expense, so understanding thoroughly the state of their health is of vital importance.
You can drastically reduce the chances of a car breaking down by conducting periodic maintenance and ensuring that fleet safety standards are upheld. A breakdown does not just mean that the vehicle cannot be used, but it also reduces your fleet efficiency. Also, it eats into your budget through rescue and repair costs.
You also want to refer to the fleet budget anytime you undertake a vehicle repair check. As a fleet manager, you should think critically about the best time to replace a faulty vehicle. It reaches a point when it’s cheaper to get a new vehicle than keep repairing a faulty one.
4. Increase efficient driving habits
On average, a long-haul track idles from 6-8 hours a day, for 300-plus days a year. When a driver increases or decreases speed suddenly, it tends to cause the vehicle to use 20% more fuel. The habits can quickly add up, resulting in thousands of hours of wasted fuel yearly.
Common habits like coasting, harsh braking, exceeding speed limits, and other bad driving routines can affect the fuel efficiency of your fleet significantly. And while these driving habits may appear inconsequential, they can affect your fuel spend and vehicle lifespan significantly.
Fortunately, you can use telematics to promote good driving habits that result in better fuel economy and reduce idling. Telematics provide a sneak peek into the energy and fuel use of a vehicle. Telematics tools like Idling Alerts and Fuel & Energy Reports can help you understand fuel and energy trends in all your fleet. Thereafter, you can zero in on the problem areas and improve on them.
Drivers play a big role in the vehicle performance that they are driving. Therefore, tracking the behaviour of the driver is an excellent opportunity to make significant savings. Although each fleet will have varying priorities, there exist simple driving tips to decrease your fuel consumption and also the wear and tear of your vehicle. These tips will eventually promote sustainability. Using Fleet Efficiency Report to track these driving habits enables you to understand inefficient driving habits. You can also use the reports to reward good behaviour and get effective feedback.
5. Take Advantage of the Fuel Reporting Feature
Fuel reporting is also another feature of telematics that enable you to take charge of your fuel economy and decrease overall cost. Getting insights into fuel trends is crucial for spotting abnormal or inefficient activities. You can get these reports daily, weekly or even monthly, and all of them come straight into your inbox. With these reports, it is very easy to monitor the performance of your fleet and true idle time. Ultimately, the reports will help you to improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
Fuel cost is a major expense of maintaining your fleet. By keeping it down, you have a chance of reducing your overall costs. Fortunately, there are a few proven ways of reigning in on your fuel spend. The best thing is to adopt technology to help you track the driving habits of your employees.