Fuel costs are a significant expense for operating your diesel-powered fleet. By learning how to reduce fuel costs, you can increase your bottom line.
Maximizing fuel consumption is key to lowering expenses and accounting for the cost of diesel. There are several approaches through tire maintenance, behavior changes, and technology that can help you reduce fuel costs.
1. PROPER TIRE INFLATION
Tire pressure directly impacts your miles per gallon (mpg). A single underinflated tire can lower your mpg by 2% per pound beneath the manufacturer’s recommendation. As your fleet size grows, these increased fuel costs add up to a considerable amount.
Technology like pressure monitoring systems makes detecting underinflated tires easier. Still, we encourage you to include a pressure check as part of your routine maintenance or safety inspection. Doing so can also prevent blowouts and extends your tires’ life span, too.
2. TIRE BALANCING
Our adaptive wheel-end balancer, FLEXX, is a dual compound that was specifically designed to work together to react and absorb forces better than any other wheel balancer available on the market.
Another way to maintain your fuel economy is by balancing your tires. According to the TMC RP214, balancing all wheel positions on commercial vehicles can save 2.2% fuel compared to non-balanced assemblies.
FLEXX MPG Fuel Evaluation
Fuel is one of the highest costs a fleet will have. We have created an MPG evaluation to assess your fleet’s potential fuel savings by using FLEXX in all wheel positions and has been tested with several fleets, including a fleet based out of Chambersburg, PA.Request a Free Evaluation
FLEXX works by shifting to lighter tread areas to offset uneven weight as the tire rolls. The industry-leading compound automatically shifts to the lightest areas during rotation. Drivers using FLEXX can expect:
- Improved fuel economy: Our compound will save you 2-3% on your diesel costs.
- Extended tire life: FLEXX boosts the life span of tires up to 40% by withstanding the force of uneven roads.
- Steadier rides: FLEXX lowers vibrations up to 50% for a safer and more comfortable driving experience.
3. AVOID IDLING
Train your operators to turn off their trucks when they expect to be parked for longer than usual. This action can save up to three gallons of fuel for each vehicle.
Consider this example from Cox Communications. The company used technology to decrease idling time and combined it with more efficient routing. Overall, the changes led to 84% less idling time in a year and significantly slashed their fuel consumption, saving an estimated $2 million across their fleet.
4. MODIFY DRIVER BEHAVIOR
One of the most significant impacts on your fleet’s fuel economy is driver behavior. According to Fleet Financials, an operator’s actions can influence consumption efficiency by up to 33%. Getting drivers to adopt good driving habits can significantly improve your bottom line.
Some behaviors to encourage include:
- Maintaining a consistent speed: Driving too fast isn’t just unsafe — it also drives up fuel consumption. Keeping speeds between 55 and 65 mph leads to better fuel efficiency and can save as much as 20% on costs.
- Choosing price-conscious fueling points: Even when costs are low overall, motivate operators to seek gas stations with the most economical prices to maximize fuel economy.
The best way to influence a driver’s actions is by empowering them to make good choices. Use strategies to gain their cooperation like:
- Giving them control: Features like customizable dashboards and live coaching allow operators to make real-time changes to improve their skills and your fleet’s fuel consumption.
- Tying their behavior to company missions: Study results show improved engagement for employees who feel connected to their workplace’s success.
- Motivating them: Rewarding drivers for good work through increased pay, bonuses, or other valuable benefits shows appreciation. This practice can help your company keep great talent and raise your bottom line when done correctly.
No matter what strategies you choose to promote certain behavior, you should use comprehensive training programs and have ways to hold drivers accountable for their choices.
Thorough training for drivers teaches them how to operate your fleet’s vehicles correctly and drive less aggressively, which improves efficiency.
There are many new technologies available for improving fuel economy. Today’s telematics offer benefits like:
- Real-time stats: Fleet managers have access to idling times, driver behavior, and current fuel consumption. This visibility allows them to identify operators who need additional training or support for making better decisions.
- Vehicle health indicators: Current programs can transmit data about service needs, preventing unexpected downtime and increasing productivity.
- Live routing help: GPS-enabled units can provide optimized routing to decrease excess fuel spending and idling time.
- Fuel cut-offs: Telematics software communicates with fuel pumps, allowing a maximum fill-up amount to better manage costs.
IT’S TIME TO MAXIMIZE
Fuel costs are one of the top costs a fleet has. Utilizing the tips above can help you make changes that could affect your fuel costs and benefit your bottom line. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you make the most of each mile of fuel!