Fuel prices are a hefty chunk of a fleet’s budget in the best of times. Today, with these costs on the rise, it’s more important than ever to find ways to conserve fuel and save on this expense. But how? Here are three ways you can reduce fleet fuel costs now, while making your fleet safer and more efficient at the same time.
Use Fuel Cards
If you’re not already using fuel cards for your fleet, you’re leaving money on the table. These cards are used similar to credit cards, but typically tied specifically to fuel purchases. Fuel card programs offer discounts on fuel of a few cents per gallon. While this may not sound like much, it can really add up for a fleet that purchases hundreds or thousands of gallons per year, per vehicle.
There are many fleet fuel card options available, each with its own network of gas stations where fleet drivers can fill up for less. When choosing a card, it’s important to consider which fueling stations are available on your drivers’ typical routes to be sure you’re getting the most out of the program.
Another benefit of fuel card programs is they make it easier to monitor driver purchasing and fuel use across your fleet. They also make it easier for drivers to fuel up without having to worry about payment methods or expense reporting.
Promote Safe Driving
Promoting a culture of safety within your fleet is paramount to a successful operation, but did you know it can also help you save on fuel costs? It’s true. Several risky driving behaviors are also wasteful when it comes to fuel spending:
- Speeding: Vehicles burn more fuel when driving fast. The best fuel efficiency occurs at speeds between 30mph and 45mph. Obviously, this rate of speed won’t work for highway driving, but the closer drivers stay to it, the more savings you’ll see.
- Harsh Acceleration and Braking: Smooth driving is the best option for both safety and fuel economy. Rather than accelerating quickly and braking hard, get up to speed gradually and coast into stops as much as possible.
- Shift Carefully: For vehicles with manual transmissions, the way the driver shifts gears can have a significant impact. Try to use the highest gear appropriate and shift smoothly when changing gears.
- Check Tires: Keeping your vehicles’ tires properly inflated is a simple way to save on fuel costs. Underinflated tires can cost .4% of gas mileage for each psi under the correct reading.
- Use Cruise Control: Drivers who regularly use cruise control will see a dramatic drop in fuel consumption. Not only that, it can also reduce engine stress, leading your vehicles to last longer and perform better.
How you drive makes a significant difference, but so can when and where you drive. By optimizing routing for your fleet, you’ll not only make it more efficient, you’ll save on fuel expenses as well.
When fleet vehicles get stuck sitting in traffic or have to drive routes that double back on themselves repeatedly, they’re burning fuel unnecessarily. The best way to avoid this is with real-time optimized routing.
A good real-time routing program can offer your fleet the best pathways to avoid problems like traffic jams, construction delays, and road hazards. You’ll also be able to calculate, on the fly, the best way to slot in new stops or skip past cancellations.
The more efficient your routing is, the less fuel you’ll burn through. You’ll also gain all the benefits of a more efficient fleet, allowing drivers to arrive at their destinations quicker and get back to the yard or home office safely.
Azuga Can Help
It should be no surprise that Azuga’s fleet management tools can help you achieve all of these fuel-saving goals.
Azuga has always been heavily invested in helping fleets promote a culture of safety. Our tracking systems can show you exactly when and where risky behaviors occur. We can also provide customized safety training for your drivers, based on their performance on the road. We even have a safe driving rewards program to encourage friendly competition among drivers to improve their safety ratings.
Our real-time route optimization software is some of the best in the industry. We can help your drivers avoid problem areas and get to each stop on their route safely and efficiently. Our routing even updates in real time to allow you to add or remove stops, or to get drivers around hazards and traffic problems.
Finally, we integrate seamlessly with several of the leading fuel card programs. When you combine our top-of-the-line telematics technology with your favorite fuel card’s tracking, it will be a breeze to see where and when fuel is being wasted or conserved.
Wondering just how much you could be saving? Check out our ROI calculator to see how much you could save on fuel, insurance premiums, improved safety, and maintenance expenses. Then contact us to discuss all of the many benefits we can offer for your fleet business.