Fuel is a top expense for any fleet as it is a necessity for running the business. And the more vehicles you have, the more expensive it becomes. Good fleet fuel management practices are so important for fleets to save money and improve their bottom lines. Fleet fuel management involves maintaining and monitoring your fleet’s fuel consumption through technology, care of your vehicles, and proper driver training. This article will outline five best practices of fleet fuel management.
No. 1: Understand Your Fleet and Its Needs
As a fleet manager, you must understand all the elements of your fleet. This includes vehicles, drivers, processes, spending, customers, systems, and regulations. When you have this knowledge, it’s easier to understand why you are spending what you do at the pump. For example, you can answer whether you purchase fuel wholesale, what kind of vehicles are preferred for your operations, and where and how your fleet vehicles are driven. Every fleet is different, so you must take every opportunity to save on fuel costs by knowing your fleet inside and out.
No. 2: Track Driver Behavior
Driver behavior can have a surprising impact on how much fuel your fleet uses. There are two significant driving behaviors that you need to track.
The first problem is speeding. In addition to being highly unsafe, speeding is a significant fuel waster. Every five miles your vehicles travel over 50 miles per hour wastes an additional $0.20 per gallon of gas.
Idling is the second issue that you should be tracking. You may not realize how often your drivers are idling. They may take their lunch breaks, make phone calls, wait on customers or colleagues, or do clerical work in their vehicle. Idling is also a fuel waster, adding up to about 0.8 gallons of fuel per hour.
Fleets can track both of these habits using telematics. With proper fleet management software, you can see trends of when and where these behaviors occur and address them directly with the drivers. You can even update your policies to reflect real driver behavior.
No. 3: Use Route Optimization Tools
Any time your drivers spend on the road should be used efficiently and productively. Any time wasted is money lost not only on wasted efficiency but also on fuel. We already went over how much fuel is wasted by idling; you don’t want your drivers sitting in traffic. Furthermore, if your drivers are not taking the quickest routes to their destinations or wind up lost on the roads, they are wasting time and money that you can’t get back. Route optimization software eliminates these problems by ensuring that you always have the fastest, most efficient route to your destination.
No. 4: Keep Vehicles Well Maintained
Vehicle maintenance is likely already high on your priority list, but if you’re looking to save fuel, you may want to focus even more on maintenance. Well-maintained vehicles are more fuel-efficient, adding just another way that having a good fleet maintenance program saves your fleet money. For example, having underinflated or improperly aligned tires can severely impact your vehicle’s fuel economy. This is an easy fix that will save you hundreds if you stay on top of your vehicle maintenance.
No. 5: Evaluate Fuel Purchasing Options
There are many options for purchasing fuel for your fleet, but fuel cards are a popular choice that can save your fleet lots of money over time. There is such a wide variety of fuel cards that you can certainly find one to match your fleet’s needs. If you're unsure where to start, check out our guides to selecting the perfect fuel card for small and enterprise fleets.
Save on Fuel with the Best Fleet Technology
When it comes to technology that covers the gambit of all things fleet maintenance, Azuga is state-of-the-art. Our products help your fleet save money on fuel in all of the ways listed here and more, so you can invest in growing and improving your business. Check out what Azuga has to offer and schedule a demo of our products today to see for yourself.