Fuel traditionally represents the largest expense for a fleet. Consider using procedures and tools that can effectively manage fuel spend and monitor MPG to assist you with optimizing your vehicles overall return on investment ( ROI ). ^1
■ Utilize a Fuel Management System: Add or update to an advanced fleet fuel management system to increase security and manage fuel costs. Systems can utilize your existing fleet fuel cards, your company ID Badges, or any proximity devices used for gaining entry through gates or into buildings. Drivers will be able to use the same credentials they carry today to authorize fuel at your own private fuel site. Fleet managers will have the data and the tools they need to track and manage fuel expense. Use traditional software or web based application controls to monitor and stop wasteful expense before it happens.
■ Preventive Maintenance: Institute a formal PM schedule, and make certain drivers adhere to it. Your fuel management system can gather odometer information and alert drivers and fleet managers. Vehicles kept in top running condition will get better mileage than those that are neglected. Studies have shown that proper vehicle maintenance can improve fuel economy up to 40%.
■ Downsize the Vehicle to Fit the Task: Use the smallest, most fuel-efficient vehicle that can do the job.
■ Keep Vehicles Clean and Light: Have drivers wash cars once or twice each month. Clean cars are more aerodynamic, lighter, and will get better mileage. Keep excess weight out of company vehicles. Limit personal items that add weight and make sure everything in the vehicle that is job-related is necessary.
■ Tires: Keep tires properly inflated and wheels aligned. Under-inflated tires increase rolling resistance, and resistance forces the engine to use more fuel. Also avoid over-inflation, as it will increase tire wear as well as the possibility of tire failure. Keeping tires properly inflated can increase mileage by as much as 3 percent, equivalent to 9 cents per gallon (at $3 per gallon pump price).
■ Trip Planning/Routing: Drivers should make the most out of miles driven. "Pack" trips with as many calls or meetings as time allows. Avoid high traffic areas and times of the day.
Research shows that by following fuel management strategies and implementing the 3 C’s - fuel related Cost Savings, Convenience and Control, that as much as 15 percent of a company’s fuel budget can be recuperated with the right fleet fuel management.
For more information, please contact Julie Wiedis at 609-683-4242 x114, or JulieW@FuelForce.com.
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^1 Research: The U.S. Commercial Fleet Market Forecast – a multi-year, multi-client study from U.S. based fleet administrators.