10 Ways for Car and Truck Fleets to Reduce Fuel Consumption

Gaso­line and diesel prices may be less volatile today than five years ago, but they account for enough of the annu­al fleet cost to pri­or­i­tize reduc­tion in fuel con­sump­tion. Here are 10 tips for fleet man­agers to reduce fuel con­sump­tion that apply to pas­sen­ger cars and com­mer­cial vehi­cles. Thanks to GPS Insight for send­ing out a sum­ma­ry and link to this arti­cle pub­lished in Com­mer­cial Car­ri­er Jour­nal. There are sev­er­al tips for fleets to reduce con­sump­tion by uti­liz­ing any num­ber of strate­gies and tech­nolo­gies, and here are the first 10 on the list….

  1. Track traf­fic con­ges­tion:  Besides the obvi­ous prob­lem of grid­lock, the decel­er­a­tion and accel­er­a­tion adds to the prob­lem. Check out state US Dept. of Trans­porta­tion web­sites for infor­ma­tion on poten­tial con­struc­tion projects and traf­fic on routes.
  2. Deploy GPS units and/or route-plan­ning soft­ware:  Find­ing the short­est, opti­mal routes can save 10 to 15 miles per week, per vehi­cle.
  3. Find the best fuel sta­tion:  There are in-cab and dash­board nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems and smart­phone apps with real-time data to help dri­vers find the clos­est loca­tions and cheap­est fuel prices on their route.
  4. Con­sol­i­date fuel­ing net­works:  Work­ing with fuel card providers can guar­an­tee cost-reduc­ing nego­ti­at­ed dis­count pro­grams. Fleet man­agers are good about track­ing the data to make sure they’re get­ting the best cost sav­ings.
  5. Rene­go­ti­ate fuel sur­charge agree­ments:  Com­mer­cial trans­porta­tion car­ri­ers are uti­liz­ing tech­nol­o­gy to cre­ate sur­charge pro­grams with gov­ern­ment agen­cies using lane-spe­cif­ic sur­charge prices.
  6. Find free­dom from weigh sta­tion and toll booths:  Pro­grams such as PrePass and elec­tron­ic toll col­lec­tion takes reduces idle time and stop­ping and accel­er­at­ing excess con­sump­tion.
  7. Study your mpg:  A good rule of thumb is track­ing mileage that’s drop­ping more than a half gal­lon in a fleet vehi­cle. This can be due to main­te­nance prob­lems, or oth­er issues to ana­lyze and bring improve­ments to.
  8. Look for recur­ring themes:  Study­ing your fuel con­sump­tion report­ing and relat­ed met­rics will bring tools for spot­ting dri­ving trends (espe­cial­ly speed­ing) and oth­er fac­tors that can influ­ence excess con­sump­tion.
  9. Study your routes:  Find­ing short­er routes, or even longer routes with less traf­fic con­ges­tion, reduce fuel usage for deliv­ery and trans­porta­tion fleets. Con­duct­ing tri­al runs on routes can occa­sion­al­ly makes for a pos­i­tive dif­fer­ence for fleets in urban envi­ron­ments.
  10. Offer dri­ver incen­tives:  You’re cap­tur­ing data on dri­vers and can com­pare them to their peers for a list of stan­dards affect­ing fuel con­sump­tion. Offer­ing them cash rebates and rewards for peak per­for­mance can make a real dif­fer­ence.
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