Managing a fleet isn’t easy: between managing drivers and routes, one also has to worry about fuel efficiency. The bigger the fleet, the more fuel woes you’ll have to encounter, but thankfully, there are ways to lessen the headache.
Being frugal with your fleet’s fuel relies on four key factors: technology, maintenance, location, and driving skills. Combine these four, and you’ll have a fuel-efficient fleet without sacrificing delivery times or driver safety. Here are four ways for you to become frugal with fleet fuel:
Bring in the Right Technology
Fuel management systems rely on connecting your business departments with your fleet drivers. This helps owners review both live driving data and historic performance data, allowing them to better understand how their ‘boots on the ground’ operate and helping them determine more fuel-efficient management practices. Automated fuel management systems can also help drivers figure out better ways to drive, faster routes, and other ways to cut petrol costs.
Preventive Maintenance Goes a Long Way
No company wants any of their assets to become unavailable to deliver business-critical products and services. While accidents and breakdowns do occur, there are ways to minimize the chances of these drawbacks from happening.
By and large, preventive maintenance is the most effective way of ensuring that every vehicle in your fleet stays in tip-top shape, which means that you’ll always have reliable assets to deliver business-critical products and services.
But a well-maintained fleet doesn’t just mean that you ensure your revenue stream is continuous, it also saves you money: keeping a vehicle well-maintained can up a car’s fuel efficiency by 27%, which means that you spend less on maintenance, less on fuel, and more on paying your employees and investing in improving your business. Preventive maintenance can be as passive as asking drivers to spot-check their dashboard gauges to something more active like regularly-scheduled visits from the mechanics at your local garage.
Re-fuel at the Right Locations
Fuel costs in Surrey can be vastly different from fuel costs in Egham, with motorway service stations being known to charge hefty premiums on drivers. There’s not much you can do about fuel prices, save for carefully planning out service routes that have detailed lists of preferred fuel suppliers that give you and your drivers the most bang for their buck. Create strict rules and implement policies that forbid drivers from deviating from your fuel-efficient routes and preferred suppliers.
But, again, go for cost-efficiency over a cheap price tag: a petrol station with bottom-of-the-barrel prices but is kilometers away from your route isn’t a particularly smart choice either.
Encourage Drivers to be Conscious of Fuel Efficiency
Fuel efficiency does fall heavily on your drivers and how they drive. Enforce strict driving policies that encourage fuel-efficiency and, of course, polite and sensible manners. Ask your drivers to be proactive about avoiding wear-and-tear to reduce accidents, ask them to stick to preferred routes, and most importantly, trust them to follow.
Hold driver education schemes and enlist the help of professional drivers who can teach your staff more fuel-efficient driving tips both on the road and off.