10 Ways To Save Fuel: For Fleet Owners

10 Ways To Save Fuel For Fleet Owners

Save fuel on your fleet operations in 2022 with these smart hacks.

The world runs on energy.

This is an obvious truth for many industries across the globe.

And if you’re a fleet owner or manage a fleet company, you know that with the rising costs of fuel, it becomes more and more important to keep a track of fuel utility and save it with practical approaches.

So, here are 10 different approaches to save fuel and drive efficiency for your fleet operations.

Let’s get to it.

1. Reduce vehicle idling time 

When the vehicle or the truck is “idling”, meaning: when the engine is keyed but static, the vehicle is likely to utilize more fuel. So, turn off the engine when not on the road or when you’re parking or stop for a break.

Incorporate these instructions in the post-onboarding training modules to educate your drivers about the same.

While many truck drivers do this to get the engine up and running during winters, the counter effects outweigh the benefits.

2. Pay attention to driving patterns

Advanced fuel consumption tracking apps enable you to check and review the miles utilized and the fuel consumed by the vehicle.

If the vehicle is going long distances but utilizes proportionately less fuel, the overall consumption ratio is fair and efficient.

However, if the number of miles is reasonable but the fuel consumption is high, the overall fuel consumption ratio is unsustainable and requires you to review the vehicle’s performance.

3. Leverage connected transit experiences

Consider splitting a trip between different trucks if certain shipment destinations require your truck drivers to drive for longer hours. Long driving hours don’t just burn out the driver, but also the vehicle, which results in higher fuel consumption.

It would be ideal to split a long trip between two connected drivers to save fuel and improve operational efficiency.

Loading time and effort must also be considered for the same. 

4. Make scheduled maintenance a priority

Sometimes, it’s not the shipment locations.

Sometimes, it’s just the vehicle.

If repairs are due for your truck, then it’s likely that the vehicle is going to rely less on its performance and more on the fuel to power it through long trips.

Consider a bi-weekly truck repair and maintenance schedule to make sure that everything is in optimal condition.

5. Monitor vehicle performance

Review the performance of your vehicle every month and check if the truck is delivering the required miles efficiently.

If a truck breaks down or experiences downtime, the vehicle is more likely to expend fuel.

You should also consider reviewing the make of the trucks to measure their performance. Advanced trucks with simplified motion technologies usually outperform older trucks.

6. Deadhead miles can be used productively

Before assigning the loading order to a truck driver, make sure that there are no deadhead miles (which is a casual case in the trucking industry). And if there is one, assign a second shipment en route home destination to avoid deadhead miles.

This helps you operate your fleet much more efficiently because there are no empty miles and the distance back home is worth the fuel consumed by the truck. 

7. Don’t overload your truck

Every truck comes with a capacity.

Although heavy-duty, not all trucks are built to accommodate massive weights.

Check out this guide to understand the vehicle weights and the laws which restrict overloading your vehicles in each state.

It’s essential to note that an overloaded truck is going to move slower, which wears down the vehicle in the long term, requiring it to depend on excessive fuel for its performance.

8. Look for routes with less traffic

Stagnation pushes your vehicle to drink up the fuel. This is similar to idling. Avoid routes that require your truck to be stagnated on highways (or anywhere) for longer.

Choose alternative routes that permit heavy-duty trucks yet enable you to reach places faster.

Use advanced GPS and truck route software systems to find the best routes that allow your truck to utilize less fuel and help you reach the locations in time.

9. Evaluate tire pressure

Always inspect your trucks after every load trip, especially the tires and axles as they carry most of the weight.

If the tire pressure is off, the vehicle is likely to tremble or slow down, which puts more pressure on your engine. This could lead to not just increased fuel consumption but even accidents (which can be avoided with regular inspections).

10.  Embrace electric trucks for short load trips

Be it fuel or alternative energy. Most industries are dependent on energy in some form.

The demand for fuel is only increasing to a level, where “regular” fuel utility might become unsustainable.

Hence, electric vehicles and alternative energy options are being embraced by emerging industries. The drive around sustainability begins with being resourceful and embracing the latest technologies, such as e-vehicles that are known to be more sustainable when compared to regular, traditional fuel-based vehicles.

Managing a fleet company is not easy. It requires a lot of effort to stay compliant.

Every good fleet company wants to stay compliant (and on the road).

And one cannot comply 100% unless you also address the HVUT tax-filing responsibilities.

2290 HVUT Form is a mandatory IRS vehicle information reporting form.

Every owner-operator, small truck business, and even a fleet company that operates trucks weighing 55,000 pounds or more is required to file a Form 2290.

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5 Ways Fleet Companies Are Effectively Reducing Fuel Consumption

Effectively Reducing Fuel Consumption

Here’s what fleet companies are doing differently to control fuel consumption and reduce emissions.

When a vehicle is on the road, it has a direct impact on the planet. 

In the long run, the picture gets smoggy. 

Although the trucking industry is keen on going green, the operational rationalism and the ground realities of the day-to-day activities hinder the companies from changing their strategies. 

Although some strategies are implemented with great enthusiasm, the spirit spans short.

However, not changing these strategies is actually doing more damage than you may think. 

It impacts the vehicle, the trucking company, and most importantly, the planet,

For example, when you key the engine and leave it idle, the vehicle is more likely to consume almost all the fuel in just one hour

This is testimony to how fast heavy vehicles consume fuel, and how the fuel cost alone can spiral out of control if not monitored correctly. 

When you observe a pattern across all your trucking facilities, it’s just more realistic to optimize the overall approach than to micromanage the driving ecosystem. 

The trucking industry doesn’t need advice. 

It needs effective approaches to adapt to the rising fuel complex and a realistic roadmap to strike a balance between greener operations and driver retention. 

Let’s take a look at a few tried-and-tested strategies that have worked efficiently for trucking companies in the last few years. 

So, let’s get started.

Incentivizing Driver Efficiency 

If the pandemic has taught the world anything, truck drivers are the backbone of the supply ecosystem. 

Truck drivers are driving 10+ hours a day. Their bodies are going through an awful lot each day, and they try very hard to be consistent with their efforts to reach the required destinations on time. 

So, when the drivers do manage to reach certain destinations faster than expected and unload the shipments on time, you could pay them a little extra for that dispatch trip alone or add your appreciation to the annual bonus. 

Similarly, if your drivers are complaining about burnout, give them a break. Have your backup drivers take the lead (temporarily). This will help the drivers rest, energize, and get back to work feeling much better. 
Either way, this would make the drivers feel appreciated and valued, which results in driver retention as well as motivating the drivers to get to places faster using the best routes.

Planned Maintenance Regime 

Did you know that your vehicles depend on fuel for performance? This is even more common in vehicles that do not get proper maintenance and checks. 

When you service and maintain the vehicles regularly, you enable the vehicle to depend on its performance enhancements instead of just fuel. 

The best way to ensure that your trucks are in good shape and perform with maximum efficiency is to address repairs and minor issues at regular intervals.

You can create a regime for regular maintenance, wherein, each time a truck completes X number of miles or goes X distance, the truck cannot be assigned the next load until it undergoes maintenance. 

This would help you achieve the following: 

  • Reduce the overuse of the truck 
  • Help maintain the optimum performance of the truck for a longer period
  • Streamline the truck maintenance schedule
  • Improve the driving experience for your drivers 
  • Prevent over-consumption of fuel

Weight Load Management 

When vehicles are burdened with loading weight, it impacts their performance.

This is why more and more truck manufacturers are focusing on the aerodynamics of the vehicle instead of just the weight-load capacities. 

It’s true that an average truck is built to take thousands of pounds of loading weight. However, with consistent use, wear and tear, the impact of elements, and other technical factors, this capacity deteriorates gradually. 

At this stage, the vehicle is more likely to consume more fuel than usual for its performance capacities. 

Reduce and manage the weight load so that your trucks are not overloaded. 

Assign a certain loading weight that is enough for the vehicle to manage yet slightly under its usual weight capacity. This will help your vehicles consume less fuel and perform effectively. 

Remember, a lighter object moves faster than a heavier one.

Modern technology gave us GPS. Use this guidance system to find the best route to the destination. 

Leveraging Connected Distances 

The back-office staff can also use the live location to track the drivers and the routes they’re taking. Your staff can also connect with the drivers while en route and recommend an alternative or faster route to reduce distance and time, saving you cost on fuel. 

Additionally, you can try splitting a trip between two-connected trucks to improve mobility and sustainability. 

Let’s assume that Truck 1 is starting from point A and has to pass through Point B to reach Point C. 

Now, expecting Truck 1 to go from Point A to Point C directly will require the driver to stretch their hours, and will wear out the vehicle. 

However, the same distance can be covered by connecting trucks. 

If you already have a facility near point B, or if you’re connected with another fleet company at point B, you can assign the load to a different truck from Point B to Point C.

This way, you reach the destination on time while the driver and the truck are not over-strained.

This connected fleet system will help you in the following ways.

  • Reduce fuel consumption
  • Reduce emissions
  • Reduce operational inconsistencies
  • Improve B2B partnerships 
  • Reduce the burden on your drivers
  • Create a sustainable ecosystem

Switching To Electric Vehicles 

This is the era of leveraging solar energy and innovating electric vehicles for everyday use. 

While the world is ambitious on the zero-fuel strategy, the trucking company is also curious about alternative fuel energy.

And yes. Electric vehicles come with their own drawbacks. 

  • Certain goods cannot be carried on lithium-ion battery-powered vehicles. 
  • Electric trucks are more expensive than traditional trucks. 
  • Electric vehicles are not built to weather through the elements. 
  • Electric trucks cannot carry thousands of pounds of loading weight.

However, electric trucks can be the future of goods transport because:

  • Electric vehicles can be used for shorter distances, while you can use regular trucks for longer distances.

Electric vehicles do not consume fuel, saving you plenty on fuel costs.

  • Electric vehicles do not require a lot of maintenance, making them an economical option.
  • Zero emissions. Zero carbon footprint. 
  • Electric vehicles are easier to drive – giving your drivers a convenient transit experience
  • Newer heavy-duty trucks are being manufactured every year to meet the zero-emission requirements of trucking companies. 

Electric vehicle manufacturing is still in its infancy. This means trucking companies can reach out to manufacturers and convey their requirements. The manufacturers will produce the vehicles per the custom requirements of the companies. 

The pros outweigh the cons. 

When you’re looking for sustainability, you have to adapt and evolve.

And yes. Adapting to the changing landscape is not easy. But it’s not difficult either. 

Change is worth it if it’s helping your business be less harsh on the planet, while also helping you reduce costs and improve driver retention. 

Managing a fleet company can be difficult. 

 But do you know what else can be difficult? 

Managing your 2290 tax files. 

However, EZ2290 aims to make your journey towards HVUT compliance easier. 

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