Reducing fuel spend is a task that all fleet managers encounter throughout their careers in the fleet industry. Fleet managers could cut fuel costs by focusing on various key areas:
- Modifying fleet operations.
- Addressing driver behavior,
- Developing fuel management and vehicle maintenance strategies.
Here are a few tips for drivers that can be used as part of a driver education program to minimize fuel use:
- Don’t drive in the rush hour – Monitor traffic ahead to minimize gear changes. By keeping an eye on upcoming traffic conditions, drivers can anticipate having to slow down. It is more efficient to keep the truck moving slowly than to start from a complete stop. It also reduces the number of gear changes you need to make.
- Avoid overfilling – If a tank is filled to the brim it can easily overflow when the fuel is heated, either by the sun or fuel returned by the engine. This is not only dangerous to other road users, but also wasteful.
- Keep an eye on the tires – Low pressure in the tires can increase rolling resistance and waste fuel. Tires at the optimal pressure and with good grip are critical to operate safely and improve fuel economy. Bottom line is, you’ll use less fuel if you keep your vehicle tuned and running like it should, and that includes monitoring your tires.
- Be ready for an easy departure in the morning – If you’re stopping for the night, park your truck so that you will not have to do a lot of maneuvering in the morning with a cold engine, as this can use a lot of fuel.
- Avoid unnecessary idling – Engine idling not only wastes fuel but increases emissions. Turning off the engine when it’s not in use, or when stationary in traffic for a minute or longer, will cause less pollution and save more fuel than keeping the engine idling.
The little things can truly make a huge difference as drivers, fleet managers, and the industry as a whole, can work smarter and more efficient.