Fuel is one of the biggest expenses for any transportation company. But, there are ways to lower these expenses.
If your business involves running a fleet of vehicles, fuel could be your second largest expense. Not only that, but it can be one of the most difficult expenses to predict and control, as well. Depending on your business sector you may have all your vehicles out on one day and then only half out for the rest of the week.
This, coupled with constantly fluctuating fuel prices, can make reducing your fuel expenses seem impossible. You may often feel as if the only answer is a completely new fleet. But, there are steps you can take to improve your existing fleet; one of the most cost-effective ways to take back at least some control over these expenses is vehicle tracking software.
Consider Fuel Cards
Running a fleet of vehicles generally also entails employing a staff of drivers. At some point during the working day, each of these drivers will need to put fuel in their vehicle. They may not have the time, opportunity, or foresight to look for the cheapest option. This could result in them paying too much for their fuel. On top of this, you are stuck with the inconvenience of processing receipts, reimbursing drivers, and chasing lost invoices.
Swapping to fuel cards and integrating them to your vehicle tracking software can save you money in several different ways:
- You can often pay a pre-agreed price for fuel, no matter where drivers fill up
- You don’t have to reimburse drivers, while you also save time and money on receipts and invoicing
- You also minimize the risks of losses through fraudulent fuel claims
- Many fuel cards offer monthly / quarterly reports on fuel usage, based on access to your vehicle tracking software, that can help with your cash flow
- Fuel cards can aid in claiming back deductibles
Regular fleet services
A well cared for engine tends to be more fuel efficient. Spending that little extra to ensure that all your vehicles are in top working order could save you more in the long run, and with organizing and tracking maintenance schedules through vehicle tracking software the task of regular maintenance becomes a breeze. It is not just the mechanical side that you need to consider. A well cared for vehicle in terms of being washed and empty of rubbish is more likely to be valued and driven with just a bit more care.
Driver education and instruction
Do you have the most efficient, top of the range fleet of vehicles and still feel as if you are hemorrhaging money through fuel expenses? If the answer is yes then it is time to consider re-educating your drivers. Consider utilizing your vehicle tracking software to monitor drivers’ behaviour, including speeding, hard braking, idling, and much more. Even if you have an older and less efficient fleet there is still a great deal your drivers can do to help reduce your fuel expenses.
- Think carefully about how they drive, including keeping gears low when accelerating, changing gears early, driving at slower speeds, and learning to read the road more effectively
- Regularly check tire pressure
- Whenever possible, cut down on AC use, especially at lower speeds
- Not be making unnecessary journeys
- Plan routes carefully, and stay on the lookout for traffic updates
- Switch of the engine when they are stuck in traffic
- Remove excess weight from the vehicle, including roof racks and bars when they are not in use
By working together drivers and fleet managers can get the best out of the vehicle fleet, while saving time and money. You don't have to buy an entire new fleet or completely change the way you do business. Just making one of the changes suggested here will make a huge difference to your fleet fuel expenses.
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