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Fuel costs continue to be a substantial component of operational budgets. With effective strategies, fleets can enhance fuel efficiency and concurrently reduce costs.

Akin: Five strategies to cut fuel expenses

March 7, 2024
Fleets can improve fuel efficiency and reduce fuel-related costs by implementing these strategies based on past success.

Fuel costs continue to be a substantial component of operational budgets. With practical strategies, fleets can enhance fuel efficiency and reduce costs. Sourced from RoadFlex members and supported by numerous case studies, we’ll explore five proven methods to optimize a fleet’s fuel efficiency.

Incorporate telematics solutions

Monitoring driver behaviors becomes imperative given the contribution of fuel costs to a fleet’s total operating expenditure. Telematics solutions tailored to specific needs can track and manage data such as harsh driving events, speeding, and excessive idling. Cost-efficient, self-installable solutions can be up and running within hours, with potential savings in fuel consumption ranging from 60 to 70%. The investment in a telematics solution, priced at approximately $20 to $50 per month per asset, proves worthwhile in the long run.

Minimize the frequency of daily refueling occurrences

Implementing a daily fuel-purchase maximum can help mitigate internal fraud from drivers. Fleet managers should also monitor a driver’s frequency of fill-ups to prevent unauthorized charges for personal vehicles not affiliated with the fleet. Fleet cards should have per transaction, daily, and weekly limits established. Setting controls on refueling events equates to reducing the risk and saving time in the long term.

Implement a fleet routing solution

Following assigned routes is crucial for drivers to avoid problem areas and ensure the shortest path to the destination. Partnering with a routing service enhances productivity and reduces operational costs. Optimizing routes with less traffic and flat roads can save additional money. This not only leads to consistent on-time deliveries but also provides drivers with peace of mind through turn-by-turn instructions based on traffic patterns, elevation changes, and fuel station locations.

See also: Akin: Best practices for fuel tracking

Emphasize driver training and engagement

Research consistently underscores the importance of driver behavior in terms of fuel efficiency. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) highlights that aggressive driving, speeding, and subpar maintenance practices contribute to poor fuel consumption. Comprehensive driver training programs, complemented by reporting and coaching on fuel-efficient practices, can significantly reduce fuel spending. The NREL study suggests potential savings of up to 33% through effective driver training and ongoing engagement.

Automated maintenance scheduling

Taking preventive measures toward maintenance issues can prevent costly and time-consuming repairs. Implementing a robust maintenance and diagnostic system with automated alerts and reports tailored to each asset’s specifications ensures more minor problems are addressed promptly. This proactive approach increases productivity and extends the lifespan of fleet assets.

In conclusion, reducing fuel spend requires a holistic approach that integrates technological advancements, driver engagement, and strategic decision-making. Investing in fuel-efficient vehicles, implementing telematics solutions, prioritizing driver training, optimizing routes, and ensuring regular vehicle maintenance are all integral to a successful fuel management strategy. By adopting these proven strategies, fleets not only cut costs but also contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future.

About the Author

Rush Akin

Rush is an experienced veteran in the fleet industry, with over 22+ years of experience in fleet management. Before joining RoadFlex, Rush served as the SVP of sales for Solera, where he was in charge of overseeing fleet sales and business development in North America. Prior to Solera, Rush worked with well-known brands in the industry, such as Rand McNally, Lytx, FourKytes, and Syntech Systems Fuel Master. Rush has a strong background in fleet and fuel management, as well as customer success. 

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