When it comes to rising fleet costs, control what you can

April 24, 2018
An analysis by PLG Consulting, a logistics, engineering and supply chain consulting firm, indicated that truck prices could rise by 8% to 10% this year.

An analysis by PLG Consulting, a logistics, engineering and supply chain consulting firm, indicated that truck prices could rise by 8% to 10% this year. They say increases will be the result of drive pay increases, increased health care costs, and higher fuel prices among other things.

According the PLG, driver pay accounts for 38% of a fleet’s expenses and healthcare is 15% of total trucking costs, while fuel, which has gone up 50 cents per gallon compared to this time last year, is 13% of total trucking costs.

Given the current (and continuing) driver shortage cutting driver pay is not really an option. Sure you can tweak your health care benefits to save a bit but again given the driver shortage that might not be the best idea if you want to attract and retain quality drivers.

So that leaves fuel, and while you might not be able to affect the price at the pump, there are steps you can take so that you are getting the most out of each gallon of diesel your drivers pump into their tanks.

There are a host of things you can do to improve your freight efficiency. A good place to start is by reviewing our 10 Actions for 10 MPG. This is a synopsis of the findings from our Run on Less fuel economy roadshow. These 10 actions are things some or all of the seven fleets that participated in the Run did to prove that 10 MPG was possible in the read world.

Whether your fleet is 1,000 trucks, 100 trucks or 10 trucks there are actions you can take and technologies with reasonable paybacks that you can invest in that will lower your fleet’s overall fuel consumption. Check out our website nacfe.org to see some of the 85 fuel economy technologies we have explored in our 16 Confidence Reports.

There are a lot of costs associated with trucking that fleets have very little control over. The number of miles from a gallon of fuel l is one thing that a savvy fleet manager can control by spending a little time looking at current MPG numbers, reviewing current vehicle specs and driving practices and then making some changes. A tenth of a mile more here and a tenth of a mile more there starts to add up.

About the Author

Michael Roeth | Executive Director

Michael Roeth has worked in the commercial vehicle industry for nearly 30 years, most recently as executive director of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE). He serves on the second National Academy of Sciences Committee on Technologies and Approaches for Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles and has held various positions in engineering, quality, sales, and plant management with Navistar and Behr/Cummins.

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