In most business fleets, fuel costs make up a large amount of overall business spending. According to statistics, they account for over 40% of fleet management expenses. While you can’t do much about prices, you can cut down on how much gas you spend on your vehicles. Try these 8 steps to cut fuel costs and boost your profit margin.
#1. Obey the Speed Limit
Speeding increases your fuel consumption and exposes you to danger. Many things influence how a vehicle consumes fuel.
For example, at a high speed, the amount of fuel your vehicle uses increases because more energy is required from the engine. The engine consists of a fixed cylinder and a moving piston and when a vehicle moves at a high velocity the piston will reciprocate at the same level which results in more consumption of fuel than otherwise.
#2. Brake less
Constant braking and accelerating as you drive increases your fuel consumption because lower gears need a faster engine to run which in turn demands more fuel. To reduce exposure to this, keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead to avoid rapid acceleration and braking.
#3. Enroll in a GPS Tracking Service
A good GPS tracking service can help reduce fuel costs. It can help businesses track their fleet vehicles, improve productivity by keeping track of drivers, eliminate unnecessary idling, and more. You can also use the service to reduce fuel usage and increase profit margin
#4. Reduce Air Conditioner Usage
Anything that adds more load to the engine will cause it to burn more fuel. When you run the AC, you are running a compressor that takes energy from the engine. You might have noticed that your fleet vehicle takes more time to accelerate when the AC is on compared to when the AC is off. This is because the engine, in addition to driving the wheels and recharging the batteries, also has to run the compressor.
#5. Reduce Idling Time
If your vehicle is stuck in traffic for more than 20 seconds instruct your driver to turn it off because as the vehicle is idling the engine is operating and this results in an increase in fuel usage.
#6. Maintain Your Vehicle
This is one of the major challenges for small business fleets, most company owners fail to understand that proper vehicle maintenance can reduce fuel expenditures.
Often operators only repair their fleets after a vehicle has broken down but it is important to maintain your vehicle, a properly tuned engine consumes less fuel, and only a healthy vehicle offers outstanding performance.
#7. Maintain Your Tire
When it comes to fuel consumption tires are not the biggest factor but they play a major role in fuel economy.
A survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that every 1% decrease in tire pressure corresponds to over 0.2% decline in fuel economy. Low tire pressure increases fuel consumption by 2% because more acceleration is needed for underinflated tires.
#8. Improve Driver Behavior
The biggest barrier to fuel efficiency and fleet safety is often caused by company drivers. Educating your drivers to practice fuel-efficient driving habits will contribute to a decrease in fuel consumption and an increase in profit margin.
Fuel consumption is one of the major economic problems for most business fleets, following the practices mentioned above will lead to a decrease in fuel cost.