Fuel tends to be one of the most expensive costs that commercial vehicles managers face. It is a resource that companies must continue to purchase again and again, so it makes sense that managing it well is crucial to the bottom line. Although there isn’t one set checklist of things to do that will work for every business, there are a few steps a manager can take that may improve fuel usage across the fleet.
Keep a Log
Knowing how your fleet uses fuel is a great way to start conserving it where you can. You can put the data you gather into a spreadsheet and use it to make improvements to the gas mileage your fleet gets. Start by collecting data for a few weeks, and you can look for dips where your vehicles are expended more fuel and getting less bang for the buck. When you look at these problematic areas or times, you may find obstacles that you can work on in order to improve efficiency.
Install Rail Injectors
Some trucks may be using less efficient fuel injection systems than they could be. Greater pressure tends to increase the efficiency of the entire fueling system. A common rail injector is designed to enhance fuel consumption by sending in smaller droplets in greater numbers. These additional droplets raise the ratio of surface area to volume, and the particles tend to vaporize better and improve the combustion process as a whole. Having rail injectors on an entire fleet could spell big savings.
Smooth, steady driving is safe, but it is also good for the gas tank. You’ll want to encourage your drivers to spare those brakes as much as they can. Your fleet may have a long way to go, and braking constantly uses up a lot more fuel than just smooth sailing. Being careful with braking goes along with maintaining other parts of the vehicle. Tires that have proper inflation work better than unbalanced ones and could save you some fuel. You should perform regular checks on the entire fleet’s alignment as well.
Manage the Weight
An empty vehicle weighs what the manufacturer has decided it should, and there isn’t a lot you can do about that. You also have to ship goods from one point to the next, and every package adds up. However, there are some ways you might be able to reduce the weight of your fleet. Every 100 pounds you’re able to shave off of your totals can increase overall fuel economy.
Vehicle fleet managers have to worry about the logistics of a hundred things at once. While minimal fuel waste here and there could be an expected loss, there are almost certainly ways you can bring that number down. In addition to the steps above, talk to your drivers about idling their trucks. Different makes and models consume fuel while idle at various rates.
Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.