Though fuel has been less expensive recently, powering your fleet each and every day can really do a number on your company’s transportation costs. Aside from purchasing fuel efficient fleet vehicles, factors like driving habits and regular maintenance also greatly influence fuel costs.
Start making the most of your company’s resources and get everyone on the same page with these fuel saving tips:
- Slow down. High speeds increase fuel consumption. As you accelerate, your aerodynamic drag rapidly increases. Simply taking your overall highway driving speed down by 10mph from 72 to 62 reduces fuel cost by 15%.
- Check your tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated is essential. Find out what your vehicle’s proper inflation levels are and check to make sure tires are inflated properly everyday. Having even only one or two slightly under inflated tires needlessly increases fuel consumption. Multiply that by 10 or 20 fleet vehicles, and budgets begin to severely stretch (or bust).
- Brake easy. Leaving enough distance between you and the other vehicles on the road is not only a good accident prevention tactic, (most rear end collisions are a result of the driver following the car in front of them too closely) but adequate distance between you and other vehicles on the road allows drivers to avoid heavy braking, saving on both gas and insurance costs.
- Service all your fleet vehicles regularly. Getting your vehicles on a good maintenance schedule helps to prevent mechanical disasters and stretch gas mileage. Issues like old, dirty air filters, worn out spark plugs and dipping fluid levels can cause serious damage to your transportation budget and your fleet vehicles if left unattended.
- Think encouraging your drivers to roll the windows down and enjoy the fresh air will save on fuel costs? Think again. Leaving vehicle windows open increases drag and can lower gas mileage by up to 10% with highway speeds. Instead encourage drivers to cruise with the windows up, and set the A/C to a comfortable, but moderately low setting.
Want to save even more on fuel costs? It’s also a good idea to encourage your drivers to try to keep at a fairly constant speed, especially when driving long distances on the highway. Using cruise control is an easy way to keep the vehicle at a steady speed, but should not be used in wet weather when the roads are wet.
Also encourage your drivers to try not to let their vehicles idle for too long. Although it may not always be possible, when your drivers are sitting idle for more than a few minutes, shutting off the vehicle saves fuel and is a smart idea. Restarting the vehicle will use less fuel than letting the vehicle run idle for an extended period.