Fuel economy refers to the distance your vehicle can cover on a specified fuel amount. On a broader note, your fleet’s fuel economy estimates all of your vehicle’s fuel usage in relation to the distance covered. The lesser the consumption, the greater the fuel efficiency and sustainability.
Numerous factors determine your fuel consumption, and it is essential to understand how they contribute to increased fuel use. Driving at high speed, overloading your fleet’s cargo, and choosing inefficient routes can significantly impact fuel consumption. By addressing some of these, you can achieve fuel economy and sustainability.
If you have this goal in mind, keep reading to learn insightful techniques to make the most out of your fleet fuel.
Importance Of Fleet Fuel Economy And Sustainability
Putting a premium on fleet fuel economy and sustainability results in many advantages for your business. Here are some of them.
It Reduces Operational Cost
Fuel expenses broadly impact an enterprise’s operational budget, consuming 40% to 60% of the total allocation. Reducing your fleet’s fuel consumption decreases your operational cost, resulting in increased revenue. That is, needing less energy means spending less on buying it.
It Promotes Environmental Sustainability
Fuel efficiency contributes to environmental sustainability. Fossil fuels, like diesel, petrol, or gasoline, release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the air when burned. These carbon emissions trap heat in the atmosphere, which intensifies the effects of global warming. With higher fuel consumption, companies that operate mainly through fleets contribute more to environmental degradation.
Fortunately, businesses are looking for greener means to reduce their carbon emissions. One sure way is to increase their fuel economy.
It Helps Protect Non-Renewable Resources
Lastly, oil is a non-renewable resource. When you reduce its consumption, you allow sustainable use to ensure that future generations can use it to meet their needs.
Tips To Achieve Fleet Fuel Economy And Sustainability
With these notable advantages in mind, many businesses endeavour to reduce fuel consumption. If you are leaning toward the same goal, here are a few techniques to help you achieve fleet fuel economy and sustainability.
1. Use Aerodynamic Devices
Aerodynamic devices, like trailer wings, are used to reduce air drag in vehicles, either by automatically increasing or decreasing speed, to lower fuel consumption. Other aerodynamic devices that apply to smaller units include splitters, dive planes, diffusers, and spoilers.
When finding aerodynamic equipment for your trailer, note that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. These devices are often user-specific, so you must find what works best for your fleet.
Start by finding out what area of the automobile will benefit from reduced drag. It would be best to analyse how air hits the vehicle, so you can strategically position your aerodynamic devices. Sometimes you may have to combine different aerodynamic equipment for maximum efficiency. It is essential to study how the various devices interact with each other before finally settling on a solution.
2. Truck Driver Behaviour
Driver behaviour can have a significant impact on fleet fuel consumption. For instance, the more your fleet drivers overspeed, the higher the fuel costs. That’s because wind resistance when speeding increases fuel usage. Similarly, idling in traffic or at stopovers, hard braking, and inconsistent gear changes also heighten fuel consumption. Therefore, tracking these driver behaviours is crucial as it helps curtail fuel costs and attain sustainability.
You can use several fleet management technologies to monitor your driver’s behaviour. One example is a GPS tracker, which lets you see when a vehicle stops moving or the driver takes a longer route. If the truck isn’t moving, you can advise the driver to switch off the engine to save on fuel. You’re also better positioned to recommend alternative routes that won’t need fuel overconsumption.
For longer-lasting effects, consider organising an awareness program. You can educate your drivers on how excessive consumption hurts the business. Remember to point out strategies they can use to minimise their fuel usage. These include finding alternative routes that aren’t traffic-prone, avoiding idling, and shutting off the engine when stopping for an extended period.
3. Route Optimisation
Optimising your fleet’s routes is also a great way to unlock fuel economy and sustainability. Shorter courses aren’t always the most fuel-efficient, especially congested ones. Using an alternative path may increase fuel consumption if there’s heavy traffic.
For example, cities are prone to heavy congestion. On average, a car utilises a quarter of a gallon of gas every fifteen minutes when idle. Therefore, the longer you stay in traffic, the more fuel you use and the greater the carbon emission. The same goes for bumpy roads. Similarly, uneven terrain slows down traffic, thus minimising fuel efficiency.
Contrarily, highways and terrains that are flatter have the opposite effect. They minimise obstacles on the road, saving time and decreasing empty miles. This gives you value for money, enhancing fuel economy and sustainability.
4. Minimise Your Fleet’s Weight Load
An automobile carrying a heavy load works harder and burns more fuel, increasing consumption. The more fuel is burnt, the more emissions are released to the environment.
One of the ways to counter this problem is by reducing the cargo’s weight. However, if reducing the freight isn’t an alternative, you can remove unnecessary automobile motor parts to reduce its overall weight. Alternatively, you can add extra tires to help spread the weight, minimising the aerodynamic drag.
Another strategy for reducing the vehicle’s weight load is distributing the cargo weight across your entire fleet. It helps ensure you consume less fuel than you would have used, piling the heavy haul on one truck.
Curtailing fuel usage increases fuel savings. This helps you save on cost, reduce carbon emissions, and save on non-renewable resources, improving sustainability.
5. Fleet Resizing
Resizing your fleet involves evaluating the efficiency of all your vehicles and making necessary changes to enhance operability.
Estimating each vehicle’s utilisation is one way of assessing efficiency. Some automobiles may be underutilised, and others overutilised. Underutilisation minimises value for money because the costs incurred to maintain the vehicle are higher than the return on investment. This is because you must fuel and service the vehicle regularly despite minimal usage.
After establishing your vehicle utilisation, you’ll know if your fleet has a surplus of motors. You may choose to keep the extras as backup or dispose of them. Having backup cars is crucial for emergencies. However, it’s essential to consider the maintenance costs and how they may affect your operations. If the expenses of keeping these autos are unmanageable, consider selling them.
Fleet resizing reduces your fleet’s fuel consumption and associated costs. Fewer vehicles also mean minimal emissions, reducing your business’s carbon footprint and protecting the environment.
Increased fuel consumption means increased operational costs, which results in low-profit margins. Also, the more fuel is burned, the more emissions are released to the environment, causing detrimental effects like climate change. Fossil fuels are also non-renewable resources. Hence, the more they are used, the more they are depleted. Therefore, businesses must gear toward fuel economy and sustainability.
This goal can be achieved by implementing the tips mentioned above. Although these strategies may seem trivial when applied to one car or truck, they’re significant when carried out on fleets. Try them out today!