Effective fuel management is a key aspect of optimising the performance of any fleet of commercial vehicles. Fuel accounts for a significant portion of your budget, so it is no surprise that when costs rise, it can have a notable impact on business performance. Inefficient driving, wear and tear, and rising prices can all effect your bottom-line, however there are ways to establish control and increase profits.
Here, we consider 7 effective ways you can improve your fleet's fuel consumption:
1. Maintain and service your vehicles
Simple and regular maintenance can help you save fuel. Maintaining an efficient engine performance will impact the overall fuel economy of your vehicles.
Close Brothers Vehicle Hire offer flexible fleet management services, including maintenance and servicing. Our expert team can give you a high level of in-person and online support to optimise the performance of your fleet.
2. Ensure all tyres are properly inflated
Tyre management is critical to the safety and performance of your vehicles. Under inflated tyres can reduce stopping distances, cause understeering, increase the risk of a puncture, and create more friction.
If your tyres aren’t looked after, both vehicle control and MPS (miles per gallon) can be dramatically reduced.
3. Use the right vehicles for the right jobs
You can improve mileage by using the most appropriate vehicles for each job. It does not make sense to send out a lorry to complete a task if you can achieve the same result with a car.
Keep up-to-date records of your fleet and its availability so you can allocate jobs well and be as efficient as possible. Our online, interactive fleet management system, CVS Live, can help accomplish this.
4. Consider speed limiting vehicles
Limiting your vehicles to a maximum speed could pay dividends. According to the AA, driving over the speed limit at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph. This means that enforcing a restriction could have a positive impact on both fuel consumption, as well as reducing maintenance costs and repair needs.
5. Give your drivers specialist training
Motorists who drive smoothly, accelerate gently and avoid harsh barking use less petrol, so it pays to make sure your drivers are as competent as possible. Regular advanced driving and ‘eco-driving’ training sessions can keep your staff safe and save you money.
6. Plan routes in advance
Encouraging staff to plan their journey in advance can help reduce wastage. By using a sat-nav, or taking time to plan the most efficient route on a map, unnecessary miles can be eliminated and fuel costs can be reduced.
This is especially important if multi-drop routes are involved in your operation. By ensuring that vehicles are driven from A to B in the most efficient way, you can lower transport costs and carbon emissions.
7. Use telematics
Telematics can play a significant role in improving petrol consumption. These systems provide valuable insights on driver behaviour which can help to increase productivity. If you can identify when vehicles are idle or are being driven too quickly, you can cut fuel costs and reduce wear and tear.