Methods to reduce fleet fuel spend generally fall into three main categories. A fleet manager may reduce fleet mileage, improve fuel economy and purchase at a lower price. There are multiple strategies available within each category. The best strategies will vary by fleet. The most effective strategies are actionable recommendations that actively involve and engage stakeholders.
Following are 10 common recommendations to reduce fuel spend. Each is actionable and most effective when stakeholders are engaged.
1. Vehicle selection (improve fuel economy)
A fleet vehicle must first functionally serve a purpose. Among vehicles that fit job needs, look to reduce size and weight, and consider more fuel-efficient vehicles and even alt-fuel models.
2. Use apps to identify best value (purchase at a lower price)
There are apps available, such as Donlen’s mobile apps, that can direct a driver to the lowest fuel price in an area. The best apps direct drivers to the best value by considering both price and distance from vehicle location to fueling station.
3. Optimizing routes (reduce fleet mileage)
Planning that ensures more direct routes, eliminates unnecessary stops, and routes drivers around delays and road closures can reduce mileage considerably.
4. Have a vehicle policy that clearly spells out driver responsibility (all categories)
It always helps to have a policy in place that is supported by management and adhered to by drivers. Policy guidelines around personal use and maintaining the vehicle, for example, can be set so to manage fuel spend.
5. Reduce idle time (improve fuel economy)
The advent of telematics has had a great impact in reducing idle times by making idle data readily available. Where idle alerts are actively managed, Donlen customers have seen dramatic reductions in idle percent leading to significant reduction in fuel spend.
6. Reduce speeds above 70 mph (improve fuel economy)
Fuel economy falls more quickly beyond 70 MPH, so there is a benefit to driving below this threshold. Although, in places where the speed limit is 70 MPH or higher, it is not practical.
7. Maintain speed within the posted limit (improve fuel economy)
Alerts via telematics in a vehicle help pinpoint the frequency and locations of vehicles traveling above posted speeds. Active management of these alerts by encouraging changes in driver behaviors will work to not only keep drivers safer but also reduce fuel consumption and therefore fuel spend.
8. Utilize exception reports (all categories)
Common reports identify units with non-compliant odometer entries, having MPG below EPA averages, with fuel gallons purchased beyond tank capacity, with fuel type purchased that does not match OEM recommendation, and with non-fuel charges. Managing and eliminating these exceptions will help you reduce fuel spend and fraudulent charges.
9. Keep vehicles maintained and tires properly inflated (improve fuel economy)
A healthy vehicle with properly inflated tires is required in order to achieve optimized fuel economy.
10. Manage driver behaviors (improve fuel economy)
On its fueleconomy.gov site, the EPA suggests that aggressive driver behaviors such as speeding, quick accelerations and harsh stops can reduce fuel economy by up to 30% at highway speeds and more in stop-and-go traffic. Idling vehicles unnecessarily or failing to ensure maintenance schedules are followed further reduce fuel economy. Telematics technology has been key in identifying opportunities to correct driver behaviors.
Want to learn more about how Donlen can help you reduce your fleet's fuel spend?