As with any business venture, fleet operation comes with its own inherent costs. Insurance, fuel, maintenance, and driver salaries all cost businesses a hefty sum of money. As we enter the new year, a few minor changes in operation can help your fleet save fuel and stick to your projected budget for 2017.

Driver Education

An educated and aware driver is a valuable asset in itself, but one that also is knowledgeable about ways to actively boost fuel efficiency can make all the difference in your fleet’s budget. Educate your fleet drivers about the importance of fuel economy, as this can directly translate to better job security, more opportunity for growth, and increased profit margins (which in turn can be used to increase salaries).

Proper Tire Inflation

By simply ensuring that all tires on your fleet vehicles are properly inflated to the recommended level, you can begin to save hundreds on your fuel costs. A properly inflated tire allows the vehicle to operate more efficiently, helping you save on fuel.

Cut Idle Time

A vehicle idling is a vehicle wasting money. By cutting the engine during long periods of waiting, you can save gas and significantly reduce waste. Remind drivers to be conscious of the amount of time they will spend loading and unloading a vehicle and ask that they leave the engine off when not in use. If you don’t already have one, using fleet software to monitor idle time can give you valuable insights into how much fuel your fleet is wasting by idling.

Use the A/C Only When Necessary

Sometimes air conditioning cannot be avoided, especially when the weather calls for its use to keep temperatures bearable while driving. As one of the heaviest drains on fuel economy, the A/C should be used sparingly and only when a driver is occupying the vehicle. Leaving the engine running with the A/C on is both wasteful and detrimental to your bottom line.

Practice Mindful Driving

Weaving in and out of traffic, sudden bursts of acceleration to beat lights, and driving above the speed limit are not only unsafe but can hurt your fleet’s efforts to save fuel. Make sure your field service management strategy emphasizes the importance safe and responsible driving.

These five simple tips can help save you thousands on your 2017 fleet budget. By implementing them as soon as possible, you can get ahead of the curve and start your new budget year off on the right foot.