Last week you were at the gas station filling your tank for about fifty cents less per gallon than you are this week. For a 15 gallon tank that’s an increase of $7.50. That’s for your car – the one you drive to work and home again. But you’re the fleet manager responsible for 50 vehicles. Let’s do the math:
$7.50 x 50 = $375
How often do your fleet vehicles need fuel? Once a week? Twice a week? More? Never has the cost of fuel mattered more to businesses and government agencies, or to the fleet managers responsible for maintaining those fleets of vehicles.
Fuel Consumption: Running on Empty
Take a look at this graph of projected fuel inventories and how they’ve fluctuated since January of this year:
Projected Fuel Inventories from the EIA.
With petroleum reserves at a three-year low, having a strategy for managing your fleet vehicles is more important than ever. Driving less is not an option for most fleets. It’s the cost of doing business. But there are things that can be done to help us reduce fuel consumption.
Develop an Energy Policy for Your Business or Agency
Consider it an ‘energy policy’ for your company or agency. Developing a strategy requires information, and the best way for you to get that information if is with a fleet vehicle tracking system. How can that help you? These systems use GPS and cellular tracking technology to capture data such as vehicle speed and idling time, two important factors that affect how efficiently fuel is used. By reviewing the report data with your drivers, vehicle fleet managers can educate them and change their driving behavior.
Idling Vehicles Are Wasting Your Fuel Dollars
Ever wonder how much gas is wasted by drivers looking for a new stop, maybe one sent to them on the fly? A good vehicle tracking system incorporating Google Maps, for example, enables dispatchers to create routes and to modify them while drivers are in the field.
Routes can be modified ‘On the fly’ by adding and rearranging stops.
They can also monitor and help your team navigate around traffic, spending less time sitting still and wasting fuel.
Dispatchers have the advantage of their own ‘Eye-in-the-sky’ with GoogleMaps
Ford Motor Company defines extended idling as over 10 minutes per hour of normal driving, frequent low speed operation, and sustained heavy traffic at less than 25 MPH.
Fleet Vehicle Maintenance: Take Control of Your Fuel Budget
But that’s not all. Improper vehicle fleet maintenance also affects fuel efficiency. Something as simple as under-inflated tire pressure reduces mileage. So imagine the benefit to having a system that enables you to manage your vehicle maintenance in addition to your routes and logistics. Create maintenance packages and service items like fluid changes, tune ups, or even checking the tire pressure. Then enter the vehicle mileage and engine hours for your fleet vehicles. Set alerts to notify you when maintenance tasks are coming up on the schedule.
Prevention is the Cure: A GPS Tracking System Saves You Money
Remember, there are two ways to save money. First, you can work harder to earn more to put in your pocket. You can also sew up the holes in your pockets to keep more of the money that you earn. So, next time you’re filling up at the pump, think about a GPS vehicle tracking system as a way to patch the leaks in your fleet’s fuel tanks.