Cutting Ownership Costs: Minimizing Fuel Consumption

by Brian Frederick
May 22, 2018

Strategies to reduce fuel consumption in mixed fleets

Fuel is a major expense for any operation. And as a result, fleet manages are always seeking ways to minimize fuel burn and maximize efficiency. Even saving a few gallons per week can add up to significant savings over the long-term.

But how do you do that? Here’s a look at some ways to reduce fuel spend in mixed fleets, reducing the cost of ownership and increasing overall profitability.

Adopt fuel-saving operating habits

This might seem like a no-brainer, but you might be shocked by how many companies are literally burning up money with fuel inefficient operating habits.

Aggressive driving is one of the main culprits. Hard acceleration and sharp braking can lower fuel efficiency by up to 40%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s FuelEconomy.gov. Additionally, every 5 miles per hour your drivers go over 50 miles per hour can cost up to $0.20 per gallon.

Excessive idling is another huge fuel waster. Many operators are in the habit of starting up their equipment in the morning and running to grab a cup of coffee, or just letting the engine run while they’re doing other things. This is unnecessarily wasting fuel, between a quarter to one gallon, depending on the equipment. Now multiply this by dozens or even hundreds of assets across your fleet and you’re looking at quite a lot of money.

Optimize your routes

Traffic, road construction and other delays — there are tons of reasons why what seems like the shortest, most efficient route from site A to site B on paper may not actually be the most efficient path. Instead of wasting fuel in heavy traffic, use real-time traffic and road condition information to optimize routes.

Consolidating routes and using one truck to make two (or more) deliveries is another way to ensure you’re getting the most out of your fuel budget. While this isn’t always possible (you’re not going to load to telehandlers onto one flatbed, after all), for smaller equipment deliveries it's a great way to maximize efficiency.

Maximize maintenance

Something as simple as ensuring tires are properly inflated can make a serious difference in fuel economy. Additionally, using the proper motor oil, changing it as recommended by manufacturer specifications, and regularly tuning up your engine can ensure you’re not wasting fuel.

Use a software platform that combines predictive and preventative maintenance scheduling can help keep your fleet running at peak efficiency — and burning less fuel.

Find a platform that can help 

Technology is your friend when it comes to fuel economy. A program like ES Track will give you all the functionality you need to maximize fuel efficiency at every step. Driver scorecards help you identify and address poor operating habits, as well as identify over-idling on jobsite or on your lot. 

Up-to-the-minute GPS and road conditions help you dispatch more effectively, so less time is wasted stuck in traffic. And ES Track’s telematics monitoring gives you the power of predictive maintenance to help ensure maximum performance. 

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