Fleet managers and owner-operators have been hit hard by the high and unpredictable costs of fuel in the last year. It can be difficult to save money when the cards are stacked against you, but there are smart ways to do it.
In this article, we will discuss some clever ways to save money on fuel, from fuel purchase programs to changing your driving habits. Now, before we begin, we’ll say this. The list is hardly exhaustive, and new developments can arise each day to improve or worsen the situation. So, stay tuned for future articles as we help you address the fuel issues with your fleet moving forward. Let’s begin!
1. Comparison shop for the best prices
Fleet managers and truck drivers should compare prices between fuel stations to find the best deals. Comparison websites and mobile applications have taken out much of the legwork in accomplishing this, but some are better than others so ask around and try several before settling on one. (Or, never settle.)
2. Join a fuel co-op or buying group
A fuel co-op is a collective of drivers who join together to buy gasoline and diesel at a discounted price. A buying group is similar but is typically composed of businesses rather than individuals. Joining either one of these organizations can save fleet managers and truck drivers money on fuel costs.
3. Use a smart card or app to purchase fuel
Smart cards and apps allow drivers to purchase fuel directly from their phones or computers. This often results in lower prices, as there are no additional fees associated with using these methods.
4. Buy in bulk when prices are low
Fleet managers and truck drivers should buy fuel in bulk when prices are low. This will help them save money in the long run. Of course, it’s a good idea to track what you’re spending on a granular level and set limits for when it’s time to bulk up.
5. Monitor your vehicle’s fuel efficiency
It’s important for fleet managers and truck drivers to monitor their vehicle’s fuel efficiency to save money on gas expenses. There are many tools available online that can help them do this effectively. Trip computers have also simplified the process of seeing what you’re pulling down tank-by-tank and trip-by-trip.
6. Keep your tank topped off at all times
It’s wise for fleet managers and truck drivers to keep their tanks topped off at all times, as this will help them avoid paying more for gas later on. It may also be helpful to schedule regular maintenance checks on your vehicle so that you can catch any problems early on.
7. Avoid unnecessary idling time
Fleet managers and truck drivers should avoid idling their vehicles whenever possible, as this can waste precious amounts of gasoline. There are many ways to accomplish this, such as using a timer to turn off the engine automatically after a certain amount of time has passed or manually killing the engine at stop lights.
8. Travel light
Fleet managers should encourage drivers not to carry too heavy of loads. Ideally, sales and dispatch will take care of this for you, but it’s important to be sure that your drivers are never being overloaded, as higher weights make the engine work harder, creating greater fuel expenditures.
9. Schedule regular maintenance checks on your vehicle
Do not miss scheduled maintenance. This gives you a chance to run more intensive diagnostics into current fuel economy and driver behaviors. This gives you a chance to connect and train drivers on how to drive with a more fuel-conscious mind.
10. Choose a route that is as fuel efficient as possible.
The most fuel-efficient route is not always the shortest route. Remember that as you schedule trips, give your drivers the tools and the training necessary to work out the details themselves.
Fleet managers and owner-operators can save money on fuel by implementing some of the tips we’ve shared in this article. Comparison shopping, joining a fuel co-op or buying group, using a smart card or app to purchase fuel, and buying in bulk are all great ways to reduce your overall fuel costs.
Furthermore, monitoring your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, avoiding the unnecessary idling time, traveling light, and scheduling regular maintenance checks are effective measures that can help you save money at the pump.
For more tips on how you can help your fleet keep a competitive edge through fuel cost reduction, make sure you check out some of our other articles and keep us bookmarked. J&A Fleet Services has helped businesses like yours optimize performance for many years in this and other areas, and we’re ready to help out in any way that we can. Contact us today to learn more!