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Rising diesel costs
With recent natural disasters like Hurricane Isaac, diesel prices have risen and may just continue to rise. These unforeseeable forces and fluctuations in fuel costs often cause fleet managers to start cutting corners. Maintenance of the fleet often gets pushed aside, which can cost more in the long run and can put drivers in harm’s way. Routes are adjusted and some vehicles are forced to stay in bay longer, which ultimately results in less work for drivers.
Finding a solution to the rising diesel cost crisis can be difficult, but ultimately a service or a product has to be moved, so a solution must be found. The solutions to the rising cost of fuel don’t have to be expensive. In fact, many of the solutions are cost effective and are even helpful when the price of diesel is well within reason. What more could a fleet manager ask for than a way to save money, move product and still maintain their vehicles?
Increase diesel fuel mileage
Perhaps one of the most obvious ways to save money on diesel fuel is to simply increase your mileage. Everyone likes a bigger bang for the buck, so why not spend a little money and increase the number of miles your fleet travels on a gallon of diesel? Investing in an updated exhaust system, a performance filter and diesel fuel additives can really save you money over time. These small upfront costs can help increase the diesel fuel mileage of your entire fleet. There are also a few choices your drivers can make while on the road that will also save your fuel, like maintaining a steady driving speed, turning the air conditioner off and not transporting excess weight.
Maintaining a vehicle is a great way to save money. While this solution won’t directly influence the fleet’s fuel consumption, it will impact the overall cost of the operation. With vehicle maintenance applications, you are able to plan preventative fleet maintenance more accurately, which will ultimately reduce the need for expensive roadside assistance. These apps make scheduled maintenance a breeze by sending managers early alerts and they allow the entire fleet to be seen as a report that shows individual vehicle performance. When a fleet manager can see their fleet like this, they can manage and maintain the fleet much more efficiently.
Drivers may not like being tracked, but perhaps only if they aren’t sticking to their routes the way they should. By tracking your driver’s routes, you’ll be able to spot wasted time and wasted fuel when drivers make unscheduled detours. This is a delicate measure to take – you have to be firm and transparent and work extra hard not to violate the trust of your drivers. As long as you are clear about your expectations and fair in your assessment of what is on route versus off route, you can prevent drivers from wasting fuel.
Fuel costs will always fluctuate between high and low prices and predicting when they will fall or rise is impossible. To stay one step ahead, fleet managers can be proactive about saving money. By increasing mileage, monitoring vehicle maintenance and tracking drivers, you will save money. There is no need to lay people off or leave trucks in bays. Spend a little money upfront and run your fleet efficiently at a lower cost.
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