Fleet Fuel Management – how to cover greater distances on less fuel

Fleet Fuel Management - how to cover greater distances on less fuel

Fuel takes up the largest chunk of a commercial fleet operating business’s expenses (71%). The bigger the vehicles, the bigger the costs.

The annual average fuel costs for a truck that covers 100,000 miles is around $56,655, based on the assumption of nine miles per gallon and a contract price of $4.31 per gallon of diesel.

“If you can save one percent on fuel, that’s $517. If the fuel price goes up, that’s fuel savings of $762.” – Martin Flach, Product Director, Iveco.

One of the ways a fleet manager contributes to their company’s bottom line is by keeping the fuel expenses low and focusing on the metrics that directly lead to a decrease in fleet costs. Unfortunately, not many are successful in this endeavor, and efficiently driving change in less-than-ideal fuel management can be a truly daunting task.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Thanks to Safe Drive Systems, your company’s vehicles will be able to cover longer distances without unnecessary fuel usage (Source: Giphy)

With our professional help, there certainly are ways in which fleet managers can reduce fuel costs and maximize fleet efficiency. The methods which we’ll help you utilize in order to achieve these goals include:

    • reducing idling and unnecessarily long trips

    • addressing poor driving habits

    • eliminating fuel theft

Reducing idling and unnecessarily long trips

Did you know that for every two minutes of idling, a vehicle uses approximately the same amount of fuel as it takes to drive one mile? 

Idling for only 10 minutes every day wastes around $250 per year! 

Fuel for thought – multiply that with an average fleet size and you’ll get quite a significant amount.

Every day, millions of vehicles idle needlessly, sometimes for hours (due to pesky rush hours, loading/unloading, etc.), leaving lasting effects on the environment.. and companies’ budgets. Idling and unnecessarily long trips due to traffic jams and ineffective route planning directly affect your fuel economy. 

Aside from that, they are shortening the life of your vehicle’s engine, increasing the costs of maintenance and new vehicle purchases, not to mention the hazardous consequences on public health.

To adequately address this problem, you’ll need to devote attention to properly planning each of your vehicle’s routes to minimize mileage, and with it, your fuel costs. With the use of our efficient fleet management system that, among other things, gathers GPS and data from an Electronic Logging Device (ELD), you and your drivers will be able to plan optimal routes to avoid traffic jams and shorten their trips.

You’ll also be able to monitor the drivers’ route execution to make sure they’re adhering to your instructions and plans, as well as generate reports on the vehicles’ idleness (and more). 

Efficiently planning and carrying out each trip will have a considerable effect on your fuel consumption and lead to noticeable cost savings.

Case in point: after implementing our platform in a pilot, the fleet managers working with Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies have noticed that they now spend much less on fuel, since they optimized their mileage.

Reduce fuel consumption by analyzing which vehicles are needlessly idling
Reduce fuel consumption by analyzing which vehicles are needlessly idling

Addressing poor driving habits

A central ingredient for successful fleet fuel management is reining in undesirable driving behavior. Better drivers and driving styles lead to a considerable reduction in fuel costs. Aggressive and unsafe driving habits like excessive speeding, harsh braking, and rapid acceleration by your drivers: 

    • endangers public safety

    • harms your company’s reputation

    • puts an unnecessary strain on your vehicles

    • increases cost as it burns extra fuel. 

In fact, improving driving behavior alone has been connected with a reduction in fuel usage by up to 25%.

Thanks to the use of optical sensors and a radar-based collision prevention system, our platform can interact with your drivers by providing real-time alerts about risky driving behavior. Additionally, it creates a body of data you can use to analyze your drivers’ behavior on the road in retrospect and address the problems directly.

Together, these two technologies identify and keep track of issues like exceeding the speed limit, as well as unnecessarily braking and rapid accelerating. This can help you put a stop to the above-mentioned improper driving habits and decrease the resulting excessive fuel usage. 

On top of this, there is a significant psychological aspect to consider. If your drivers are aware that you’re monitoring their driving behavior, they’ll be less inclined to misbehave in traffic when using the company’s vehicles. Again, this will have multiple positive effects, like preserving your business reputation with the public, curbing unsafe driving, as well as reducing fuel wastage.

 

Monitor and analyze improper driving behavior like speeding that may affect your fuel economy
Monitor and analyze improper driving behavior like speeding that may affect your fuel economy

Eliminating fuel theft

Many commercial fleets often face hidden costs and losses, including fuel siphoning, vehicle usage in off-business hours or days for personal and other uses, significantly hurting the overall profitability of their business.

Sadly, there’s a chance that not all of your employees will be honest. Some of them may try and take advantage of the fact that they have access to your company’s fuel and vehicles, costing your business more than you know. 

Our amplified fleet management platform can help you out in this matter by providing accurate real-time information and retrospective reporting on data including fuel efficiency – saving your business thousands of $$$ a year in lost profits!

With the alerts, custom-generated reports, and mapping information gathered this way, you can track fuel consumption in detail and control all aspects of your fuel economy, including the need for refueling and detecting the possibility of fuel theft.

One way to prevent fuel theft is to introduce so-called fuel cards. In a card-based fuel monitoring model, a fuel card and a driver pin are created and assigned to every driver so they can use it to purchase fuel for their vehicle. Introducing fuel cards into your operations will allow you to stay on top of each of your drivers’ fuel consumption.

 

SafeDriveSystems vehicle fuel consumption
SafeDriveSystems vehicle fuel consumption
If you suspect off-business vehicle use or fuel siphoning, you can keep tabs on each vehicle’s fuel consumption

Start fueling changes in your fleet operations by controlling your expenses

Reducing the frequency and amount of fuel expenses may not always be entirely in your hands. For example, the price of fuel may vary due to totally unforeseen circumstances like a crisis in the Middle East, a surprise attack on an oil field in some desert, or a hurricane slamming into the Gulf of Mexico. As the year 2020 has demonstrated over and over again, there’s no lack of surprising events with global effects.

The crude oil market has seen some very dramatic changes in the past 20 years, ranging from the low 24.45 U.S. dollars per barrel in 2001 to the high of 111.63 in 2012. The prices slumped significantly in 2020 due to the far-reaching consequences of the coronavirus but have marked an overall noticeable increase in comparison to the period before 2000.

 

Statistic: Average annual Brent crude oil price from 1976 to 2024 (in U.S. dollars per barrel) | Statista

Average annual Brent crude oil price from 1976 to 2020 in U.S. dollars per barrel (Statista.com)

However, outside these unpredictable situations that aren’t within your reach, you can have power over how your fleet’s fuel is spent with our comprehensive, yet user-friendly fleet management platform that combines multiple advanced technologies.

And while there is a substantial number of fleet management and telematics solutions on the market that may (or may not) offer fuel management as part of their platforms, there still isn’t a single one that can provide as overarching and unique a service as ours.

SafeDriveSystems amplified fleet management platform
SafeDriveSystems amplified fleet management platform

 

Monitor your entire fleet in detail through our amplified fleet management platform

Our unrivaled fleet management system utilizes:

 

    • optic sensors – real-time dash camera

    • radar-based collision prevention

    • ELD data

    • telematics and GPS tracking

for a complete and detailed overview of your fleet, its expenses, and real-time events on the road. It allows you to deal with problems as they emerge or prevent them altogether, as well as plan your budget and reduce expenses where possible.

In addition to the complete control over your fleet’s fuel costs, Safe Drive Systems will also enable you to:

 

    • know where your vehicles are at any given moment

    • assign geographical areas to vehicles or vehicle groups

    • monitor your drivers’ ECO score

    • track your drivers’ Hours of Service (HOS) and prevent fatigue

    • stay on top of your vehicle maintenance needs

    • prevent or reduce the risk of collisions with real-time alerts

    • generate reports on various metrics

Safe Drive System Dashboard
Safe Drive System Dashboard

 

The Safe Drive Systems dashboard allows you to see where each of your vehicles is at any given moment

This way, you’ll be able to obtain an unparalleled set of data you cannot possibly hope to receive through any other fleet management software, both in real time and retrospect. 

Tapping into this wealth of information will help you stop wasting money on fuel, vehicle maintenance, and new vehicles, reduce the risks of collisions and potential loss of human life, as well as the costs of lawsuits and growing insurance premiums.

Are you ready to step up your fleet fuel management and fuel economy, prevent collisions and reputation damage, as well as reduce your fleet’s overall expenses? We’re here to help. Schedule a free consultation with one of our advisors and you’ll get a personalized analysis of your current operations, along with a recommendation for the most suitable solution.

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