Running a fleet efficiently can depend on how much you spend on fuel per day, month, and quarter. As a fleet manager, you not only have to worry about scheduling and managing drivers, you have to make sure all your costs are adding up. You also have to be aware of the areas in which you could stand to gain a bit more organization and efficiency. One of the areas where many fleet managers feel the pinch is fuel costs. When you have a fleet of drivers who have to travel across the country and deal with fluctuating gas prices, how do you make sure you’re making the most out of your fuel budget? If you’re struggling to find ways to cut down on fuel costs, here are a few tips to help you out.
1. Know Your Routes, Know Your Drivers
Managing a fleet successfully depends on a lot of different factors. As someone who has to oversee a huge number of different jobs, vehicles, and drivers, you’re not always going to be able to stay on top of every single job. That’s why it’s so important to use the right technology to help you out when it comes to charting the most efficient routes, allowing your drivers to spend less time idling, and keeping an eye on how your drivers are wasting or conserving fuel on the road. Some GPS systems will help your drivers get where they need to go, providing the quickest route with the least amount of traffic. Other apps go above and beyond, not only guiding each driver safely toward their destination, but checking fuel prices at nearby gas stations along the way and monitoring driver activity for increased efficiency. By using technology in a smart, constructive way, you’ll be able to train your drivers to waste less fuel on the road while getting where they need to go efficiently and safely.
2. Go Green Whenever Possible
While a lot of fleets still depend on gas for larger delivery cars and trucks, still more delivery services are opting to go green, using electric and green energy cars to fuel more and more jobs. If you’re still trying to figure out how to budget out the needs of a green fleet and figure out how to replace your gas engines with newer, more efficient models, try introducing a few green cars at a time into your fleet and measure the gas savings over time. If by the end of the year you’re seeing a significant amount of savings (which you should) you can start taking steps to invest in green technology and phase out older cars in the process. Even if only a quarter of your fleet is running on green energy, you’ll be saving a ton of money on gas in the long run and cutting down on harmful fuel emissions. In some states, you can even receive tax breaks for going green.
3. Keep Your Cars in Great Condition
Your drivers are your fleet’s most important asset. But don’t forget about the vehicles that make it possible for you to complete each job professionally and on time. Taking care of your cars should always take precedence over everything else, with the exception of driver safety. Of course, the two often go hand-in-hand. If you’re not doing the required maintenance work to keep your cars running at their best, you could not only be endangering your drivers, you could be wasting a ton of money in fuel costs. If your cars aren’t working up to standard, they’re more likely to eat up gas quickly and cause problems on the road. Making sure you invest in routine maintenance checks will help you get ahead of problems while keeping your drivers safe during each job.
4. Invest in Fuel Cards for Your Fleet
For huge savings on fuel, most fleet managers already know that investing in fuel cards is the clear way to go. With dependable, instant refill access on the road from WatchCard commercial fuel cards or another trusted gas merchant, your drivers won’t have to worry about getting stuck in the middle of nowhere with a huge gas bill to pay. Investing in bulk fuel is also a great way to save through the year. It takes the headache out of refilling for your drivers, and it gives you the ability to pre-pay for all your vehicles using one base rate that won’t be subject to national price fluctuations or unpredictable changes in the gas market. With fuel cards, you’ll be sure to get the best deal.