Fuel costs are the bane of every fleet manager's life. Whether your fleet is mostly made of hybrids or pure diesel, there's no escaping that invoice for fuel at the end of the cycle.
However, there are plenty of ways you can help reduce your expenditure. Fuel cards are, of course, our preferred method, but all the discounts in the world won't do much if you don't adjust your drivers' behaviour too.
To give you a hand, here are three simple rules to keep in mind when you next talk fuel with your fleet.
Keep it smooth
One of the largest impacts on your fuel efficiency is hard acceleration, brutal braking and uneven cornering. A fuel efficiency study from Smartdrive found that these three things amounted to almost half the incidences of fuel wastage, with idling and speeding taking up the other half.
The most common of all, however, was hard accelerations, with an average of four being recorded over an hour's period. Drivers want to make sure they get to their destination on time, but the swift starts are likely doing nothing but putting greater strain on your fuel card balance.
Keep it even
Putting too much weight on one part of your vehicle increases rolling resistance.
Careful drivers will already make sure they only bring what they need with them in the vehicle to reduce weight, but people often forget that even weight distribution is also integral. Known as 'ballasting', putting too much weight on one part of your vehicle increases rolling resistance and creates additional work for the engine.
For example, if you put a heavy weight on the right side of your boot and a light weight on the left, it would not only throw your alignment off but make your engine work harder to drive the right hand side. Make sure any cargo you are hauling is evenly distributed before every trip.
Keep it inflated
Check your tyre pressure. Even if you only checked yesterday, check it again today – punctures don't always result in huge, obvious blowouts. Eartheasy describes how improperly inflated tyres can increase your fuel consumption by up to 6 per cent, demonstrating how a little bit of tyre kicking can help kick your fuel card balance back up.
We hope these easy tips will help you keep your costs low and your efficiency high. To find out how you can save more on your fuel costs, get into contact with the team at Card Smart today!