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"10 ways to cut your fuel costs"


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Topic Originally Created on Tow411 in July of 2007:


Fuel represents the highest business cost behind labour for organizations involved in transport, logistics, construction and other fuel-dependant services. Understandably, as fuel prices continue to rise, everyone wants to reduce their exposure to rising costs.

In order to help businesses put a leash on fuel costs, we've compiled the top ten ways to reduce fuel consumption and therefore fuel costs.

1) Train and educate drivers - with proper training, your drivers can be your best way to improve your fleet fuel efficiency. Eco-driving and fuel-saving strategies make a huge difference to efficiency, economy and emissions. Hard acceleration, speeding and idling are the biggest causes of fuel waste. Initiate a training course for drivers, reward participation, reward efficiency and encourage seasoned drivers to participate in regular refresher courses.

2) Decrease idling - letting an engine idle more than 3 minutes causes expensive damage which harms efficiency, shortens engine life and increases maintenance costs. But it also quickly consumes fuel allocated to servicing a delivery route. Excessive idling can add 50% to fuel costs and shorten the life of engine oil by 75%. Initiate a campaign to reduce idling and reward participants. For long-haul rigs, mandate the use of engine idling alternatives such as shore power, generators, and inverters.

3) Start off slower - the first one off the line pays more for fuel - a lot more. Countless studies by universities, highway authorities and engine manufacturers prove it. Jackrabbit starts save less than 3 minutes over 60 minutes of driving but end up using 40% more fuel and increase toxic emissions by 400%!

4) Slow down - it's not just dangerous, speeding wastes fuel. Highway speeds over 100 km/h drastically impact fuel efficiency - cars travelling at 120 km/h instead of 100 km/h use 20% more fuel to cover the same distance. Trucks travelling at 120 km/h instead of 100 km/h use 50% more fuel - and that really adds up on the fuel bill. But they also emit 100% more carbon monoxide, 50% more hydrocarbons and 31% more nitrogen oxides - so if drivers aren't endangered enough by speeding, there are all the toxic emissions, too.

5) Lose weight - Carrying excess weight places unnecessary strain on your vehicle's engine and greatly affects its fuel efficiency. Removing as little as 100 pounds from your vehicle can significantly improve your gas mileage.

6) Use a Fuel Management system - fuel management systems are the most powerful way to lower fuel costs and increase fleet productivity. Systems range from basic onsite refuelling (which saves up to 20 minutes per day, per vehicle) to automated fuel tracking (which details every litre pumped into every vehicle by date, time, quantity and fuel type) to telematics which measures overall fuel efficiency, vehicle performance, tracks fuel waste due to idling, speeding etc., and identifies critical areas to improve efficiency and reduce fuel costs and emissions. The technology exists. Look into it.

7) Upgrade your fleet - Whenever possible, invest in modern fuel-efficient vehicles. Today's modern diesel engines are far more fuel efficient and perform better with current diesel fuels such as ultra low sulphur diesel and biodiesel. While the capital cost of new vehicles would seem only to raise overall costs, fleets which have upgraded to new diesel vehicles reported savings of thousands of dollars in maintenance, fuel and productivity per vehicle.

8> Tune-up vehicles regularly - Be sure to provide your vehicles with frequent tune-ups. A well-maintained vehicle performs better on the road, decreases maintenance costs and improves fuel efficiency.
Pump it up - Proper tire inflation not only improves gas mileage (save as much as two weeks worth of fuel per year) but also yields several other benefits including improved vehicle and braking performance and increased tire life.

9) Implement advanced mobile asset management technology - Advanced mobile asset management technology can help you 'get your arms around' your fleet vehicles and extract valuable information on their performance including: total miles traveled, average speed and engine efficiency. This advanced technology can also help drivers and operators optimize routes with route planning and mapping software that can help eliminate thousands of unnecessary miles per week. Less time on the road ultimately translates into less wear-and-tear on vehicles, reduced fuel consumption, decreased expenditures and increased productivity.

10) Making your fleet operations more efficient saves fuel - and that means you save money. With the cost of fuel only headed upward, it is time to take a hard look at these ten tips for cutting your fuel costs.
Source: Trucknews

Alan407 said:
Or just raise your prices as fuel costs increase.
InTowMan said:
The best way to increase your profits is to do it in a way that is totally under your control. It should NOT depend on customers taking a price increase, or on vendors to reduce prices. In addition, every business wants to increase their profits and many people think that the best way to increase your profits is to increase your sales. But there is a small problem with that. If you do increase your sales you are going to increase the costs of running a business because of the increase in the amount of work that is now having to be done. So that leaves with you with one other option, you must lower your costs in order to increase your profit.

In Memory of BROTHERANDSONS who said:
Numbers are numbers and dollars buy groceries. All 10 of the recommendations (well really 9, #10 was a commercial for the other 9) WILL help with fuel consumption. They are all basically common sense, and not really that new. Maintenance, careful driving, and obeying the speed limit has been solid advice for many many years (the 1st "fuel crunch" was in the 70's?) even if you follow every one of them, you still have to answer the rise in fuel prices with either a tightening of the belt in other areas, or a price increase/fuel surcharge.( Brown may shut off the truck at a lite, but they still charge a surcharge) The big picture isn't just what "We" do as an industry to conserve fuel, its how we structure our business to integrate the cost into our business plan. How many of us use our wrecker to go get groceries because we are on call?( 20 mins to respond to a rotation call ???) how many small companies single wrecker is the only form of transportation for the family?

These are realities, Corporate interpretations of operations only affect a SMALL # of companies( 10 trucks or more)....most have to deal with it on a money in groceries out reality, local market pricing usually boils down to which one of your competitors is eating macaroni and cheese, and which ones are eating steak( IF everyone is on the same page as far as having good equipment, insurance, workers comp, and qualified drivers). Cost is important, prudent control is also important, PRICING of YOUR particular situation is the key.
Wes Wilburn said:
Gary Coe makes a great point about expenses and profit... Lets just say if you operate at a ten percent profit margin... if you find a way to save $100.00 through reasonable cutting of expenses, the profit is the same as running a $1000.00 tow call... except you do not have to run the call, face the risk while running the call, and then collect the $1000.00...

Now the other side of this is there are people who are so concerned about cutting EVERY expense, they seem to have a problem making a profit... there are expenses that need to be paid... and many times the cheapest is NOT the best solution.
Kurt Frazier said:
good one there, as a mechanical stand point, the idling statement in #2 is way off. check you tech manules for ten years ago. idling was a nessary part of operation to bring you motor to temp befor aplying a strain. now its not.

sounds like fda/ama and eggs. if your worried about fuel costs, add a fuel sur charge. increase your price to the customer. don't try to absorb.


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