Fleet managers face consistently rising fuel costs, with a Litre of gas expected to reach over $1.50 in 2015. In fact, fuel is the second largest expense for a fleet today, preceded only by payroll. One of the leading impacts on vehicle fuel consumption is driver conduct. According to an EPA (USA) study, up to 30% of a vehicle’s fuel efficiency is impacted by driver behavior. Improve the driver’s habits and better fuel efficiency will follow.
According to an EPA(USA) study,up to 30% of a vehicle’s fuel efficiency is impacted by driver behavior.
But how can fleet managers positively impact and motivate their drivers to change, with so little visibility into their actions once they are in the field?
The first step to improving driver habits is to know what your drivers do, and measure what matters so you can make changes.
By following the 4 habits of highly fuel efficient fleets, companies across North America & World are reducing fuel costs.
1. Proactively monitor driver speed, reward positive behavior
Simply by observing the speed limit, drivers can improve KM/L by 12 – 23%. The challenge though is how do you know when your drivers are speeding?
A GPS tracking system is one of the most effective options for managing speeding today.
- Set speeding thresholds
- Receive alerts in real-time when a driver exceeds the limit
- Send alerts directly to the drivers when they’re over speed limit
- Track and manage the Km per Litre data
According to the US Department of Energy, each 5 mph driven over 60 mph is like paying an additional $.30 per gallon at the gas pump.
2. Shine the light on wasted fuel due to long idle times
In a study conducted by Ford Motor Company, one hour of idling time increases fuel costs as much as driving an extra 25 miles. However, there isn’t any way to tell when drivers are idling or how long without a tool like GPS. When you add up the common practice of 10-20 minutes of idle time at each stop to fill out paperwork, listen to the game, or wait for a customer, it adds up to several hours per day, per driver.
Some drivers falsely believe they are saving fuel by letting the vehicle run when it’s not moving instead of turning off the engine and restarting. In reality, today’s vehicles only use a few seconds worth of fuel for restarting.
A proficient GPS vehicle tracking system provides the on-demand information you need to translate reduced idle times into decreased cost.
- Set idle limits in the system
- Receive alerts when a vehicle has surpassed the limit
- Identify who is idling, for how long
- Record impact on overall costs
25 Miles “One hour of idling time increases fuel costs as much as driving an extra 25 miles.”- Ford Motor Company
3. Choose the closest driver to the job, decrease frustration
Poorly planned routes cost time, miles, fuel, angry drivers, and angrier customers. Extra miles add up when routes are unclear or left to the driver to find on their own. Backtracking and cross over with other drivers happens frequently when dispatchers don’t have the information they need to route the fleet more efficiently.
A personal GPS navigation tool can be an improvement, but won’t fix the whole problem. They might stop getting lost, but there is no way to evaluate their efficiency. And your dispatch team certainly has no visibility into who is where, when.
In a perfect world, your dispatch should be able to:
- Instantly identify the closest available driver
- Choose the most efficient route
- Communicate that route to the driver
- Measure reduction in kilometres
One Dry wall company in vaughn enjoyed an 19% reduction in fuel costs within 30 days of implementation width PTO capture the long tail benefits have been huge. Now that they can efficiently re-route drivers in the field, respond to emergency customer calls, and optimize routes, their 18 vehicle fleet has measurably improved efficiency and decreased costs.
4. Gut-check your fuel card usage – get the real truth, know your true costs
If you’re using fuel cards to centralize and manage fuel transactions, you’re a step ahead of the game. But without connecting fuel card programs to mobile workforce management and GPS tools and depending on manual human input, you only have the driver’s version of the truth.
To make sure you have the full picture, best practices include:
- Validate odometer readings by matching driver input to true mileage
- Validate fill-up locations to ensure fuel is only used for corporate purposes
- Measure decrease in costs Report savings
Consider how quickly your costs would decrease if your drivers knew there is instant, real-time visibility into where they buy gas, their true odometer reading, and whether or not a company vehicle is getting the refill.
When you understand the ‘why?’ and the ‘how?’ of a driver’s behavior, you have real wisdom to make confident decisions, and truly change behavior that drives up fuel costs.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure – but with GPS fleet tracking,fleets across North America & World are making smarter decisions – and reducing fuel costs.
What to Look For In A GPS Vehicle Tracking System
When finding the right GPS vehicle tracking system, consider the following:
Can you find your drivers on the map at any given time? Is the location information accurate and up-to-the minute? Can you view the location at street level if you need to understand actual surroundings and environmental factors that may affect fuel consumption? Knowing where your fleet is relative to each other and to work orders takes out the guesswork, and makes dispatching drivers much more effective.
Can you set benchmarks for key indicators and receive automatic alerts when those thresholds have been passed? A good GPS vehicle tracking system will let you set up alerts that automatically send an email or text for immediate action. Be sure to confirm the system will notify you anytime a driver is speeding, idling, entering or leaving a designated location, or when a vehicle is scheduled for preventative maintenance.
Knowing where your driver went today means more proactive planning and less fuel waste due to inefficient routes.
Which vehicles are consistently idling too long? Who was speeding today? A quality GPS vehicle tracking system produces reports that clearly present details behind behaviors that let you take action to reduce fuel costs.
Knowing what each driver spent on fuel is critical. Knowing what impacted the cost of that Litre of gas is knowledge that turns an efficient fleet into a profitable fleet. Look for a GPS vehicle tracking system that integrates with your fuel card. You should be able to isolate any of the fuel wasting behaviors: speeding, idling, Km driven, or poor maintenance.
About Genuine Tracking Solutions inc.
Genuine Tracking, a FleetMatics company, is the premier provider of GPS fleet tracking and management solutions that improve the overall efficiency of any mobile workforce. The company serves mid- to large-sized organizations offering real-time insight into vehicle activity and its impact on business. Known for its easy-to-use interface, intuitive reports, and industry-leading customer service, Genuine Tracking is used by thousands of customers in the HVAC, telecom, cable, construction, plumbing, Personal and Cargo industries that have thousands of vehicles on the road. For more information about Genuine Tracking Solutioins inc. visit www.genuinetrackingsolutions.com or call 1(416)-417-9848.