Did you know that in the trucking industry, the highest cost, second only to payroll, is the cost of fuel?
Both fleet managers and commercial drivers are acutely aware of the ebbs and flows of the price of gasoline, as they directly impact operating costs and profit margins. In the past several years, relief has been found in decreasing crude oil prices; since 2014, the price of crude oil has dropped by at least 60 percent. However, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) anticipates higher costs in the near future, with the cost of diesel projected to reach $2.80 per gallon by this time next year. With this in mind, fleet managers can combat fluctuating costs by creating fuel-efficient fleets.
Reduce Fuel Costs with Technology
One way to best track fuel usage and gather insights that can be used to help reduce fuel costs is to implement fleet tracking software. The technology allows fleet managers to generate comprehensive reports that provide data into how much fuel is utilized per vehicle. Idle time reports can also help fleet businesses recognize where and when vehicles are sitting idle and burning valuable fuel. Reports through a GPS fleet tracking system help translate vehicle data into actionable decisions for fleet managers regarding operations and routing. By collecting data on the vehicle's traveled distance, average speed and fuel used within a customized date range, the information can then be analyzed to pinpoint inefficiencies.
Data to Improve Driver Habits
Informed and self-aware drivers are also important in keeping fleet fuel costs to a minimum. The information gathered through reports and event mapping features in a fleet tracking system can help build driver coaching and training programs to promote safe driving habits. Road events such as speeding, harsh braking and accelerating, can burn fuel at higher rates. According to the American Trucking Associations, approximately 27% more fuel is consumed when traveling at 75 mph than traveling at 65 mph. Thus providing training can help drivers adjust their habits to achieve a higher level of efficiency on the road.
Furthermore, businesses can leverage driver behavior data to improve their fleet through measurable goals and incentive programs focused on fuel efficiency. By promoting measured fleet-wide MPG performance and making the company’s goals clear, fleet managers will have the data they need to hold their drivers accountable for their contributions towards reaching those goals. Lastly, through incentive programs related to efficient driving practices, drivers may be more likely to take a vested interest in their driving performance.
With the anticipated average costs of diesel fuel and gasoline in 2018 expected to reach as high as $2.84 and $2.41 per gallon respectively, there's no better time to invest in fuel tracking software and to instill in drivers the need for safe and efficient driving practices. Accurate and automated reporting is key to the success and efficiency of any business, so make February your most fuel-efficient month yet through the cooperative efforts of drivers and fleet managers using the latest in innovative GPS fleet tracking technology.
To learn more about Teletrac Navman's GPS fleet tracking system for your fleet.