Managing the efficiency of a fleet, no matter the size can feel like a daunting task and one of your main concerns will be the running cost. With budgets becoming increasingly tight, fleet managers will be looking for strategies to improve the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of their vehicles, drivers and operations.
Consider these top tips to help manage the efficiency of your fleet:
While all your drivers will be qualified to drive, bad habits and inefficient driving can have a noticeable impact on fuel consumption. Repairs are also more likely if the vehicle isn’t being driven with due care and attention.
Idling, hard braking and inconsistent speeds are all ways that your drivers could be costing you money.
Regular training for drivers can help increase their awareness of fuel efficiency on the road. Also, the better trained your drivers are, the less likely they are to make mistakes resulting in accidents. Therefore, keeping your insurance and repair costs down.
The Highway Code states the following:
“You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.”
Idling can significantly reduce your fleet’s total fuel efficiency and can also be illegal in certain circumstances. Drivers can make some small changes to avoid wasting fuel such as turning off the engine while stuck in traffic or making deliveries. And avoiding leaving the vehicle idling to warm the engine or defrost windows.
Planning routes can stop drivers from wasting fuel and time. Larger fleets may consider using software to analyse their operational needs and optimise routes to maximise productivity and profit. Forward planning in this manner will result in reduced costs such as fuel, tyre wear and tolls.
Carrying excessive materials or equipment can weigh down a vehicle and increase the amount of fuel consumption. Secure storage areas at base will allow employees to travel only with the necessary equipment. Remove any roof racks when not in use.
Regular and preventative maintenance is essential to ensure your fleet is working at peak performance. To help with costs, vehicles that perform the heaviest duties should receive more regular maintenance than those with lighter duties. Some parts of the vehicle should be monitored more closely than others such as tyres and windscreens. Keeping your vehicles well maintained can keep them fuel efficient, and safe, and expand their lifespan.
Tyres that aren’t at the correct pressure are not only unsafe but they wear faster and increase fuel consumption. Tyres should be inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure. Tyre pressure and tread depth should be checked regularly and before long journeys. Replace any tyres that are damaged or worn.
Telematics provides in-depth analysis of driving, route and vehicle efficiency and is therefore a huge aid in helping you to reduce fleet costs by spotting the biggest opportunities for saving. Don’t be put off by the initial outlay as you will reap the rewards. The software can also alert you to the vehicles which potentially need replacing.
By implementing policies and practices that monitor and reward fuel-efficient behaviour, fleet operations can reduce fuel costs. For more risk management guidance, contact us today: