Posted on January 14, 2019
Fuel represents one of the leading costs for operating a fleet. While there are several ways fleets can tackle the issue, some are more effective than others. Fleets that want to make meaningful reductions to their fuel expenses should consider the following:
- Reduce out of route (OOR) miles. Truckers often end up driving miles they didn’t need to due to inefficient delivery schedules. Optimizing routes can save thousands of dollars and reduce the amount of time drivers are on the roads, and away from their families.
- Fuel Use and Theft. The cost of fuel theft and unauthorized purchases can take a toll on a trucking company’s bottom line. Fuel efficiency modules can help monitor fuel consumption, fuel economy, and more to flag any abnormalities. Monitoring fuel cards can help combat this issue as well as fleets can identify when drivers used their cards without the vehicle being present.
- Watch the speed. Speeding takes its toll at the gas pump. Increasing highway cruising speed from 55 mph to 75 mph can raise fuel consumption as much as 20%. Truckers can improve gas mileage between 10 – 15% by driving at 55 mph instead of 65 mph. While that may not seem like much for one driver, multiply that cost differential by the total number of drivers in a fleet and the gallons used over the course of a year, and it adds up quickly. Incentivize truck drivers to keep their speed in check.
- Address idle times. If a truck’s engine is running, it’s consuming fuel. Fleet management solutions can help trucking companies identify when excessive idling occurs. Some of the most common sources of idling include letting the engine warm up for too long, leaving the engine running during deliveries, and turning on the engine to operate the radio or other equipment. Encouraging drivers to limit their idle times while rewarding those who do so can help reduce this problem.
- Perform better maintenance. Companies sometimes delay preventative maintenance because the schedule causes disruption to their workflow. However, staying on top of maintenance, and making sure drivers check tire pressure regularly, allows vehicles to remain in top condition and consume less fuel. For every 10 percent that tires are underinflated, there is a 1 percent reduction in fuel economy. For fleets, that number really adds up over the course of a year.
Managing fuel costs will help fleets maximize profitability. Interstate Motor Carriers is committed to helping fleets solve challenging problems while reducing losses and keeping risk in check. To learn more about how we can help your trucking company, contact us today.
Posted on October 02, 2015
A public hearing in Long Beach, CA this month prompted a wave of support for this initiative and concern for the current trajectory of human environmental impact. The hearing was held regarding a proposal by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) originally submitted in June. While commercial freight and passenger trucking comprises the backbone of our economy and way of life, the transportation industry is also a major generator of greenhouse gases and other concerning pollutants. But is the concern that can be found so easily in California one that will resonate with those in other parts of the country?
Daniel Kieffer, Director of Emissions Compliance for Paccar Inc., indicated that his truck manufacturing business sees the pending proposal as a potential win-win. He notes that this may only be possible, however, if the complexities of market costs, market demand, aerodynamic science, and vehicle ownership and operation costs can reconcile into a profitable arrangement. It will be difficult to know how this will shake down for individual businesses until the proposal specifics are defined and approved, and go-live date is then posted.
Current details available indicate that the proposed regulations would aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States by approximately 1 billion metric tons, conserving nearly 2 billion barrels of oil. This would theoretically save the transportation industry about $170 billion in fuel costs over the lifetime of vehicles sold under the program.
The proposal would have regulation changes begin for model year 2021 and phase in fully by model year 2027. While some have shown great concern over the industry’s ability to bear these up-front (and potential) long-term costs, other have spoken out in opposition to the seeming lack of urgency. While climate scientists are working harder than ever to determine what impact our behaviors have on years and decades to come, it is unclear to what extent these regulatory changes will be effective. But if, as Mr. Kieffer points out, the regulations can provoke a positive shift in the transportation community, this may be a transformative shift in trucking technology.