It goes without saying that fleets want to save and reduce their fuel spend, but for many organisations figuring out where to start can actually be the biggest problem. So what are some easy tips you can implement to your operations to make noticeable savings?
1. Consider alternative options or modes of transport
Besides the obvious of looking at different (smaller) vehicles or fuel alternatives, there are other solutions to the organisation’s transportation needs. Should most of your transport needs are small parcel deliveries within city centres then local courier services may be a more fuel and cost-effective solution. Only seeking a solution with what you already have can distract from seeing ways for doing things differently.
2. Control business travel
The first priority for any fleet is to meet its main business objectives. The fleet must serve the needs of the business not the other way round. So the most effective way to save money and reduce pollution from fuel use is to decrease the distance driven. This requires the organisation to continually question the rational of the fleet system, to ensure that the organisation is not simply following the accepted wisdom rather than best practice.
3. Plan your journeys better
One question to always ask is: is this journey necessary? Often you may find that several journeys travel in the same direction to almost the same location, so try to consolidate these journeys. When do your vehicles do most of their journeys? Is it early morning, midday or early evening? Don’t travel in rush hour traffic. Consider if it might be possible to reschedule journey start times to mid-morning or early afternoon. Not only will your driver benefit from a quicker journey time but there will also be a reduced fuel consumption which can add up over time.
4. Educate your driver on how to drive smoothly
Avoid harsh acceleration and heavy braking. Harsh acceleration can use 60 percent more fuel. By thinking ahead a driver can often avoid sudden braking and sharp acceleration. This will not only reduce fuel consumption and emissions but also help cut down on car and tyre wear. Drive defensively and avoid confrontation with other road users. It has been estimated that a smoother driving style can bring fuel saving of 10 percent in urban areas and 6 percent outside urban areas.
The above information has been adapted from AfMA’s Fleet Management Guide – a full resource that is freely available to members of the Australasian Fleet Management Association. To more details about AfMA Membership, click here or call the AfMA office on 03 9866 6056 for more information.