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Rising Fuel Costs Have Businesses Rethinking Fleet Strategies

Rising Fuel Costs Have Businesses Rethinking Fleet Strategies

Fuel prices in 2021 in Canada averaged $1.34/liter and in the US averaged $3.01/gallon. At the time this article was written prices have risen sharply to a national average of $2.09/liter in Canada and $5.01/ gallon South of the border. This is a 56% and 66% increase respectively, in not even one year!

Businesses that rely on fleets or other fuel-burning equipment are taking a major hit on operational fuel costs. Companies are being forced to dig deeper and find efficiencies. Wider inflationary costs may be hard to control, as is the cost of fuel, however, the amount of fuel consumed can be managed and decreased, bringing down that overall cost. Fuel savings can be a major contributor to the bottom line and GPS tracking for business fleets of any size can be a valuable tool to cut down on skyrocketing fuel costs.

GPS tracking can save an organization up to 30% on its fuel consumption. Given today’s record-high cost of fuel, that can be substantial savings in a time when costs are rising across the board. 

Efficient Driving Routes  

Whether a business uses an integrated dispatch, manager-supervised routing or simply driver route planning, GPS tracking technology can drive impressive efficiencies. Driving longer routes, getting lost, or taking routes with many stops or traffic, will increase fuel consumption. By monitoring a driver’s route in real-time or after the fact, dispatch or managers can mandate and know if the optimal or most direct routes are being used. 

Another method for fuel savings is for dispatch to recognize which vehicle is closest to a job and deploy those assets as necessary. In the event that a driver becomes lost, dispatch will know the real-time location and get the vehicle back on the best route quickly. Less time on the road equals less money spent on fuel.  

GPS tracking will keep an easy access log of mileage in real-time. This provides quick snapshots of daily, weekly, or monthly mileage to compare across the fleet. Fleet managers can evaluate drivers and routes to assess where there may be wastage.  

Trackem GPS offers a feature where dispatch (or managers) can share routing. This can be used to optimize routes based on the shortest distance or traffic congestion. Heavy traffic can burn up to 80% more fuel while burning valuable productivity time simultaneously. Rerouting to avoid traffic congestion, can result in meaningful fuel savings. 

Driver Behaviour and Real-Time Notifications

Driving behaviour plays a major role in fuel economy. Speed is the main factor, not only for driver safety but also for fuel wastage. Businesses need to ensure their drivers avoid high speed. Most vehicles today are most fuel-efficient when moving between 50 and 80 km per hour (30 – 50 mph). The EPA suggests that we can assume that for every 8 km (5mph) driven over 80 km (50 mph) there will be an extra $0.10 per liter ($0.34 per gallon) of gas burned. 

When speed fluctuates up and down, fuel is wasted. “Tests have shown that varying your speed up and down between 75 and 85 km per hour (45 and 53 mph) every 18 seconds can increase your fuel use by 20%.” Ideally, drivers need to keep a more steady speed to optimize fuel efficiency. Trackem GPS monitors harsh acceleration events and can provide managers and drivers with real-time notifications when they happen. Knowing the frequency and creating policy and discipline around that data can cut fuel costs.

Trackem GPS tracking allows fleet managers, business owners, or drivers to monitor speed in real-time and through detailed historical reports. Knowing this vital speed data can be used to compare drivers and against local laws, and ultimately leveraged to correct the behaviour and slow down your fleet. Furthermore, it has been proven in the field, that real-time notifications for speeding sent directly to a driver can correct high-speed behaviour, as they know their boss is getting the same alerts. 

GPS can also be used to monitor idling time. According to the Ford Motor Company, idling for one hour is the equivalent of driving 40 km or 25 miles. Similar to speed and acceleration, the GPS system can be set to notify for excessive idling, in real-time. Managers can also choose to get this data in a historical report format, to use for training or disciplinary purposes. 

Another culprit for fuel wastage for any business is after-hours or unauthorized driving. When workers are driving company vehicles after hours, they are more often than not using company fuel. Or perhaps drivers are going out of range to unauthorized destinations and wasting fuel. Either way, the Trackem GPS backend can be configured to instantly notify managers or business owners if vehicles move during pre-determined off-hours times, managed in the system settings. Similarly, geofences can be set around properties or regions to provide entry/exit alerts to know vehicles are not being driven too far or unnecessarily. 

GPS can be used to educate and change the driving culture within a company to promote issues like slow acceleration, driving at a steady speed, less idling, and keeping drivers on task, which are simple strategies that can save a company significant dollars.  

Maintenance

A properly maintained and running vehicle will be the most fuel-efficient. If oil is old or low, tire pressure or the tread is not correct, air filter or fuel filters are clogged, among other issues, a vehicle can begin to perform at a level that burns more gas.  

Trackem GPS offers functions that can be pre-set to provide alerts to managers for maintenance tasks. These notifications can be set based on date or mileage intervals. Once complete the system will log the work to keep it on record.  

GPS Tracking Can Cut Fuel Consumptions

Businesses have been leveraging GPS tracking for a number of business efficiency reasons over the years. Fuel savings has certainly been one area where certain Trackem clients have put the system to work to do so. However, perhaps not enough companies recognize the benefits, especially given today’s current global economy and the price of fuel. Just to say it again…GPS can save you 30% on business fuel costs…that can mean a lot to any business.