4 Tips to Improve Heavy Truck Fuel Economy
What Does Fuel Economy Mean for Transportation Companies?
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “fuel economy”? Words like profitability, safety, and improved driver experience should be at the top of the list.
Transportation companies and commercial carriers have seen a large push toward fuel efficiency as government regulations continue to be implemented. Many companies, in an effort to navigate fuel cost increases, have implemented certain practices meant to improve profit margins.
Why Focus on Fuel Economy?
There are several benefits to operating a fuel-efficient fleet. At the top of this list is profitability. Fuel is one of the highest operating costs for any transportation company, so organizations of all sizes benefit from a focus on fuel efficiency and economy.
Regained time is another benefit. Implementing and following fuel-efficient best practices can lead to fewer stops, meaning drivers reach their destinations with better time.
In today’s environmentally conscious society, people tend to have a better view of companies that commit to the wise use of resources such as fuel. Consumers are more aware of the processes for supply chain and deliveries, so creating a positive consumer perception of your actions is good for your company’s bottom line.
Fuel efficiency and economy also leads to safer driving. Many of the best practices for fuel-efficient driving have to do with how the driver handles their vehicle. Fuel-efficient driving means following safer techniques on the road.
4 Tips for a Fuel-Efficient Fleet
Even if you have the most fuel-efficient trucks, it takes skill and knowledge to operate a fleet at maximum efficiency. This knowledge starts with best practice tips to help your fleet with better fuel economy.
Don’t Sit Idle
Idling happens at times for comfort, safety, or maintaining optimal fuel temperatures in harsh weather conditions. The problem comes in when long-haul trucks remain idle overnight. This can consume more than 838 million gallons of fuel according to a study from Argonne National Laboratory.
This equals up to approximately $3 billion worth of diesel fuel and gasoline lost each year by medium and heavy trucks combined! There are multiple valid reasons for idling, but there are solutions that can save time and money companies can enact to lessen this practice.
Watch Weather Conditions
Weather is something no one can control, but drivers need to track weather conditions to know what they might run up against. For instance, winter weather conditions are notorious for negative effects on vehicle fuel economy.
Aerodynamic drag increases by 2% for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit dropped in a large truck. This drag makes it more difficult for a driver to operate their vehicle efficiently and wastes more fuel. Preparing drivers for adverse weather and best practices in these conditions will help drivers overcome weather-related effects as much as possible.
Ongoing Employee Training
Highly-skilled drivers can produce up to 35% better miles-per-gallon performance than less trained drivers based on information from ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council. All your drivers should receive consistent training to keep everyone on the same track. This includes training on safety, driver best practices, and fuel efficiency.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has conducted several studies that show driver training programs that include fuel efficiency improved fleet fuel economy by 5% to 10%. Infinit-I Workforce Solutions has training modules on all your training needs, including fuel efficiency.
Incentivize Fuel Efficiency
Driver incentives are useful tools to implement behavioral changes toward fuel efficiency. Maintaining a culture of safety is the most important thing a commercial carrier can do, and adding a focus on fuel economy further upholds this standard of safety.
Incentives keep your employees interested in participating in the safety process. Incentives also assist in making behavioral changes while keeping up employee morale. If you have the right motivating incentives in place, you can increase performance by 25% to 44%.
You can use incentives to promote safety programs. Consider using these incentives to reward drivers who show a dedication to improving fuel efficiency, safety standards, or other goals that can help increase your profitability and performance.
Make Training Cost Efficient and Easy
To get the best results from your safety and performance training, you need a cost-efficient program that’s easy for everyone to participate in. Infinit-I Workforce Solutions has the tools you need to meet these needs.
With our learning management system, you can set up all your orientation, ongoing, and corrective action training assignments easily, and the system will take care of assignment notifications. You can track progress to ensure drivers are getting the information they need to increase performance and safety. Your drivers can access the training assignments from any device with an internet connection, so you don’t have to worry about disrupting schedules.
Click the following link for more information on Infinit-I’s fuel efficiency.
You can schedule a free demo to see for yourself how easy the Infinit-I system is to use.