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Maximizing Fuel Savings for Small Fleet-Based Businesses


Jun 19, 2023, 10:18AM EST


Fuel expenses are some of the largest outlays in fleet-based businesses. Knowing how to reduce fuel costs and save money at the pump is essential, especially as fuel prices continue to fluctuate.

Reducing fuel costs is one of the quickest ways to cut expenses and increase margins. Many ways to streamline your fleet fuel costs also happen after you leave the pump.

How do you measure fuel costs?

The first step to optimizing your fleet’s fuel costs is to know your fuel consumption costs over a predetermined period.

Measuring your fleet’s current fuel consumption costs is a straightforward calculation, but it can be time-consuming if you do it manually. First, you’ll need to gather your fleet’s fuel receipts over a specific period, such as one month. Then, add up the fuel costs of each fleet vehicle to get your total fuel usage expense.

To speed up the process of calculating fuel costs, many fleet managers use reporting features of their fuel card programs, which can quickly show them their total fuel spend during a given period.

Fleet fuel economy considerations

Gaining fuel efficiency may not seem like a big deal to a regular passenger-vehicle driver, but fuel efficiency can mean significant cost savings for fleet owners. Many factors influence a fleet vehicle’s fuel economy.

For example, excessive idling is one of the biggest thieves of fuel economy because you waste fuel without going anywhere. Other contributors to waste fuel include poor driver behavior and aggressive driving; heavy, bulky, or overloaded trucks; poor or under-inflated tires; and neglecting preventive maintenance.

How to maximize fuel savings for small fleets

Maximizing your fleet’s fuel savings comes down to a comprehensive effort to improve your trucking business. Improving your fuel efficiency can also increase your profits.

Optimize your fleet’s routing

One of the biggest ways to improve your fleet's fuel efficiency is to ensure your fleet takes the most efficient routes possible. A telematics solution can help with route optimization, gathering real-time GPS tracking, weather, and traffic data to provide the most efficient way with the least idling time.

Monitor how your drivers operate

Driving behavior can significantly improve or detract from fuel efficiency. Good driving habits like finding a vehicle’s optimum speed and using cruise control to go long stretches can boost fuel efficiency.

However, bad driving habits like harsh braking, speeding, and excessive idling can affect fuel efficiency and your bottom line. Many telematics systems can encourage safe driving practices by sending fleet drivers push notifications with posted speed limits. When necessary, driver training sessions can also reestablish expectations for drivers in your fleet.

Examine your vehicles for performance

As much as your drivers impact your fleet’s performance, so do your fleet vehicles. There are several ways your rigs can rob you of fuel efficiency. The first is the vehicle weight. Be smart about matching a particular vehicle to a specific job, as smaller vehicles can handle short hauls better.

Heavier rigs are less fuel efficient, so do what you can to streamline the total weight you haul. This can include spreading out the weight over multiple vehicles or reducing the amount of extra fuel your rig carries.

The second way you lose on fuel efficiency is with a bulky fleet. The less aerodynamic a fleet vehicle is, the more gas it’ll take to operate. When it comes time to retire a fleet vehicle, consider improving aerodynamics with the replacement.

Finally, the fleet’s tires can impact gas mileage. Low-quality tires can deform against the ground under the truck’s weight, causing more resistance and thus decreasing fuel efficiency. Poorly inflated tires can also cause more resistance, so choose quality tires and maintain recommended tire pressures all year.

Perform routine maintenance on your fleet

Poorly maintained vehicles can cause a lot of problems on the road. And while you may not think about regular maintenance as it relates to fuel efficiency, keeping up-to-date on all preventive fleet maintenance can lower vehicle emissions and make them more efficient.

It’s also essential to perform routine checks on your entire fleet. A telematics system can help you monitor your fleet and even send you and your drivers alerts on any diagnostic issues and scheduled maintenance.

Use a fleet fuel card

One of the best fuel management tools is a fleet fuel card program. Fleet fuel cards give owners a detailed look at their fleet fuel spending with dashboards that track every member of your fleet.

In addition to reports that help you determine the fuel efficiency of each vehicle and driver, a fuel card also allows you to set spending limits and address overspending and fraud. These cards save you money right at the pump, as many offer discounted rates for fuel and other fleet-related expenses.

Improve your fleet fuel efficiency with Fuelman

Fuelman fuel cards are a great way to help you manage your fleet’s fuel efficiency while also saving. Fuelman gives you fleet management tools like customizable cost controls, spend tracking by driver and rig, and robust reporting. In addition, you’ll save money with every fuel up thanks to market-leading gas and diesel rebates.

Apply now and improve your fleet fuel efficiency with Fuelman. 



Have  one of our Fuelman specialists help you find the right fleet card.

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