Maximising your fleet fuel efficiency
With The RAC warned that diesel prices are likely to go up again following a recent announcement by the oil producer group OPEC+ that it would be cutting oil production by two million barrels a day. Many fleet operators are finding themselves in a challenging situation balancing financials and operational efficiency. Speaking to our Chief Engineering Officer, Dave Hill, has some useful methods to assist in improving your miles per gallon (MPG) and maximise efficiency.
Our Top Tips
Tyres can make a big difference in the number of miles a driver gets to a tank of fuel. In fact, 20% to 30% of a vehicle’s fuel consumption and 24% of road vehicle CO2 emissions are tyre-related. Make sure your tyres are at the correct pressures;- Under-inflated tyres use excess fuel. If they are filled to the correct PSI they will be more efficient. The tread pattern also has an impact. Small tread features arranged in circumferential rows around the tread typically roll more efficiently. Finally, fuel-efficient tires are usually designed to have stiffer sidewalls. Stiffer sidewalls reduce the amount of heat generated by the tire.
Make sure your vehicle is well maintained – poor engine servicing and sticking brakes, for example, will all add to the amount of fuel you use. So will dirty oil, as this burns more fuel. Book a service to make sure your vehicle is running as efficiently as it can.
Lose some weight in the boot
Be mindful of weight, remove any weight from your vehicles such as roof bars and boxes, excess tooling, or trailers to streamline aerodynamics. It all adds drag, and weight and reduces MPG. Ironically, only fill your tank up if you need the fuel for a long journey, as that extra fuel adds weight too.
Make your journeys in the most effective and efficient routes possible. Work with your planning teams to find the optimum routes to avoid excess traffic, direct routes, links with customer deliveries and the least amount of excess travel.
Treat every penny as your own
Supermarkets and local forecourts are known to be regularly cheaper.
Avoid motorway filling wherever possible. Motorway services are far more expensive, so avoid them where possible. If you must use a motorway service station, a quick ‘splash and dash’ so you can get to the next fuel station.
Remember, most vehicles do not require Super or Premium fuels. Regular unleaded or diesel fuels can be used to keep costs down.
Improving driver behaviour, not being so heavy-footed with acceleration, and braking more at the appropriate point and gently will improve your MPG. Think ahead whilst driving, this may allow you to avoid having to stop, using styles such as lifting and coasting coming up to a junction will allow you to continue in an optimum gear. Driving on a motorway, which many of us do, is mindful of speed, not just for safety by the economy, staying between 65-70mph will improve MPG, but there are a number of factors, which determine optimum speed/efficiency. These include wind resistance, rolling resistance, drivetrain friction losses, power accessory drag, engine design and management, transmission type and ratios, weight and more.
Consider incentivising careful driving and fuel efficiencies achieved. Why not set up an MPG league where the highest MPG achieved could be rewarded and a level of healthy competition introduced to reach an overall company-wide fuel saving?
For more information on how we can help you manage your fleet more efficiently visit our Telematics page.
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