One of the greatest and most influential costs in your fleet will be fuel consumption. Its inescapable that vehicles are going to use fuel and simple measures such as moving to more fuel-efficient vehicles are a great start. But you can improve your fleet's fuel use without making a change to more fuel-efficient vehicles.
Behaviour & Education
Changing driver behaviour in your fleet vehicles can have a huge impact on the consumption of fuel. Studies have shown that a driver with an aggressive driving style will have on average use 10.9% more fuel vs your average driver, with some using as much as 20% more.
Behaviour doesn't just relate to how aggressive they are either. A driver who has received eco drive training will have improved fuel consumption through minimising the use of braking and accelerating by looking further ahead in traffic and better predicting flow. Experienced drivers can save as much as 30% on fuel consumption vs a conventional driver.
In Australia, 80% of drivers reported driving 10km/h over the speed limit on at least an occasional basis. And whilst this speeding mightn't be related to aggressive driving, it can have a significant impact on the overall fuel use. By educating drivers on the costs and impacts of speeding, both from a safety perspective and a fuel cost point of view, they can better understand and adjust their behaviour. Education can also extend to standardising behaviours. By having drivers sit at 90km/h rather than 110km/h can reduce their fuel consumption by up to 25%.
Hardware Support & Vehicle Features
The use of standard features in a vehicle can also help reduce fuel consumption. Using cruise control can help a driver control their speed and ensure they don't accidentally creep over the speed limit (as 80% of drivers have been reported doing). Drivers who use cruise control save an average of 5% in fuel use.
Fleet mileage has a direct correlation to the amount of fuel used. Whilst you can reduce the consumption rate for distance travelled through changes in behaviour, education and taking advantage of features such as cruise control, there is still an inescapable relationship between distance travelled and fuel consumed.
Reducing the distance your fleet travels can be managed very effectively through appropriate fleet management and improved dispatching. Smartrak has seen clients reduce the distance their fleets travel over 5%.
Management of the types of trips your vehicles are doing can also have a significant impact on the number of trips and distance travelled. By implementing a mileage management system studies have shown that the average fall across fleets was 10.6% of the total business miles driven. This is a result of trips no longer being misrepresented as business related and thus reducing the overall use of the vehicles.
But the savings from Auditing Mileage can also be made through changes in the use of allocated vehicles. Inefficient grey fleet mileage can often be cut dramatically by encouraging the use of pool cars or public transport.
Removing incentives to drive
Finally changes to incentives or monitoring their response can assist in reducing unrequired trips. A great example of this would include vehicles that are turned over after travelling specific distances. If a driver is looking to get the vehicle they are driving turned over sooner to get a new vehicle, they may be incentivised to make longer and more journeys to get it replaced sooner.
These incentives need to be monitored to ensure they aren't promoting behaviours that will add costs or atypical use of company vehicles.