Allow us to state the obvious: Fuel is a major operational cost for commercial fleets. While there’s no getting around that fact, there are steps that you can take to reduce your fuel costs.
And telematics technology can help.
Here are five ways that telematics can help reduce your fuel bill.
Reduce Speeding and Other Bad Driving Habits
“The first step in reducing fuel consumption,” according to Fleet Owner, “is reducing speed.” Case in point: A truck barreling down the highway at 75 mph burns 27 percent more fuel than a truck cruising along at 65 mph.
Furthermore, research shows that aggressive driving – things like harsh acceleration, braking and cornering – can lower fuel economy by as much as 33 percent on the open road and 5 percent in the city.
Taken together, speeding and aggressive driving can really do a number on your fuel budget (not to mention your maintenance costs).
Devices, such as EROAD’s industry-leading ELD, can help you identify speeding and other aggressive driving trends and provide the data you need to coach your drivers and correct fuel-burning, truck-busting driving behaviors. There are also products for vehicles that do not use ELDs, including EROAD Clarity Solo – and all-in-one solution that combines telematics, video and GPS tracking in a single device.
Real-time feedback and alerts from solutions like these can bring costs down by saving on fuel, brakes, lowering maintenance costs and, ultimately, reducing the risk of accidents.
Cut Down on Unnecessary Idling
Idling is another major fuel waster. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a single long-haul truck burns about 1,500 gallons of diesel per year due to idling alone. Based on current fuel prices, that amounts to about $7,500. Multiply that by the number of trucks in your fleet and it’s clear that there is a lot of money to be saved by cutting down on unnecessary idling.
This is another area where telematics can provide a big ROI. The EROAD Idle Report provides average and total idle time by vehicle, including the location, date, time and duration of idle events. Armed with this information, you can take steps to address excessive idling.
Mind Your Tire Pressure
Underinflated tires can decrease fuel efficiency by 2 to 4 percent, Heavy Duty Trucking reports. And underinflation is especially pervasive with trailers, some experts say, because drivers don’t feel trailer tires while driving the same way they can feel potential issues with the tractor’s tires.
Trailer telematics can help solve your underinflation problem – and reduce your fuel costs.
EROAD’s StealthNet trailer tracker, for example, is compatible with a variety of sensors that provide real-time data on trailer health, including tire pressure and temperature. This information lets carriers quickly identify and address underinflated tires, helping to extend tire life, improve fuel economy and avoid potentially catastrophic blowouts on the road.
Optimize Your Routes
Even small improvements in routing can have a big effect on fuel costs.
EROAD’s Geofence Site Activity reporting provides an accurate overview of what your vehicles and assets are being used for and who is using them. This includes key data such as who the driver was, where they traveled, how long they spent on site, what route they took. And a routing tool like EROAD Go+ helps with route optimization by providing truck-friendly routing and turn-by-turn navigation.
Stay on Top of Vehicle Maintenance
Well-maintained engines typically use less fuel. EROAD’s Service and Vehicle Maintenance helps you identify small problems before they become big ones to keep your engines in top condition. It simplifies maintenance with automated service scheduling based on time lapsed, distance travelled or engine hours, plus it provides a full-service history archive.
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