Managers are always looking for ways to bring down fleet operation costs and make their businesses more efficient. Luckily there are easy, cost-effective ways to bring down fleet costs while also improving the longevity and safety of your trucks.
1. Proper Driver Training
The easiest way to bring down fleet costs is to invest in training your drivers in fuel-efficient driving practices. Bring in defensive driving instructors to teach your drivers to drive slowly and cautiously. Instigate penalties to discourage aggressive driving, which can cost you up to a dollar per mile on some trucks. Multiplied across your entire fleet, driver training can make a big difference for your bottom line.
2. Carefully Monitor Tire Pressure
Tire pressure can have a very large impact on your fleet’s fuel economy. The farther away from the manufacturer’s recommended PSI your tires are, the less fuel-efficient your vehicles will be. Weekly or daily checks can ensure that you are staying within the ranges recommended by tire manufacturers.
3. Run Vehicles in Shifts
Every driver does not need their own vehicle. Having your fleet vehicles operating in a morning and afternoon shift reduces the number of vehicles you need to operate while increasing fuel economy (reduces fuel used on startup and warm-up, especially in colder climates). If you move to a shift system, be aware that increased run time on vehicles will lead to slightly increased maintenance costs.
4. Reduce Miles Driven
The fewer miles your vehicles cover, the less fuel and maintenance they will require. Investing in a quality fleet vehicle tracking and maps software can greatly reduce miles driven by avoiding inefficient routing. The better organized your fleet is, the more efficient it will be.
5. Lower the Cost of Your Fuel
Research the different company fuel cards that you give to your drivers. Depending on the company you get your cards from, you can receive discounts on fuel and other benefits that will help you reduce costs. Several cards will give you as much as 0.15$ off a gallon which can add up to big savings when multiplied by the size of your fleet.
6. Consider the Lifecycle of Your Vehicles
Often companies will mandate to keep vehicles in service for longer than they are operationally viable to avoid the cost of buying new vehicles. This increases overall fleet costs because as vehicles get older their maintenance costs will increase exponentially. New vehicles will require less maintenance and will have better fuel economy, making getting the lifecycle of your vehicles right a top priority for reducing fleet costs.
7. Consider Resale Value
When buying fleet vehicles, consider what will allow you the best resale value. The easiest way to ensure a higher resale value is to buy trucks in neutral or high-demand colors. White vehicles are proven to have the highest resale value of any color. Keeping detailed maintenance records that can be provided to potential buyers is also proven to ensure a higher resale value.
8. Buy or Rent Vehicles in Volume
Buying or renting your fleet vehicles in volume allows you to negotiate a lower price per vehicle than if you were to buy vehicles in smaller groups or individually. Volume purchasing requires good forecasting of your business’s needs and requires more capital, so make sure you are prepared before attempting to buy in volume.
Decreasing the operating cost of your fleet is a great way to make your business more efficient and increase profits. Implementing any of the simple solutions provided above will go a long way to making your fleet safer and more cost-effective. Let Efficiency find the best solution for your business!