Efficiency Enterprises, Inc. 6300 Efficiency Way Baltimore, MD 21225

These Tips Can Get You More Miles Per Gallon Of Diesel

Diesel fuel is far more economic than gasoline when utilized properly. On a fundamental level, it packs more of a “punch” per gallon than gasoline does. There is one exception to this; those who more frequently drive inner-city will not benefit from diesel, even when these tips are used to their fullest potential.

Categorically, there are two main principles to adhere to if you want to save as much money on diesel fuel as you possibly can. One is equipment maintenance and the other is user-consciousness.

Equipment Maintenance

No matter what you drive, you should always be sure to check your equipment frequently to ensure that the vehicle is running as efficiently as possible. To maximize your fuel economy, you’ll want to be certain to keep an eye on some specific details.

  • Tire Pressure & Tread

At first glance, it may not seem like something as menial as a few PSI can make a difference in your fuel economy but over a distance and period, it will become apparent.

Low tire pressures cause your tires to spread their surface area wider, subsequently gripping more of the road, causing your vehicle to have to work harder to pull itself.

The same concept governs the reason you wouldn’t want the wrong tread on your tires. If you drive in warm climates but equip your vehicle with tread designed for winter conditions, this can cause a noticeable drop in fuel economy.

  • Suspension

If something doesn’t feel quite as it should as you drive, there’s a fair chance that you’re right. Something as subtle as a pull to one side can mean the difference in saving money or burning it up.

User-Consciousness 

It’s not always easy to make discernable choices that will benefit a specific aspect of your vehicle. However, if some of these simple tips can be made into habits, you’ll see a noteworthy jump in your overall fuel economy.

  • Resist The Air Conditioner

This is one of those hard habits to break. You start to feel a little toasty and instinct kicks in for you to crank up the AC. The only issue is that air conditioning can affect your fuel efficiency far more than you might realize.

This isn’t to say that if it’s over a hundred degrees you should force yourself to suffer a heat stroke for a few extra MPG. Simply be mindful of the instinct to overuse the AC.

  • Slow Acceleration

Make an effort to gain speed at a slower pace. It’s okay to have time between your gear shifts, you’re not racing anyone on the express way. Punching your throttle can drastically eat away at your fuel efficiency. Sacrifice the little bit of excitement you feel when powering through gears; your vehicle will thank you.

  • Cruise Control

This is one of the single greatest innovations in automotive technology since antilock braking systems. For long-distance driving, you want to fluctuate your speed as minimally as possible. Therefore, cruise control can help alleviate the need for you to focus too hard on your speeds.

Be mindful of your attentiveness while utilizing cruise control, however. Taking that one task away from your conscious mind can be a slippery slope into becoming complacent behind the wheel.

  • Turn The Vehicle Off

Contrary to popular belief, unless you’re stopping for less than a minute, it doesn’t pay to leave the vehicle running. The longer your vehicle is running, the more fuel economy you’re losing.

  • Shore Power

When stopping for the evening or taking breaks at truck stops, use their 120v hookups and turn off your engine. If you have any electronic appliances or anything else that runs on a 120v, that is more than enough of a reason to use the shore power feature.

  • Lower Your Average Speed

Every mile per hour over fifty-five that you average will cost you in fuel economy. Sure you want to save time but if fuel is any concern to you whatsoever, then it’s a valuable piece of information to have.

  • Stop Less

The less you have to come to complete stops, the more you save on fuel. This can translate in many ways, from anticipating traffic lights to following those vehicles in front of you at a wide distance.

Any amount of complete stops you can shave from your trip will save you valuable fuel economy.

  • It’s All Downhill

Similar to the idea of not hammering the throttle or forcing your vehicle to overwork; when you stop at truck stops or anywhere else for that matter, stop at the crest of hills if you can help it.

This helps you to alleviate unneeded throttling because you can coast to regain much-needed momentum so that you can get up to speed without using the throttle.

Less throttle = better fuel economy!

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Tips To Overcoming Supply Shortages for Your Fleet

Supply shortages of any kind interfere with your normal business processes, inflating prices and disrupting the flow of inventory. When your business depends on rubber hitting the pavement, nothing can bring you to a screeching halt faster than a tire supply shortage.

While you can’t control the number of tires available on the market, there are things you can do to overcome tire supply shortage and minimize the impact it has on your fleet.

Understand Why Tires Are In Short Supply

If a tire shortage causes you to cancel or alter arrangements with your client base, you’d better have a good explanation ready. Patiently walking your customer through the reality of supply and demand can be crucial to prevent the perception that you’re making excuses, and may help you maintain valuable relationships.

Tire shortages are caused when there is a rubber shortage, shipping difficulties, or increased demand in the tire market. Interruptions in the cultivation of rubber trees can lead to a long-lasting decrease in supply. As nations develop, the demand for tires may increase. The availability of shipping containers or other materials can also decrease the number of tires available for purchase.

When fewer tires are available, the overall supply of vehicles also decreases, posing a significant challenge to fleet owners who need a reliable stable to conduct their business.

Reorder now

In a shortage, there’s no such thing as ordering too early. Vehicles that usually take six to eight weeks to acquire can take six months or longer during a shortage. Evaluate your fleet and identify the vehicles that are likely to need major repairs soon, and plan to replace them with newer, lower mileage vehicles. This strategy, which is known as a life-cycle strategy, will help you keep your fleet on the road and your monthly maintenance costs fairly steady.

Preserve Existing Tires

Decreasing the effect of a tire shortage on your fleet means taking good care of the tires you already have.

The first step is to institute a tire rotation schedule. Regular rotation of tires ensures that they wear evenly, and have treads of similar heights. Tire life is reduced when you run a vehicle with different sized tires on the same axel.

The other crucial part of keeping your fleet’s tires in good condition is avoiding underinflation. Severe underinflation is known to contribute to tire failure, a safety issue that all drivers and fleet personnel are keen to avoid. Even a slightly underinflated tire will wear out more quickly than a properly inflated tire, and yet checking tire inflation often falls off the list.

A tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) can be installed directly on the vehicle, sending data back to a centralized source in real-time. A TPMS can be mounted on the tire itself, on the rim, or on the valve.

An alternative to installing TPMS on every vehicle in the fleet is the purchase of a single-station automated tire inspection system. Rather than tedious manual checks, an automated tire inspection system merely requires the driver to position the vehicle over the sensor plate. The tread and pressure are automatically measured and stored, providing valuable data that can be used to optimize your maintenance schedule.

Consider a Fleet Partner

Navigating fleet ownership is difficult enough when you’re not trying to overcome a tire supply shortage. Let Efficiency be your partner. As an expert advisor with industry connections, Efficiency can be a valuable resource to your business. We just might give you the boost you need to stay ahead of your competitors. Contact us today to discuss the right fit for your business.

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Boost Your Fleet Management Solution With These 6 Steps

Regardless of the size of the business, managing a fleet of trucks can be both stressful and complex. From fuel costs to truck maintenance, hiring the right staff, and training them, fleet managers have an unenviable job. Fortunately, technological advances are rapidly starting to make the process a lot easier. Below are a few tips on how to boost your fleet management solution.

1. Choose the best vehicles for the company’s needs

This is one of the most important tasks of a fleet manager. Depending on the type of industry that your firm operates in, procuring the right type of vehicles that best meet operational needs can make or break the business.

From strictly adhering to maintenance requirements to determining optimum vehicle replacement cycles and carefully considering disposal options can all have a major impact on the fleet management program’s success or failure.

Another important consideration here is vehicle reliability. It’s of little use if truck B costs $10 000 less than vehicle A but the direct and indirect costs of breakdowns will amount to three times that.

2. Optimize schedules and fleet delivery routes

Routes that are properly planned will undoubtedly increase customer satisfaction rates. It is crucial to provide your customers with accurate estimates for delivery times and small appointment windows. Efficiently planning delivery routes can help to shorten delivery times and will improve driver safety because there will be no need for them to rush. Ultimately this will also have a positive impact on accident rates.

3. Have an open-door policy

The fleet manager is a core part of any successful equipment and vehicle management program. His or her knowledge helps to keep track of issues and trends that might affect not only clients but also internal departments of the company. That is one of the biggest reasons why the fleet manager should always make time to listen to what drivers, clients, and other stakeholders have to say.

4. Control spending professionally

One of a fleet manager’s most important duties is to ensure the optimum use of the capital the company has available. Factors that can have a major impact on the firm’s success include:

  • Deciding whether to buy, lease, or rent vehicles based on sound financial criteria
  • Ensuring that the company gets the best financing rates
  • Taking into account tax incentives and other tax implications when making financial      decisions
  • Negotiating the best possible prices
  • Taking into account resale values and operating costs when making purchasing decisions
  • Planning for the firm’s future operational needs

5. Use technology to plan truck sizes and routes

New technologies such as GPS tracking can help drivers to arrive at their destination safely and efficiently. With proper route planning, they will be able to avoid roads with weight limits, low bridges, and heavy traffic. Drivers will also have access to live information about road closures and detours so they can choose the best alternative route. All of these can play a major role in driver safety and customer satisfaction rates.

6. Encourage safe driving habits and improve the performance of your drivers

Regular driver training is another crucial responsibility of fleet management. The aim here is to improve safety standards and efficiency. Focus on issues such as reducing fuel costs and eliminating bad driver behaviors like excessive idling, hard braking, and speeding. Probably the best way to do this is to make it very personal. Keep track of those drivers who might need training in specific aspects of the job and make sure they get the training they need.

7. Reward positive driver behavior

Another good idea is to have an incentive program in place that rewards drivers for positive behavior. With modern technology, it’s very easy to keep track of issues such as speed fines, delivery times, accidents, etc. If the company rewards those drivers who perform best in these areas it will motivate other drivers to improve. In the end, it will reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and benefit the whole fleet’s efficiency.

Want to discuss more fleet management solutions for your business? Let Efficiency help! Contact us.

Sources:

https://www.mixtelematics.com/blog/11-tips-for-improving-truck-fleet-management
https://www.mixtelematics.com/5-ways-to-make-your-fleet-more-efficient
https://info.rastrac.com/blog/improve-fleet-management-operations
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Readying Your Fleet for Winter: Why It’s Important

Harsh winter conditions and frigid temperatures are hard on vehicles, especially fleet vehicles which spend hours on the road. To help avoid repairs and costly downtime during winter, you need to ready your fleet for winter in the following ways.

Pay Close Attention to the Tires

Cold temperatures affect tire pressure as it causes tires to deflate. If unnoticed, deflated tires will adversely affect the tire’s durability, fuel economy and pose a threat to overall safety. Therefore, you need to keep tabs on the tires to minimize these risks.

Besides, the freezing temperature during winter causes rubber compounds in tires to harden. Since tires are made of rubber, they become less effective in gripping the road.

As part of tire preparation, rotate the tires and set reminders to keep rotating them. Consider switching from rib tread to lug tread tires to enjoy better stability and vehicle handling to drive smoothly on challenging roads. Additionally, install valve caps on the tires to avoid ice and build-up on the tires.

Change to Winterized Fuel and Protect Your Brakes

A major complaint during winter is vehicles that don’t start when the temperature goes below zero. Fortunately, you can make use of winterized fuel which operates at extremely low temperatures. You can also make use of a special additive package to increase horsepower and reduce fuel costs.

Brakes are also crucial for highway safety, especially during winter. With snow on the roads, the road gets slippery and needs your brakes to be optimally functioning. Check on your brakes and the brake chamber for any tears or signs of corrosion. Consult your mechanic and ask them to add some lubricant to the brake adjusters for reliable stopping power.

Frequently Service Your Fleet and Check Fluids

Cold weather can damage the wearable components of your trucks. Therefore, during winter, you need to be proactive about your fleet maintenance. Frequently check on brake pads, worn belts, and hoses to catch problems in time and avoid expensive repairs. You should also check the glow plug operation for diesel trucks.

Pay close attention to your vehicle’s fluid levels. Since engine oils are not the same, using the wrong oil, especially during winter, can result in excessive engine wear. Besides, heavy oils tend to be highly viscous in cold weather, thus don’t offer the same lubrication as in warm weather.

Therefore, for an easy fleet startup, consider using full-synthetic oil with low viscosity that can operate effectively under different temperatures. As a fleet rental service, you can consult us for recommendations on the best cold-weather fluids to use.

Why You Need to Prepare Your Fleet

Since vehicles are manufactured to survive harsh weather conditions, why should you get your fleet ready for winter? Winter comes with extremely harsh conditions, and ignoring preparation tips means you will be risking antifreeze failure, breakdowns, and low tire traction, which can cause accidents and losses.

Preparing your fleet for winter is important because, first, it saves you money. Although you will spend money getting your fleet ready for winter, it will help save money you would have otherwise spent making repairs or paying for accidents you could have avoided with proper procedures.

Second, preparing for winter helps preserve car tires. Tires are expensive, and it is essential to enhance the durability of your current tires. Besides, failing to take care of car tires during winter could also affect your vehicle’s alignment, causing more inconveniences.

Lastly, preparation helps your fleet remain safe with minimal chances of damage and loss. You wouldn’t want to lose merchandise during transportation. You can avoid this by ensuring your fleet is ready for the harsh winter conditions.

With the above tips, you can easily take care of your fleet during winter. Contact Efficiency today for all of your fleet needs.

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4 Ways To Minimize The Risk Of Risky Drivers In Your Fleet

Statistics show that on average commercial fleets have a disturbing 20 percent yearly accident rate – and that human error is behind nearly 80% of all these accidents. A high-risk driver can cost your firm as much as $70,000 in a single accident. To put this into perspective: it’s nearly double the cost of the average workplace injury.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, therefore, that fleet managers are under increasing pressure, not only to identify risky drivers, but also to boost safety levels by doing whatever is necessary to remedy the situation.

If the safety of your fleet is a top priority, it’s imperative to change the driver issues that are causing all these accidents. But where do you start? Continue reading to find out.

Start by identifying high-risk drivers

If you only have three vehicles in your fleet, you will already know which one of the three drivers is a higher risk than the others. If you have 300 vehicles, things are much more complex. Work methodically. Start by checking all the drivers’ accident histories. Also, check every vehicle record. This will help to identify those drivers who have been involved in the highest number of accidents or who have abnormally high numbers of traffic violations on their record.

Classify these drivers into risk categories

Let’s say that, after studying all the vehicle and driver records, a list of 40 drivers who have an above-average number of infractions on their record emerges. That does not mean they are all in the same risk category. The next step is to classify them into risk groups.

At the bottom would be those with one or two equipment violations. The next group could be those with three or four violations, including breaking traffic rules. In an even higher risk group could be those with more than four violations, including serious speeding and other moving violations.

Right at the top should be those who have committed serious offenses like driving under the influence, ignoring stop signs or traffic lights, or exceeding the speed limit by more than 25mph.

Train and re-train problem drivers

Once it becomes clear who the high-risk drivers are and where the problem areas lie, the next step is corrective training. Whether this happens online, behind the wheel, or in a classroom, it should specifically focus on eliminating problem areas.

Some issues can easily be fixed by making sure the drivers in question get a refresher course that covers topics such as following distances, the dangers of speeding, driving in bad weather, etc. In other cases, the driver might have to be monitored behind the wheel to pinpoint and eliminate bad driving habits.

Create a culture of safe driving in your firm

While a once-off ‘drive safely’ campaign might be useful, in the long run, more will be needed. To keep the issue of safe driving on your drivers’ minds, consider doing the following:

Involve managers. Managers are in closer contact with drivers than the top management team. Start by making sure safe driving is one of their top priorities and request them to regularly stress the importance of this whenever they are in contact with drivers.

Safety meetings. Safe driving is important enough to warrant a regular meeting where you, for example, get someone from outside the firm to give a talk on this topic. It will also go a long way to keep safe driving on everyone’s mind.

Memos, emails, and newsletters. On their own, these are not enough. But when used as part of an ongoing safe driving campaign, they can help to keep the message alive. If one of your drivers, for example, celebrates 10 violation-free years, use one or more of these to make sure everyone knows about it.

Sources:

https://www.mixtelematics.com/safety
https://www.transpoco.com/blog/how-to-reduce-fleet-vehicle-accidents-starting-with-these-5-tips
https://www.automotive-fleet.com/340207/how-to-deal-with-high-risk-drivers
https://www.wilmarinc.com/blog/8-steps-to-handle-risky-drivers-in-your-fleet
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