ROSWELL, Ga. — Fuel prices are hovering near $4.00 per gallon nationally and are expected to go higher, but operators can take the following advice from Steve Eppinger, CEO of cloud-based vehicle management platform Ownersite.com
Look at MPG reduction potential cumulatively, not individually. The MPG loss from an out-of-tune engine (4%), under-inflated tires (1.5%), and the wrong oil (1.5%) combined is greater than driving at high speeds 20% of the time (6%). Run with increased rolling resistance tires and you’ll net another 4% increase in MPG for a total of 11%.
Evaluate fleet vehicles as a group and not just individually. Rank vehicle fuel economy (compared to what you expect) and then examine the worst underperformers more closely. If two 2006 Ford Econoline vans are 25% apart in fuel economy, the poorest performer—or its driver—needs serious help.
Track mileage with each fill-up individually, not just averaged over time, to pinpoint the underlying causes of bad fuel economy. Reasons for poor MPG can be very specific. For example, a driver who fills in on the weekends may have a lead foot or not know how to use the GPS efficiently, throwing off a vehicle’s figures for the entire week.
Get help in the form of tracking software. It’s not easy to stay on top of fuel-saving strategies unless you run an easy-to-use (preferably mobile) vehicle maintenance and management solution. The best programs not only track mileage and remind you to do important maintenance; they also generate reports that help you identify problems.
Eppinger also notes that operators can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25% through conservative driving and the use of cruise control.
Source: Ownersite Technologies