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Posted by Praful Pasarkar

A fuel waster is a money waster. No doubt about it. There’s an unbreakable bond between your fuel spend and your bottom line. In other words: if you want to be as profitable as possible, you need to use fuel as efficiently as possible.

And it needn’t be difficult. Even savings that look small on an individual vehicle basis add up fast when implemented across your fleet. Here are five of the biggest fuel wasters you should aim to bring under control.

1. Engine idling

The engine is ticking over. But the vehicle is going nowhere. Perhaps your driver has left the engine running while making a delivery. Or maybe they are using the climate control during a break. Whatever the reason behind it, engine idling is costly. Figures from Ford show that one hour of engine idling equates to 25 miles of driving, making it the number one bad habit to nix if you want to reduce your fuel spend.

2. Speeding

Driver behaviour has a massive impact on fuel consumption. Figures from the AA show that travelling on a motorway at 80-85mph, rather than 70mph, can increase fuel consumption by more than 25%. And travelling at 65mph uses up to 15% more fuel than driving at 55 mph. Without fleet management technology, you have no way of knowing what’s happening behind the wheel.

3. Incorrect routing

The larger your fleet, the more important dispatching becomes. But it’s not easy. With multiple vehicles visiting multiple locations day in, day out, staying on top of routing is a challenge. But can you be sure that your drivers are going from place to place using the most efficient route possible? Can they react to live traffic conditions to avoid flare-ups of congestion? If your drivers are using anything but the most efficient routes, your business is losing money.

4. Out of hours usage

Without a log of the locations your vehicles have visited, you have no way of knowing whether your drivers are using business vehicles out of hours for personal errands or side-jobs. That’s a problem. Unauthorised usage adds to fuel costs as well as vehicle maintenance costs. Many businesses implement vehicle tracking technology to improve dispatching, then inadvertently crack down on a major vehicle usage problem they didn’t even know they had.

5. Maintenance checks

When you skip routine maintenance checks, you give up the opportunity to identify small problems before they develop into something that takes a vehicle off the road and costs a fortune to repair. Even something as mundane as tyre pressure checks can make a huge difference. When a tyre is 4-5 psi below the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, vehicle fuel consumption increases by 10% and reduces the lifespan of the tyre too.

What next

There are a huge number of variables in play when it comes to fleet management. Fuel costs can be impacted at the granular level by a driver who accelerates too rapidly or brakes too harshly, or at a more global level by a fleet of drivers using their vehicles out of hours. Company policies and driver training can help. But the only foolproof way of getting a grip on your fleet management costs is to implement advanced telematics technology such as Movolytics.

If you are unsure of how much your fleet could save by using fleet management systems, try our brand new fuel savings calculator. You will see in pounds and pence how much our system can help you save.

Fuel saver calculator by fleet size and miles per gallon

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Praful Pasarkar

I am the first person to join Movolytics. I spend my time ensuring that my team delivers a much loved product which is clean, clear and concise using the latest technologies available in the IoT industry. I listen to our customers, who inform us of any needs for new features that we should add in to our product. When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with family & friends and coach Under 11 cricket team in Yateley Cricket Club.