Fuel Economy: Learning to Cut Costs in the Transportation Industry

Fuel is one of the biggest, if not the most significant expense for a transportation business. When business owners focus on fuel efficiency it can bring increased savings. According to AAA, the average cost of diesel fuel in the United States is $5.36. One year ago, the cost of diesel fuel was $3.64. With higher fuel costs, it’s imperative that business owners find ways to cut costs by implementing fuel-efficient practices.

Five Ways To Be Fuel Efficient

  1. Manage Vehicle Speed – A speed of 60-65 miles per hour is considered a “sweet spot” for many 18-wheelers. Drivers can see almost a 30% fuel consumption improvement when traveling 65 mph rather than 75 mph. You can do this by keeping an eye on the speedometer or using the truck’s engine control module or ECM.
  1. Lighten Your Load – Don’t add any unnecessary weight onto your vehicle. It will increase the amount of diesel fuel needed to get you to your destination. Every extra 100 pounds can increase fuel costs by $0.03 cents per gallon. This doesn’t sound like much but it can quickly add up over the course of a trip.
  1. Choose the Right Tires – If you use low-rolling resistance tires you can improve fuel efficiency. Wide-based tires can also bring fuel savings compared to dual tires. It’s also a good idea to monitor tire pressure. If there is less than 75% of the recommended tire pressure, it could lower your vehicle’s average fuel mileage.
  1. Avoid Engine Idling – Engine idling refers to the moments when a truck engine is running but is not moving. Some reports show that letting your engine idle for more than 10 seconds consumes more fuel than turning it off and starting it up again. Consider turning off your vehicle when you are waiting or making a delivery or stuck in traffic.
  1. Start Better Driving Patterns and Practices – According to the United States Department of Transportation, there can be as much as a 35% difference in fuel consumption between a good and a poor driver. Business owners should monitor speed, braking, and acceleration patterns. These are indicators of efficient driving. Also, you can use shorter truck routes to save on fuel costs as well as mapping out fuel stops. This will help drivers know where to find the closest and least expensive fuel options along their route. Allowing drivers to use GPS technology can aid with this.

Other Important Tips To Save on Fuel Costs

There are also other ways that you can save on fuel costs. These include:

  • Regular maintenance can lower fuel costs and extend the lifespan of the vehicle.
  • Send the closest, available vehicle to make a delivery or pickup.
  • Give drivers an incentive to practice efficient driving practices.

You Can Help Protect the Environment

Another benefit to practicing fuel efficiency is the environmental benefits. According to the American Trucking Association, trucking companies can use better practices and technology to reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions. This includes aerodynamics, fuel-efficient tires, idle reduction equipment, speed governors, and the use of lighter-weight equipment.

The Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Program provides grants and rebates that protect human health and improve air quality by reducing harmful emissions from diesel engines.

RRL Insurance: The Protection Your Business Needs

Along with managing fuel, it’s important to make sure your fleet of vehicles is protected with adequate insurance. We offer public auto, truckers, waste/recycle haulers, and construction equipment insurance. We can find you insurance solutions that are tailored to your needs, so you aren’t spending money on policies that don’t benefit your business. Contact us by clicking here to speak with a member of our team and receive a quote. We look forward to working with you!

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