Four tips on saving fleet and fuel costs

An effective fleet management is not just for large companies, but can be beneficial for small companies too. Untracked cost of fuel for exemple, can be subject to misuse or abuse by drivers. Fuel management tools can save costs on GPS tracking and other modes of vehicle tracking as well.

Other than integrating a fuel management system with your fleet business, owners can take some key steps to further reduce their expense. Preventive rather than reactive maintenance s is also a key factor in cutting down costs. Keeping a log of fuel consumption and maintaining proper logs is key to cost savings.

  • 1. Budget Vehicle Selection – Leasing vs. Buying

Leasing vehicles has become a cost-effective option for fleet owners that want flexibility with their cars. From short term rentals to long term, the ability to renew your lease and upgrade to a new vehicle every few years is extremely appealing for any driver in the company.

It is important that once your vehicle has reached the end of its cycle it is then replaced. Pushing your vehicle over its intended lifecycle may get you by in the short term, but the maintenance and costs surrounding it work out much more expensive in the long run. A lease contract can avoid this because you leave the maintenance risks with the lease company for a monthly fee.

  • 2. Improving Driving Habits

Training drivers and vehicle operators won’t just cut back on the fuel costs, but it will also result in keeping the overall performance and safety of your fleet at optimal level. Risky behaviour should be eliminated – from excessive speeding to rapid acceleration and braking.  By promoting changes to the way people in your organisation drive, there can be substantial savings made. A reward systems in place and preventive driving can help to encourage more positive driving habits.

  • 3. Downsizing the Fleet (De-fleeting)

What fleet manager wants fewer vehicles, and a smaller fleet? Won’t that diminish the volume incentives suppliers provide? Large fleet of vehicles usually have more vehicles than they should. These include surplus vehicles, which branches and other field locations quietly keep in service for pool use.  These and other situations swell the vehicle inventory and inflate fleet costs. Whether it is part of the fleet operation, nearly every company has a car allowance option as an alternative, for employees who may occasionally drive on business. Defleeting is the other side of the story, when a company does not need a part of their fleet anymore. The conscious fleet manager knows this can happen multiple times during a fleet cycle. But if this is in the best interest of the company, the fleet owner/the management will appreciate the defleeting actions on behalf of the fleet manager.

  • 4. Introduce staff to new technology with your fleet

The way that technology is presented can make all of the difference. Instead of discussing the ways in which the new technologies will impact the company, position it a bit differently. You may see more ‘buy-in’ from employees if you highlight how the new tech will make a difference in their work life and drive experience.

There are no dumb questions (maybe just dumb answers). So encourage questions. Sometimes people are embarrassed about not understanding a new solution, which can make someone think twice about asking questions. Break them out of that mind-set and encourage them to ask questions. Reinforce the fact that most of the staff members are new to the fleet management technology (like telematics), and it’s normal to take some time to use it properly.

Lucian Vinatoriu

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