Fuel Usage Got You Down? Here's What You Can Do About It
It’s no secret that fleet fuel costs can take a big bite out of a company’s budget. But what happens when fuel usage gets out of hand, despite your best efforts? Don’t throw in the towel just yet! There are a few things you can do to take control of your fuel budget and prevent future overages.
Calculating fuel usage: not rocket science
If you want to figure out how much fuel your assets are using, you don’t need a degree in rocket science. All you have to do is divide the mileage by the amount of fuel it takes to refill the tank and multiply that by the cost of the fuel. If that sounds too complicated, don’t worry; there are plenty of tools out there that can help you keep track of your fuel expenses and your assets’ usage.
Why fuel overages happen
Fuel overages can be caused by a variety of factors. It could be high gas prices, a lack of competitive pricing in your area, bad driver behavior, mechanical issues, or even fuel theft.
No need to panic: here's what you can do
If you’re facing a fuel overage, don’t panic! There are plenty of ways to cut costs without sacrificing efficiency.
Find ways to make fuel purchasing more predictable
Buying fuel in bulk can be a great way to create some level of standardization in fuel purchasing. You can work with a third-party supplier to have your fuel delivered to you on a recurring basis at a set price, which means you don’t have to deal with any variability at the pump.
Invest in a fuel card
Fuel cards can give you a lot of visibility into fuel purchasing that receipts alone won’t give you. You’ll be able to see exactly how much is being spent at the pump, when it’s being spent, which makes it a lot easier to track down any potential fuel theft or just bad fueling practices. Many fuel cards can even be synced with other fleet management software, so not only can you track the dollars you’re spending on fuel, but you can also see how it relates to your total cost of ownership and utilization data.
Analyze driver behavior with telematics
Telematics devices are synonymous with fleet management these days, and you can use the data you get from those devices to track routes, idling, downtime from stops, and other data points that can show you if drivers are making decisions that could impact fuel usage.
Stay on top of inspections and preventive maintenance
The best way to guarantee fuel efficiency is to make sure that your assets are running properly, and the best way to achieve that is with daily vehicle inspections and regular preventive maintenance. Inspections allow you to get ahead of potential issues as they’re noticed by drivers, and having a solid preventive maintenance schedule will keep vehicles within manufacturer guidelines for maximizing fuel efficiency.
In conclusion, fuel costs are a significant expense for any company with a fleet of vehicles. However, there are ways to take control of your fuel budget and prevent overages. By analyzing fuel usage, identifying the reasons behind fuel overages, and implementing measures such as bulk purchasing, fuel cards, telematics, and preventive maintenance, fleet managers can reduce fuel costs without compromising the efficiency of their operations. By staying vigilant and taking proactive steps to manage fuel usage, companies can save money and improve their bottom line.