Fuel consumption is the second largest expense for any truck fleet and affects revenue more than anything besides labor. The long haul trucking industry has a thin profit margin, to begin with, and with the average truck drives thousands of kilometers each year fuel costs per unit to eat into the bottom line. When it comes to saving money; there are many things that you can do to stretch your company dollar.
Deadlines and delivery dates affect your bottom dollar but slowing down can have the same impact. Reducing your speed by just 15km per hour from 120km to 105 can reduce fuel consumption by 27%. With fuel prices rising and oil prices dropping, this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to lower your fleet’s fuel consumption and lessening the wear and tear on your engine as well.
Idling is a huge gas guzzler and during the Canadian winters, trying to eliminate idling is almost impossible. With many products and technologies on the market such as automatic engine shut down systems and truck stop electrification that will help reduce unnecessary idling, you can cut down on fuel consumption. The average long hauler can idle between 6-8 hours per day costing the fleet operator around $6000 per year per vehicle.
Maintaining a properly running engine and its components can save thousands of dollars per year. From tire pressure to regular cleaning of DOC and DPF Filters, every bit of maintenance will cut down on wear and tear as well as fuel consumption. DOC filters should be cleaned every six months to 1 year.The process only has a 24-hour turnaround for regular cleaning and can save up to 5% in your overall fuel economy. Using low viscosity lubricants reduces friction and energy losses and on axle and transmission parts can save up to 2% fuel consumption during our cold winter months.
When your drivers undergo drivers training and monitoring, the cost savings on fuel consumption are noteworthy. Studies have shown that drivers training can save over 1200 dollars per year which is about a 20% fuel consumption savings. Using cruise control, braking and accelerating smoothly, and block shifting are all skills that help in the amount of fuel your fleet consumes yearly.
Every fleet operator wants to maximize profit while minimizing costs. When you take into account the amount of money you could save by looking at your fleets habits and fuel consumption, the numbers are staggering. Start with regular maintenance of your long haulers, taking filter cleaning into account, then go down the checklist to see what other choices you can make to add extra profit to the bank and longevity within your fleet.