4 ways to cut costs by raising MPG
Source: FleetAnswers If you were to interview a handful of fleet managers and ask them what their primary concern is, and chances are the majority will answer "cost savings." When some costs, like the cost of fuel, are not fluid, fleet management professionals must find other ways to lower their costs. Increasing the miles per gallon (MPG) on vehicles is one option, and a few small changes can make a big difference in the amount of miles each gallon of fuel gives to your fleet.
Reduce the Size and Weight of Vehicles
If you will be adding new vehicles to the fleet soon, consider the size and weight of the vehicles. Lightweight materials make a big difference in the MPG of the vehicle. Ford showed this in the recent switch to the aluminum body of its 2015 Ford F-150, which is lighter than its steel and iron counterparts, and as a result gets better MPG.
In addition, make sure the vehicle is the right size for the job you have at hand. If you have a large cargo van that you use to transport small items to customer homes, you may be losing money through wasted fuel because the vehicle is too large. Take time to understand the business's requirements, then ensure that the vehicles match.
Technology can help increase MPG as well. One way to add technology to your fleet is to add alternative fuel vehicles, but this may not be a cost-saving option because of the higher purchase price. Another option is to purchase diesel engine vehicles instead of gasoline vehicles. Technology in engines has helped push the 40 mpg mark on light-duty vehicles, so shop carefully when adding a car to your fleet.
Some managers may be tempted to utilize fuel additives or other aftermarket devices to increase MPG. There are no proven studies that these products work, so proceed with caution.
Modify Driver Behavior
Are you monitoring driver behavior? Many actions that are common among fleet drivers, such as hard braking, excessive idling, inconsistent speeds or using air conditioning when it is not needed, can drive up MPG.
The best way to address driver behavior is through improved driver training and education. Do not expect drivers to automatically know how to lower MPG through their behavior. Teach them, then provide accountability for their behavior.
Install Fleet Tracking
Fleet tracking can help increase MPG by giving you a way to track driver behavior and reward those drivers who are saving fuel through their driving practices. Since the EPA estimates that a driver can impact fuel efficiency by up to 33 percent, this step can be a crucial part of the puzzle.
As you look for ways to lower costs around your fleet, do not neglect the impact of miles per gallon. With a little bit of attention, you can eek more miles out of each of your cars, lowering fuel expenses even while fuel costs remain high.
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