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Fuel Management: Using Data to Beat the Summer Fuel Spikes

Whether you are in a fleet vehicle or your personal car or truck, chances are you have already started to feel the increased fuel prices that are common this time of the year. Budget-conscious fleets know that summer months bring increased travel and higher than average fuel prices.

So how can you stay ahead of the curve and still meet demand?

You might be surprised to learn that the secret may lie in the technology that you utilize to manage your fleet. As fleet technology has continued to evolve, fuel management has become a central cog in lowering operating costs and maximizing profitability.

Like a Clint Eastwood western, there are several pieces to creating a foolproof fuel management program. Each has its own role, some are central characters and others are dust in the wind. Let’s dive into the good, the bad, and the costly when it comes to fuel management.

Use Data to Your Advantage

Fleets have never been more connected and all of those integrations that you trudged through are finally ready to ride in like the hero and provide actionable insights. The biggest challenge that many fleets encounter is wading through all of the data to find exactly what information they can use to curb rising fuel costs. Below are four key areas where fleet management technology can help you at the pump.

Driver Behaviors

No one likes to have a big brother watch over their shoulder constantly, but the data that driver actions provide can help create a well-rounded fuel management culture. Correctable issues like speeding or harsh braking can all lead to excess fuel consumption. Leveraging these data points can help fleets improve fleet safety and overall fuel efficiency.

Idling Time

Outside of normal operations, idling is the second-largest culprit of fuel consumption. On average a long-haul truck will idle 1,800 hours per year. That translates to approximately 1,500 gallons of fuel consumed when the truck is not operational. Managing your fleet’s idling time can drastically reduce fleetwide fuel costs.

Route Optimization

We are all guilty of taking the scenic route, or the one that is closest to the Chipotle that we love. Isolated incidents will not have major implications, but fleets that have trucks constantly adding unnecessary mileage each day will quickly rack up. Dialing in your route optimization tools can save as much as 20% in mileage and allow you to add capacity without growing your fleet.

Leverage Bypass Systems

Fleets that are subject to the weigh station system know the sting that being stuck at a station for even a short period of time can bring. Systems, such as Drivewyze, now exist to help drivers bypass weigh stations whenever possible, saving time and fuel. Regional fleets can waste as much as 150 gallons of fuel per truck annually. For a 25 truck fleet that equates to 3,750 gallons of fuel, and at the current national average of $3.21/gallon, that would total $12,037.50.

Finding a Fuel Management System

Acknowledging that fuel management can have a tremendous impact on your fleet’s monthly operating costs is just the first step. Implementing a system to help you crunch the data and provide actionable metrics is the next. The Argos Connected Solutions team has become a trusted source in helping fleets of all shapes and sizes cut through the fluff and implement easy-to-use fleet management solutions. Connect with our team today to learn more about Geotab and our other offerings.

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