How to Optimize Fleet Fuel Efficiency: 5 Tips

How to Optimize Fleet Fuel Efficiency: 5 Tips

May 24, 2023

Especially as fuel prices fluctuate, optimizing fuel efficiency is top of mind for fleet managers everywhere. Searching for solutions in terms of how to improve fleet fuel efficiency can feel frustrating and time-consuming in itself, but there are various ways to move the needle. Learn how to save costs and help the environment using fleet telematics and fuel efficiency. 

Importance of Fuel Efficiency for Fleets

The primary motivation for fleets to strive for better fuel efficiency is cost savings. While fleet managers cannot control fuel prices, they can control how much fuel they use. Improving fuel efficiency can help fleet managers shift their bottom line and become more profitable.

Additionally, optimizing fleet fuel efficiency can also help fleets lower their environmental impact. Using less fuel and contributing to fewer emissions helps mitigate the environmental damage to the community as a whole. These five tips can help fleets discover how to improve fleet fuel efficiency.

1. Use Fuel Tracking Technology

Leveraging fleet telematics and fuel efficiency best practices can help fleets cut down costs and benefit the environment. New technology allows fleet managers to monitor and respond to their fuel consumption in real-time. 

Fleet managers have various fleet telematics systems to choose from. These systems combine GPS tracking, real-time communication, fuel diagnostics and more. By connecting each fleet vehicle with the dispatching office, fleet telematics systems allow for a robust understanding of fuel consumption and areas for improvement. Fleet managers can leverage the data in real-time and analyze ongoing trends to optimize fuel efficiency over time. 

2. Choose Efficient Routes

toy fleets on the route map

Utilizing fleet telematics and fuel efficiency goals to plan out routes can drastically reduce fuel consumption. Leveraging the latest technology to analyze traffic and road conditions allows for more efficient routes and reduced fuel costs. 

Fleet managers can consider implementing these practices for the best fuel efficiency when planning routes:

  • Make high-traffic areas off-limits during peak traffic times.
  • Avoid left turns whenever possible.
  • Opt for routes with fewer stoplights.
  • Opt for routes with flat terrain.
  • Leverage route optimization software.

Each of these practices contributes to driving down idling time and improving fuel efficiency for the fleet as a whole. 

3. Provide Training on Efficient Driving

When most fleets strategize about how to improve fleet fuel efficiency, they first think about mapping out efficient routes. However, even the smallest driver practices can have important impacts on fuel usage over time. In fact, studies show that well-trained drivers utilize 35% less fuel than those who have not been trained on fuel-efficient driving techniques. Incorporating training on efficient driving is one of the best ways to cut down on fuel usage and costs. 

Efficient driving includes practices such as:

  • Avoiding aggressive driving like sudden speed increases
  • Braking and accelerating gradually
  • Following techniques for shifting efficiently 
  • Limiting the use of four-wheel drive
  • Leveraging cruise control on highways to keep a steady speed
  • Anticipating traffic flow in order to cut down on stops and starts
  • Coasting as much as possible
  • Cutting down on unnecessary idling

Each of these technique shifts may appear small when taken alone. However, together and over time, these best practices can help reduce overall fuel consumption and protect overall budgets. 

4. Cool Down Wisely

Fleet or Convoy of big transportation trucks in line on a countryside highway under a blue sky

In the summertime, many fleets notice an increase in fuel usage. This is because running the air conditioning all day can be extremely costly in terms of fuel. In training drivers to be more fuel-conscious, one crucial element to discuss is temperature control. Keeping drivers comfortable is very important, and encouraging strategies for fuel-efficient cooling can work wonders for fleet fuel efficiency. 

On hot summer days, it’s best to:

  • Set air conditioning targets to 72 degrees or above
  • Crack windows instead of rolling them all the way down
  • Use the “vent” or “outside air” settings
  • Turn the air conditioning off whenever possible
  • Carry plenty of cold water

Wide-open windows and constantly-running air conditioning can severely damage a fleet’s fuel efficiency. Striking a balance that allows for comfortable driving conditions without wasting fuel and energy is key to optimizing fleet budgets and fuel use. 

5. Maintain Your Fleet

Another key component in how to improve fleet fuel efficiency is performing ongoing maintenance. Preventive maintenance keeps drivers and the larger community safe, and it also ensures that all aspects of the fleet are running at the highest possible capacity. Keeping up with tire pressure and alignment, air filters, oil changes, engine tuning and more can make a world of difference in a fleet’s fuel use. 

an experts changing oil on the fleet truck

To save on even more fuel, opt for mobile fleet maintenance. With a qualified team of expert technicians right at your lot, never worry about working a maintenance stop into your routes again. Torque makes it easy to schedule routine maintenance without spending extra fuel or hours taking each vehicle to a shop. Stay on top of all maintenance needs and save on fuel costs with pay-as-you-go services on your schedule. Get started today!

With Torque, your fleet is in safe hands.

Get in touch with our expert team today.
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