Ongoing measurement and an open, transparent reporting structure providing direct driver feedback ensures drivers become aware of, and responsible for, their performance. Incentives and awards have a role to play too.
Operators should establish a purchasing policy rather than just leaving it to the driver to fill up where and when it suits them.
Many fleets reported they actively encourage the use of supermarket forecourts by allowing drivers to collect the various incentive points available. This does, of course, need to be balanced against drivers travelling too far in seeking out the cheapest fuel at the expense of added mileage.
Consider the use of speed limiters and, perhaps, rev limiters. Significant fuel savings can be achieved with negligible impact on journey times.
Look at the vehicle itself. Is it properly maintained? Are tyre pressures optimal? Does it need that roof rack? There are many simple checks that operators can make on their vehicles which will save fuel.
Is the vehicle carrying unnecessary weight? Many operators using vehicles as mobile workstations reported they regularly identified vehicles carrying tools and equipment that were rarely used or that had accumulated extra items or supplies over time. Extra weight will impact on economy. If you’re towing equipment, could that equipment be delivered to site ahead of your workforce?
Are you managing vehicle idling time? Only 29% of fleets regularly monitor it.
Is that journey necessary? It sounds obvious, but a fleet involved in the distribution of retail products realised a reduction of more than 10% in mileage simply by calling ahead to ensure the recipient was available and by consolidating deliveries.
The take-home message is that there are many measures operators should explore. Each may only have a small impact on costs, but added together many respondents are reporting savings of 10-15% and beyond.
With the Olympic Games just around the corner, note this quote from Dave Brailsford, the boss of the Great Britain cycling team,. He recognises there is no single way to achieve success and it’s all about ‘the aggregation of marginal gains’; a percentage here and a percentage there…
The same message applies in operators’ quest to reduce and control fuel expenditure.