Construction fleet operators are paying up to twice as much for fuel, following changes to red diesel legislation.
As of April 1, the government banned the use of red diesel in vehicles that are used for construction work. The move is intended to help the UK meet its net-zero ambitions.
RAM Tracking said the rule change could not have come at a worse time for fleets that use vehicles for construction work. Since the start of the year, the average price of a litre of normal diesel has increased by 28.21p a litre.
Businesses that use construction vehicles are therefore set to see their fuel bills increase dramatically. For instance, a Hitachi ZX210 21-ton excavator has a 400-litre fuel tank capacity. On January 3, 2022, it would have cost around £360 to fill the tank with red diesel. As of May 2, 2022, it would cost roughly £700 to fill the same vehicle with normal diesel.
Nick McClellan, managing director at RAM Tracking, said: “Fuel duty adds almost 58p per litre to the price of fuel and with prices in the UK having recently hit a new record high, with the average cost of diesel at £1.77 a litre, so the change in rules will be a kick in the teeth for businesses that have to use heavy equipment on a daily basis.
He suggested that businesses can encourage their drivers to make some minor changes in order to gain further fuel savings.
“RAM predicts that businesses that use construction vehicles could easily see their fuel bills double as a result of this change in ruling.
“At a time of high costs of living and rising energy prices, it’s worth changing driver behaviour to minimise burning precious fuel, such as avoid idling for too long, keeping tyres pumped up, not going too fast or too slow, avoiding braking aggressively and better route optimisation,” McClellan said.