With the price of fuel soaring, many fleet operators are finding themselves in a difficult position, financial and operationally. So, we spoke to our engineering expert Gary Harrison, about some practical ways to reduce miles per gallon (MPG) and maximise fleet efficiency.
Our Top Tips
Lighten the load
Remove any unnecessary weight from your vehicles such as roof bars and boxes, excess tooling, or trailers. It all adds weight and reduces MPG. In the same vein, only fill your tank up if you need the fuel for a long journey, as that extra fuel adds weight too.
Test your tyres
Make sure your tyres are at the correct pressures, as this can have a significant impact on your MPG. Under inflated tyres use excess fuel. It they are filled to the correct PSI they will be more efficient. In addition, using good quality tyres with the best rolling resistance rating for decibel rating and grip gives better overall performance and improves energy efficiency.
Schedule a service
Make sure your vehicle is well maintained – poor engine servicing and sticking brakes for example, will all add to the amount of fuel you use. So will dirty oil, as this burns more fuel. Book in a service to make sure your vehicle is running as efficiently as it can.
Remove the strain
Take the pressure off the engine by turning off the air con and not leaving your vehicle idling while it warms up in the morning. Also, keep windows closed where possible to improve the aerodynamics.
Fuel for thought
Filling up at supermarkets can sometimes be cheaper than some of the larger, branded fuel stations.
Avoid motorway filling wherever possible. Motorway services are far more expensive than other fuel stations, so avoid if you can. If you must use a motorway service station, just add enough to ensure you can reach your local fuelling station.
Remember, most vehicles do not require the Super or Premium fuels. Regular unleaded or diesel fuels can be used to keep costs down.
Also, make the most of your fuel card or loyalty schemes and always remember to top up your points when you fill up your tank.
Optimise your routes
Make your journeys in the most effective and efficient routes possible. Work with your planning teams to find the optimum routes to avoid excess traffic, direct routes, links with customer deliveries and the least amount of excess travel.
Easing off acceleration, breaking more slowly and gently will improve your MPG. Think ahead whilst driving, this may allow you to avoid having to stop, at say a roundabout and allow you to continue in a higher gear. Implement a driver training session or send a reminder round to your team to get them to take their time.
Consider incentivising careful driving and fuel efficiencies achieved. Why not set up an MPG league where the highest MPG achieved could be rewarded and a level of healthy competition introduced to reach an overall company-wide fuel saving?
For more information on how we can help you manage your fleet more efficiently, go to: https://www.rivusgroup.co.uk/services/fleet-management/.