Reduce Fuel Costs with Fleet Tracking

Fuel is a necessity for your small or medium business. When prices rise unexpectedly, you are stuck with having to pay high prices for fuel.

Fleet tracking can increase vehicle fuel efficiency by identifying where in your fleet there is room for improvement. Once you know where fuel is slipping through the cracks, you can take steps to reduce your fuel costs.

Fleet tracking can help you reduce fuel costs in several ways:

Reducing Vehicle Speed

According to the Automobile Association (AA), travelling on a motorway at 80-85mph, rather than 70mph, can increase fuel consumption by 25% or more. Multiply that cost across several vehicles and you have a huge source of cost leakage.

Most GPS vehicle tracking solutions provide accurate speed information about each vehicle tracked. But the best GPS solutions also include alerting features that will notify you immediately when a vehicle exceeds a set speed threshold.

Morayshire-based Heatcare Oil & Gas Ltd holds contracts with ten major housing association, servicing around 10,000 homes across the North East of Scotland. Since installing GPS vehicle tracking, the company has experienced significant improvements in driving behaviour.

"All our vehicles are branded, so it is important that our engineers are complying with the speed limits and rules of the road as they are representing the company," says Darren McLeod, Director of Heatcare Oil & Gas. "Fleetmatics monitors and alerts me to excessive idling times, use of the vehicles out of hours, and speeding violations, which can then be dealt with quickly and effectively. Keeping a close eye on each vehicle's activities has also helped the company save a great deal on fuel costs." 

The speed monitoring feature of GPS has really helped to slow the drivers down and consequently has contributed to our reduced fuel costs,” said Lisa Slade, Logistics Coordinator at Brenner Oil. “Drivers know I watch their speed, and I even get some calling me up to ask how fast the system says they are going.”

Decreasing Idle Times

The UK Vehicle Certification Agency states that idling can have a significant impact on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions and that switching the engine off is always advisable when staying at a standstill for more than a minute.(http://www.dft.gov.uk/vca/fcb/smarter-driving-tips.asp). According to the Automobile Association (AA), stopping then starting again uses more fuel than rolling and turning the engine off for a wait of around a minute or more will save fuel (http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/fuels-and-environment/drive-smart.html).  

Quality GPS tracking systems help you to reduce fuel costs by notifying you when a vehicle idles for excessive periods of time, which can waste fuel and decrease productivity.

Prior to implementing a GPS tracking system, Cambridgeshire-based coach hire firm Robinson Kimbolton had no way of knowing whether vehicles were idling or not. With GPS installed, Mr Robinson can run a report in a few seconds that provides a detailed account of idling time for each vehicle.  

“Since installing the Fleetmatics system idling time has dropped by 10’s of hours per week,” says Mr Robinson. “We estimate that it costs as least a gallon in fuel for every hour of idling. Our fuel bill had risen from 11 percent to 21 percent of our company’s cost over 6 years; I would estimate that we have reduced our fuel bill by approximately 10 percent since installing the Fleetmatics system.”

Improved Routing and Dispatching

Since GPS truck tracking allows you to know the precise location of every vehicle, dispatchers can more effectively manage routing and dispatching. Dispatchers can ensure vehicles take the most direct route to any job site and can get lost drivers back on track. The best GPS fleet tracking solutions also provide current traffic conditions so you can divert drivers around delays resulting in improved truck fuel efficiency.

Some GPS solutions have the ability to locate the vehicles that are closest to any job site. With this information, managers can ensure jobs are assigned in the most efficient manner possible. In addition, fleet managers will know if drivers use vehicles for unauthorised journeys or purposely take extended routes to job sites.

Once Surrey-based B&K Boilers Services implemented their GPS solution, the scheduling of jobs became very efficient and effective. “Previously, the average number of jobs completed by an engineer was between 8 to 9 jobs a day, it’s now 9-10 – the Fleetmatics GPS system has paid for itself 10 times over,” said Company Owner Mark Worthington. “We don’t have to keep phoning up and disturbing our engineers during a job and, by using the live traffic alerts, we can advise them when to use an alternative route to avoid traffic jams.”

With proper routing management and effective dispatching, vehicles do not spend as much time travelling between jobs. Shorter travel times means reduced fuel costs and more efficient vehicles.

Proper Vehicle Maintenance

Vehicles that receive regular maintenance run more efficiently and use less fuel than neglected vehicles.

A quality GPS fleet tracking system will also allow you to ensure your vehicles receive proper maintenance. Alerts can be set for each vehicle based on calendar time, engine on-time, or mileage depending on the type of service needed. When a vehicle is due for maintenance, you are notified via email or in the reporting suite.

A proactive vehicle maintenance program can also reduce the chance of your vehicles malfunctioning on the roadways and causing serious accidents. In addition, properly maintained vehicles help save your assets by keeping vehicles on the road to do more business and costing less money in repairs over time.

Fuel Card Integration

Many fleet managers use fuel cards to help control and manage fuel costs. Fuel Card integration with a GPS fleet tracking system will give you complete visibility over your fuel spend.

Reports generated by fuel card companies are notoriously long and complicated. A GPS tracking system that allows you to integrate fuel card usage will present the information in an easy format.

You will get precise fueling information for your overall fleet, as well as individual fuel usage of a specific vehicle. You can easily pinpoint any fuel wasting practices, or outright fuel theft.

Reliable card transaction information allows you to track accurate MPG, pinpoint the direct cause of high fuel consumption, eliminate fuel slippage, enforce fuel-saving driving habits, ensure your vehicles run efficiently and ultimately reduce fuel costs.

Fleetmatics can help your company spend less on fuel with automatic alerts. Be alerted when your vehicles idle over your set threshold of time, when they are started up outside of work hours, or when they leave a certain area.