Whether you’re a small, medium or large fleet-based company in Australia, you need to give some consideration to fuel trackers and how you can use fuel tracking technology to reduce the costs of your business and increase fuel efficiency.
Petrol consumption and car fuel consumption is a hotbed for losing money for Australian businesses and individuals. Knowing your fuel usage and maximising efficiency is the key to learning how to save fuel. Using a fuel tracker puts the facts at your fingertips allowing you to keep accurate records of your fuel mileage and ultimately improve fuel consumption.
- What are fuel trackers?
- What are fuel savers?
- What are fuel mileage trackers?
- Benefits of fuel trackers
- Top 10 tips on how to reduce fuel costs
- Fuel tracking case studies
What are Fuel Trackers & How Do They Reduce Fuel Costs?
Fuel is always a major cost in a fleet-based business. If you can therefore increase fuel efficiency, you can save money. This is the aim of fuel trackers. Fuel trackers identify the areas of fleet fuel consumption where there is room for improvement. They are a critical component in your fleet management system when it comes to cost saving.
Fuel Trackers are designed to save fuel by:
- Reducing vehicle speed, therefore increasing vehicle fuel efficiency
- Decreasing vehicle idling times, therefore saving fuel
- Improving routing and dispatching capabilities, therefore optimising fuel mileage
- Allowing for well-honed maintenance schedules through alert setting for specific mileage, therefore improving fuel economy across the fleet
- Integrating data with fuel cards and reports, therefore saving you money on wage costs and fuel costs alike
Fuel Trackers come in several different forms with various different functionalities. The very best combine GPS tracking systems with alerts allowing you to see immediately where fuel cost savings can be made across your fleet, whether you have one vehicle or hundreds.
Other Fuel Saving Devices
What are Fuel Savers & Are They Useful Fuel Saving Devices?
Fuel Savers are considerably different pieces of kit to fuel trackers. Fuel savers are, put simply, a magnet device which is installed as an attachment to your fuel line. The concept behind a fuel saver is to save fuel overall by making vehicle engines more fuel efficient. By making vehicle engines cleaner they have better horsepower for fuel input. In brief, fuel savers aim to optimise ignition, airflow and fuel flow to maximise fuel efficiency. However, it must be noted that fuel savers are not the same as fuel trackers, which are technological devices designed to fuel savings opportunities.
What are Fuel Mileage Trackers & Can They Increase Fuel Economy?
Mileage trackers record mileage done by a vehicle. Often part of a wider GPS tracking system, or a fuel tracking system, mileage trackers utilise GPS to monitor, record and verify mileage records. This enables fleet-based businesses to identify and tally mileage logs compared to fuel logs. Business mileage trackers are essential for fleet based businesses wanting to take full control over fuel costs and improve fleet operations, such as improve route planning to reduce mileage, to drive better value from your fleet.
Benefits of Fuel Trackers
The benefits of fuel trackers are far ranging. The biggest is the positive effect on your bottom line. A good fuel tracker will bring you the following benefits:
- Cut fuel costs
- Save money on fuel consumption
- Reduce emissions and the carbon footprint of your fleet
- Improve and increase productivity
- Reduce mileage and extend the lifespan of your fleet
- Enable a more efficient dispatch service improving customer service as well as reducing costs
Top 10 Tips on How to Increase Fuel Economy and Reduce Fuel Costs
- Take the Most Direct Route: Using a fuel tracker as part of a wider fleet management system will allow you to reduce fuel costs simply by taking the most direct route from A to B. Taking this one step further, you can utilise a fuel tracker to identify better and more optimised routes for your fleet, such as those avoiding red lights, wait times, and stop-start traffic.
- Reduce Idling Time: Idling costs your business money. Idling is fuel wasted whilst sitting still with the engine running. Whilst it may not be economical to switch the engine on and off in certain traffic conditions, it is worth turning the engine off when idling will be more than 1 minute, for example at pick-ups and drop-offs. A fuel tracker enables you to better train and educate your drivers on the cost of idling.
- Speeding Stopped: For every 5 mph over 60 mph a vehicle wastes up to $0.24, so it makes sense to get on top of speeding within your fleet. Optimising speed across your fleet leads to better fuel economy. Fuel trackers also feed in to GPS tracking data collected to ensure speeding is eliminated across your fleet, thereby making you more compliant with Australian Law.
- Monitor Fuel with Your Fuel Tracker: A fuel tracker allows you to quantifiably and accurately identify areas where changes can be made to improve fuel economy. You can identify real tangible weaknesses in your fleet and make them more efficient. By having the tools to measure fuel economy over consistent or repetitive trips and looking at this data in light of driving behaviour, it allows you to see which changes you can make and which will be worthwhile.
- Maintenance Costs Under Control: When you link fuel trackers to your wider fleet-based technology then you can keep your vehicles well-maintained and ultimately make them more economical. For example, you can link tyre checks to mileage making sure your fleet’s tyres are consistently at optimum pressure, as well as legal and compliant with Australian Law.
- Decrease Harsh Acceleration: Fuel guzzling happens when drivers operate your vehicles with harsh or undue acceleration. This style of driving requires more effort from your engine than maintaining a constant optimum speed. This is why cruise control is a good option for maintaining fuel efficiency. Revving wastes fuel and a fuel tracker will enable you to prevent wastage on excess energy on repeated deceleration and acceleration.
- Harsh Braking: Harsh Braking is known to be fuel inefficient. A good fuel tracker will enable you to monitor harsh braking within your fleet and eliminate it, thereby reducing fuel costs.
- Unnecessary Air Conditioning Use: Sophisticated fuel trackers enable you to identify where fuel is being used wastefully through excess air conditioning usage.
- Traffic Monitoring:Traffic can be an enemy to fleet-based businesses in more than one way. Not only does traffic slow down and hinder on-time deliveries and routes, it also doesn’t make for fuel efficient driving conditions. Fuel trackers, linked to fleet management software, allows or route optimisation and an ability to redirect your fleet avoiding traffic-heavy fuel-consuming hotspots.
- Getting the Right Gear: Another aspect of driver behaviour that can be monitored and reduced through the use of a fuel tracker is a propensity for some drivers to drive in too high a gear. Driving in low gears at high speed is not fuel efficient.
Fuel Tracker Case Studies – See How Fuel Trackers Can Save You Money
The following case studies outline how the installation of a fleet management fuel tracker system makes sound economic sense for any fleet based business.
Fuel costs cut by 50%, saving approx $7k per month
Tech A.I.R., heating, air conditioning and refrigeration specialists, saw their fuel costs drop by over 50%, giving them a tangible saving of approximately $7k per month. The nature of the Tech A.I.R. fleet was constant stop-start driving in heavy traffic conditions. The Navman Wireless fleet management solution connected to the data intelligence suite enabled Tech A.I.R. to decrease fuel usage. They used real-time data and analytical tools to reduce idling times, ensure route compliance (in order to eliminate excess mileage), and control speeding.
Annual savings equivalent to approx $310k
Alliance Commercial Pest Control have a fleet of 14 vehicles and wanted to better manage their payroll and fuel costs without impacting on the overall service of their business. By using Navman Wireless, Alliance Commercial Pest Control made overall annual operational savings equivalent to approximately $310k, of which fuel savings contributed $71 per vehicle per month. Alliance had found that by letting their drivers self-report their hours led to excessive overtime through dishonesty. Using Navman Wireless they can compare timesheets with activity reports. In addition, they are seeing more efficient routes. Navman Wireless also enables them to use tracking tools that detect inappropriate vehicle usage and unauthorised route stops. The tracker also allows them to establish vehicle maintenance reports to schedule preventative maintenance; reduce overall speeding across the fleet; utilise GPS tracking and activity reports to get rid of moonlighting (common within their industry); as well as providing accurate arrival and delivery times.
Annual savings of $21k
Atlas Towing Services are a vehicle recovery service operating with 32 vehicles. They wanted to improve dispatching efficiency as well as reduce fuel costs. Through Fleetmatics they were able to accurately monitor idling times, getting rid of unnecessary mileage, increasing their driver accountability and ultimately improving their customer service. Fleetmatics enabled Atlas to save fuel costs, improve routing, decrease overall mileage and eliminate excess idling. The result in the first year alone was a saving equivalent to nearly $21k ASD.
Saved over $75k in wages and approx $26k in fuel
Using Fleetmatics, Waverly Landscape Associates introduced a fleet management system across their fleet of 61 vehicles. They needed real time costs of jobs and an understanding of the impact that idling was having one their fleet fuel costs. Waverly Landscape Associates had seen their fuel costs increases, in large part due to inefficient routing. Additionally, they needed to improve their fleet visibility for security purposes. Fleetmatics enabled them to significantly reduce idling and overall fleet expenses. An added benefit was more accurate job costing and more efficient routing. It also eliminated unauthorised use of vehicles. In the first year of using Fleetmatics, Waverly Landscape Associates saved over $75k (ASD) in wages and approximately $26k (ASD) in fuel.