Have you noticed that the fuel bills within your company are creeping up? If you run a company with fleet vehicles it may be time for a ‘tool box talk’ with your staff, to open their eyes to their responsibilities whilst driving. Most won’t realise that their driving habits can have a direct impact on the outgoing finances for the company.
To help your company save on fuel costs we’ve outlined some of the biggest fuel wasters. A quick tool box talks with the drivers within you company could save you hundreds of pounds a year in fuel expenses.
Experts tell us time and time again that ‘idling’ (being stationary whilst the engine is running) not only wastes fuel but it is bad for our engines. This means if you’re constantly stuck in traffic or leave the engine running whilst waiting on people you are using additional fuel.
Tip: If you know there is a lot of traffic a certain times or via certain routes then make an effort to avoid that route or time of day. If you have to wait around for colleagues, do so with the engine off.
Having the air-conditioning on uses power from the engine therefore increases the amount of fuel you use. Using the aircon can increase your fuel usage by between 8-10% so only use the air-conditioning when completely necessary. It’s true that having the windows down can create drag and actually increase fuel consumption as well.
Tip: Use the aircon (only when necessary on motorways) and have the windows down (if required) in city areas.
Driving too fast can seriously increase your fuel consumption, the optimum speed for economical fuel consumption is between 40 and 60mph. Increasing your speed from 55mp to 65mph can increase your fuel consumption by 15%. The ideal speed for fuel consumption various from vehicle to vehicle, with small cars able to reach higher speed than vans or larger vehicles.
Tip: Make sure your staff set off to their destination with plenty of time to spare to ensure they don’t have to speed.
The weight that your vehicle is carrying can also seriously affect the amount of fuel you burn through whilst driving. Removing around 100 pounds from your car can reduce consumption by 1-2%. Car manufacturers are now taking this into consideration when designing vehicles and replaying heavier metals for the like of aluminium.
Tip: ask your staff to have a car clear out. If you carry tools around in your vehicles then check what tools you are likely to use that day and store the rest.
If the tyres are underinflated this can decrease fuel mileage by around 3%, check your user manual to find out the recommended tyre pressure and inflate at your nearest fuel station. However, be careful not to over inflate your tyres at this can lead to other problems; increasing difficulty to turn and harder to break.
Tip: check you tyre pressure around once a month.
This may sound ridiculous but make sure your staff know the route to their destination, preparation is key. If there’s various trips that can be combined this will also save dramatically on fuel consumption.
Tip: investing in a satnav for your vehicles could save you hundreds of pounds a year in fuel by preventing your staff from getting lost.
If the aircon or heater is constantly running this will drain power from the engine and increase fuel usage.
Tip: turn the back window wiper off and make sure in-car chargers are used only when absolutely necessary.
Other options to consider for saving on fuel cost are is the fleetcard fuel card business, such as those from Dutch fuel card. Fuel cards offer the opportunity to manage the whole of your company’s fuel consumption in one package. You are able to see who is spending what and where, allowing for you to better manage your monthly outgoings.