Fuel Cost Fluctuations : How to Stay Afloat
It's no secret that fuel is a large part of most fleets' expenditures, and when the prices are volatile, it can be challenging to keep up and avoid overspending on fuel.
Regardless of the global fuel market, there are a few things you can do to keep the fuel costs of your fleet within your budget.
Purchasing in bulk is the best option
The process of purchasing fuel wholesale comes with a few significant advantages as well as disadvantages, but for the right fleet, it can be a great way to keep your fuel costs in line with your forecast.
In general, wholesale prices are lower than those found at retail stations, so there is no concern with market volatility and the variable price at the pump when purchasing wholesale. With a predictive fuel supply right at your home base, you'll also have less time spent at refueling stations and better productivity on routes.
The major drawback of bulk buying is that it's not always practical for all fleets. It is easier for a larger fleet such as a government or industrial one with consistent work to justify a steady supply of fuel than a smaller fleet that experiences volatility in work. Wholesale fuel can be profitable if you choose the right supplier and negotiate a fair contract.
Make your routes more efficient
In order to reduce fuel expenses, using fewer trips is one of the most effective methods. Therefore, finding routes that emphasize fuel efficiency is crucial to saving money on fuel. If you want your drivers to have the shortest amount of idle time, you should make sure that your routes are both fast and direct.
When you check your routes using telematics, you can see how much time you can save. While most fleets should be using telematics in their vehicles, working with the right telematics provider can mean the difference between saving or wasting huge sums of fuel. Be sure to select a company that provides fuel consumption and GPS tracking so that you can track how much fuel is being consumed and how the routes are being taken.
Watch how drivers drive
Managing your vehicles' fuel efficiency begins with analyzing driving behavior, including frequent stops, idle time, speeding, and rapid acceleration and braking. The data from telematics can also be useful in this regard.
You can educate drivers about how to optimize their routes so that they save fuel and take better care of their vehicles by using data recorded by your telematics device. It is just as important to avoid bad driving habits as it is to take good care of your vehicle.
Keeping track of fuel costs
The next time you are frustrated with high fuel consumption at the end of every financial year, maybe you should consider keeping track of expenditures throughout the whole year. In order to avoid major budgeting issues in the future, fuel data should be captured on a regular basis and analyzed for potential spending issues.
Take advantage of fuel cards
When it comes to fuel theft, implementing fuel cards is one of the easiest ways to prevent or reduce it. When integrated with fleet management software, fuel cards give you the ability to track, categorize, and optimize fuel expenditures. Make sure to do your research before you commit to a card and evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of each provider.
Your vehicle should be well maintained
It may seem like a simple, less prescriptive solution, but improving the maintenance of your vehicles will do wonders for keeping your costs down. Having a poorly functioning vehicle can quickly cost you a lot in repairs, and by the time you pay for your vehicle's breakdown, you've probably burned through a lot of fuel. You should consider setting up a preventative maintenance schedule for your fleet, as it can contribute greatly to its smooth functioning