How Fleet Drivers Can Reduce Fuel Consumption
The driving habits of fleet drivers can have a substantial impact on the fleet's bottom line. With fuel costs being a significant expense for fleets, managing fuel efficiency is one of the six ways to improve the overall efficiency of a fleet. Here's how fleet drivers play a crucial role in reducing fuel consumption.
Ways Fleet Drivers Can Reduce Fuel Consumption
Fleet drivers play an integral role in reducing fuel consumption for the entire fleet. They work right where the rubber meets the road. Here are a few things fleet drivers can do to operate in a more fuel-efficient way:
- Reduce Idling Time
- Adopt Fuel-Efficient Driving Habits
Reduce Idling Time
Keeping engines running while idling can result in fuel wastage for both individual vehicles and entire fleets. Even if a vehicle has a fuel efficiency rating of 20 miles per gallon on the highway, it doesn't matter if the vehicle is stationary, waiting at a traffic signal, or stuck in heavy traffic. During such idle periods, the vehicle's fuel consumption drops to zero miles per gallon. Unnecessary idling can consume a significant amount of fuel. Fleet drivers should turn off their engines when they are parked or waiting for an extended period of time.
Adopt Fuel-Efficient Driving Habits
There are several fuel-efficient driving habits that fleet drivers can adopt to reduce fuel consumption. By following these practices, fleet drivers can reduce fuel consumption, leading to cost savings for the fleet and reducing the impact on the environment:
- Avoid aggressive acceleration.
- Avoid hard braking when possible.
- Anticipate the flow of traffic.
- Maintain a steady speed and use cruise control whenever possible.
- Drive slower. High speeds can raise fuel consumption by as much as 14%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
What Fleet Management Can Do to Encourage Drivers
While fleet drivers are at the front lines of fuel efficiency, the responsibility of reducing fuel consumption doesn't rest entirely on their shoulders. Drivers rely on fleet management to train them on fuel-efficient driving practices and to motivate them to continue using those practices in the long run. Fleet managers can accomplish this with a combination of training, coaching, and gamification. Adding fleet management software that automates fuel efficiency at the fleet vehicle level helps as well.
Provide Ongoing Training and Coaching for Drivers
Providing ongoing training and coaching to drivers is an effective way for fleet managers to promote fuel-efficient driving behavior. By providing drivers with the knowledge and skills they need to operate their vehicles more efficiently, fleet managers can significantly reduce fuel consumption and costs. Training and coaching can come in many forms. Here are a few ways fleet managers can educate fleet drivers to drive more efficiently and motivate them to stick to it:
- Workshops: These can be organized in a group setting where drivers can learn about fuel-efficient driving techniques and best practices. The workshops can be led by experienced drivers or fleet managers who have expertise in fuel-efficient driving. This is a great way to get a lot of drivers trained in a short period of time.
- One-on-One Coaching: While group training through a workshop is valuable and cost-effective, some people learn better in an individual setting. One-on-one coaching sessions with experienced drivers or fleet managers can be effective in helping drivers develop fuel-efficient driving habits. During these sessions, drivers can receive personalized feedback and guidance on their driving behavior.
- Regular Feedback: Any fleet manager will tell you that initial training is good, but people often need a refresher from time to time in order to make sure that fuel-efficient driving habits continue to be followed in the long run. After workshops and one-on-one training have been completed, it's important for fleet managers to continue to monitor driving habits, check in and provide feedback to their fleet drivers on a regular basis. Regular feedback helps drivers continue to use fuel-efficient driving habits.
Implement Gamification Techniques
One of the best ways to ensure fleet drivers are invested in fuel efficiency is by creating incentives. Gamification techniques can be an effective way for fleet managers to motivate drivers to adopt fuel-efficient driving habits. By providing rewards for achieving fuel-efficient driving behavior, fleet managers can create a fun and engaging way to encourage drivers to save fuel. Here are some ways fleet managers can gamify fuel-efficient driving:
- Points and Rewards: It may be helpful to use a points or rewards system to motivate drivers who achieve fuel-efficient driving behavior. For example, drivers who achieve a certain level of fuel efficiency over a period of time can earn points that they can redeem for rewards such as gift cards or other incentives.
- Challenges: Fleet managers can create challenges that drivers can participate in to earn rewards or compete against other drivers. For example, a challenge may involve driving a certain distance with the lowest possible fuel consumption, and the driver who achieves the best fuel efficiency can win a prize.
- Leaderboards: Sometimes healthy competition and bragging rights can be a source of motivation to stick with fuel-efficient driving. Use leaderboards to create a sense of competition among drivers. Drivers can see how they rank compared to their colleagues in terms of fuel efficiency, thus motivating them to adopt fuel-efficient driving habits.
Use Fleet Management Software
Even with exceptional training and the best fleet drivers, it can be difficult to maintain fuel-efficient driving behavior all the time. The best way to ensure drivers are as effective as possible at reducing fuel consumption is by automating aspects of the commercial vehicle fleet for better fuel efficiency. That’s where fleet management software comes into the picture. With the right software, you can manage the vehicles instead of managing the drivers to reduce fuel consumption and create a more fuel-efficient fleet.
Fleet management software for fuel efficiency like DeriveVQ calibrates the fleet vehicle to add the following features:
Speed Governor: Limits the vehicle’s top speed to match fleet management policy.
Idle Reduction: Lowers engine idle RPMs to reduce fuel consumption while idling.
Eco-Adjustment: Smooths out shifting patterns to reduce fuel consumption while driving.
Derive VQ is a fleet management software that can optimize driving behavior without relying solely on drivers to achieve fuel efficiency and safety goals. By utilizing Derive VQ, fleets can improve their fuel efficiency, reduce operational costs, and mitigate the risks of accidents on the road.
Chat with an expert at Derive to learn how DeriveVQ can reduce your fleet’s fuel consumption.