Owning a trucking company or managing a fleet can be lucrative endeavors with the right mindset and work ethic, but there is no doubt that it’s expensive. Startup costs are steep, operating costs add up quickly, and if your profit margins aren’t great, you can easily find yourself struggling to make ends meet.
One of the best ways to increase your revenue as a fleet manager or Owner Operator is to find areas where you can reasonably cut costs, and since fuel is one of the biggest expenses for trucking companies, it only makes sense to take a closer look here and see how you can optimize your fuel efficiency. To help you get started, we’ve compiled some of the most effective ways to do so below.
Keeping up With Vehicle Maintenance
While driving habits play a huge part in fuel efficiency, many other influencing factors can be taken care of before ever even getting behind the wheel. Vehicle maintenance is one of the most important steps in reducing fuel consumption and it starts as soon as you have the keys in your hand.
Keeping up with basic, regular vehicle maintenance like changing oil and air filters ensures that everything is running smoothly. A well-maintained engine is an efficient engine, which means it will burn fuel more effectively. Another major guilty party when it comes to poor fuel economy is bad tire pressure – underinflated tires can increase resistance as you drive, resulting in more fuel used over time. Staying on top of your inspections and alignment can combat this.
These aspects of maintenance are critical for cutting down on fuel waste, but it can be tough to remember all of them and sort out the proper maintenance timeframes and due dates. Using a TMS like TruckLogics to schedule your routine equipment maintenance takes this load off your shoulders by keeping track for you and sending you reminders when it’s approaching time to get one of your vehicles into the shop.
Proper Load Management
Another aspect of fuel efficiency that can be taken care of before hitting the road is proper load management. This may seem pretty trivial where fuel consumption is concerned, but poor weight distribution and overloading can significantly increase fuel waste so it’s in your best interest to avoid these pitfalls before hitting the road.
Sticking to weight limits for your specific trucks and trailers is a good start!
Using a GPS or route planning software ahead of time in order to minimize travel distances and avoid congested areas can do wonders for cutting down on unnecessary fuel consumption. Your fuel tank doesn’t like idling in standstill traffic for hours any more than you do!
Effective route planning also includes keeping a close watch on changing weather conditions, like rain or snow, that may have an impact on travel times.
Building Better Driving Habits
Once you finally get behind the wheel, adopting fuel-efficient driving practices can have a huge impact on reducing fuel consumption and is also good for the general condition of your truck.
Focusing on smooth acceleration and maintaining a consistent speed is ideal, and limiting idle time at truck stops and fuel stations will do wonders.
Financial Impact: Expense Reduction
It’s no secret that fuel costs make up a large portion of any trucking company’s operating budget. Cutting down on fuel consumption is the best way to decrease this expense, and overall make your business more profitable.
An added benefit to taking the steps outlined above is that your trucks, trailers, and other equipment will be in better shape in the long run – continuing to prioritize regular maintenance and better driving habits will reduce the wear and tear on your vehicles, keeping them operational for longer.
Environmental Impact: Emissions and Carbon Footprint Reduction
Beyond the benefits that reducing your fuel consumption can have on your own business, smarter fuel usage reduces your carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions. This helps to mitigate climate change and improve air quality. On top of remaining compliant with your regional environmental regulations like emissions requirements, the planet will thank you!
The best way to keep your ducks in a row and help cut down on unnecessary fuel waste within your business is by using a trucking management system. Software products like TruckLogics can help you stay on top of the countless things you’re worrying about on a daily basis so that you can keep your eyes on the road and focus on what’s important.
With features that help you schedule and record your vehicle maintenance, track your income and expenses, plan routes, and much more, it’s easier than ever to optimize your fuel efficiency and help your business reach its full potential.
Check out TruckLogics.com to learn more about how you can optimize your company!