Because fuel represents one of the top expenses for any trucking company, folks are scrambling to find ways to save money. With prices soaring to historically high levels, what steps can you take to leverage technology in your fight to contain costs? What can you implement right now to optimize your operations? Exploring broader solutions allows any fleet manager to improve fuel consumption, optimize operations and increase margins.
STEP #1 Reduce Truck Idling
Make a sustained effort to cut idling time.
It is possible to lower idling time across your fleet to increase fuel efficiency. Beyond having drivers employ a variety of idle-reduction equipment like fuel-operated heaters, auxiliary power units, diesel or electric APUs, battery-powered HVAC systems and automatic engine start/stop systems, there are also anti-idling technology solutions wrapped into fleet management software solutions.
Fleet management software and analytics ensure a fleet’s drivers are taking the most efficient routes, identify any process causing drivers to repeatedly idle in the same spot and offer real-time driver and vehicle performance data.
STEP #2 Tighten Up Your Dispatch Process
Consider an optimized dispatch solution that offers matches between loads, drivers and equipment.
For example, with an application called Trimble Dispatch Advisor (TDA), carriers identify and choose the best loads to transport thereby increasing on-time delivery, reducing empty miles and improving driver utilization.
Trimble Dispatch Advisor ID’s all available matches. Variables include location, driver Hours of Service (HOS) data, time windows and more. TDA suggests a primary match, along with reasons for the recommendation; secondary matches are included with estimated impact to the company.
Another way to optimize dispatch is by through reliable routing details. With access to PC*Miler, designed especially for carriers, brokers and shippers, user establish pricing, payroll and invoice details for routes, leading to streamlined billing processes while reducing fuel costs from out-of-route mileage.
STEP #3 Coach Drivers on Real-Time Fuel Usage
Empower drivers to help cut fuel costs.
There is a proven solution above and beyond regular fuel discounts. Expert Fuel from Trimble lets your drivers know when and where to stop for diesel. The tool analyzes routes and selects the best location for fuel based on price, discounts and quantity needed. Expert Fuel downloads detailed wholesale and retail pricing feeds daily to ensure drivers are purchasing fuel at the lowest available price.
Consider Vnomincs’ True Fuel® technology. True Fuel combines real-time driver coaching with insightful fuel efficiency data. Fleets that implement the real-time, in-cab audible coaching typically see a 3 to 10 percent reduction in their annual fuel spend.
STEP #4 Monitor Driver and Vehicle Performance
Explore what analytics and maintenance can do for decreasing fuel costs.
With Trimble’s Vusion platform, transportation companies boost their decision-making by taking advantage of the platform’s embedded analytics to improve fuel economy – truck by truck, engine by engine, driver by driver. Besides automating IFTA fuel tax reporting and generating road-use tax forms, the platform can also help identify when fuel theft occurs.
Remember, the health of a fleet’s trucks is a key variable in fuel economy. Using technology like Trimble’s TMT Fleet Maintenance SaaS software gives your maintenance team a completel view of your vehicles. With this technology, carriers realize greater asset utilization, longer lifecycles and the lowest possible cost-per-mile.
Feeling the pinch? Learn how your company can best integrate some additional fuel cost-cutting solutions. Contact Trimble Transportation and Sonja Smith today for a personal consultation.