Know how Cartrack's advanced telematics and tracking solutions can cut your fuel costs
Why does saving petrol matter?
A question many vehicle owners andfleet managers ask themselves. The answer lies in the ever-increasing fuel prices and the need to effectively manage fuel costs to save money.
While fuel prices are beyond our control, finding ways to efficiently use fuel and minimise costs has become a crucial priority.
As a fleet manager, fuel is one of the issues at the top of your list. Managing fuel expenses is essential for businesses as it often takes a large piece of budget space, so keeping that amount as small as possible and making fuel last longer, benefits the entire business.
Whether your vehicles use petrol or diesel, finding ways to efficiently use fuel and manage costs has become more important than ever.
But how do you separate fact from fiction when it comes to petrol-saving?
Five petrol and diesel saving tips that don't work
Let me help you separate fact from fiction and debunk the tips that make promises to stretch your petrol or diesel further, but actually don't work.
Tailgating trucks to cut through the wind
Zooming right behind a big truck, thinking you're cleverly reducing wind resistance and saving fuel is not only unsafe, but it won't do much for your petrol-saving goals either. Maintain a safe distance, drive responsibly, and focus on other proven and much safer fuel-saving techniques.
Coasting in neutral gear or engine shut-off
Do you often coast downhill or turn off your engine while coasting to save petrol? Well, you don't have to. Modern commercial vehicles are designed to use minimal fuel during deceleration anyway, and shutting off the engine can actually mess with essential control and safety systems. So rather keep your car in gear and enjoy the ride without worrying about switching it on and off.
Filling up petrol in the morning to save fuel Ah, the classic myth that still lives on in drivers’ minds. As the temperature rises throughout the day, petrol expands, so you'll get less fuel for the same amount of money later in the day right? Well, in reality, petrol stations store their fuel underground, where the temperature remains relatively stable and as soon as the petrol hits your tank, the liquid quickly reaches the ambient temperature, no matter the time of day so the amount of litres you pay for in the morning would be the same amount of litres at night.
Warm up your car for several minutes
We’re all familiar with the common belief of warming up your car for several minutes before driving, especially during cold weather. However, there’s no need for an extensive warm-up time. A few seconds of idling is preferred before setting off. Excessive idling not only wastes fuel but also adds unnecessary wear and tear to your engine. So, save fuel and reduce emissions by avoiding unnecessary idling.
Keep your windows up to reduce drag
You might have heard that keeping your windows rolled up while driving reduces drag and thus improves fuel efficiency but, at typical driving speeds, open windows have little effect on fuel economy.
Top five fuel tips that actually work
Now that we know what doesn’t work, let's talk about a few proven fuel-saving tips that make a difference in your monthly fuel spending.
Smooth and steady driving
Risky driving habits like rapid acceleration and sudden braking can significantly impact your fuel. Encourage smooth and steady driving instead, like, gradually accelerating, and maintaining a consistent speed. Not only will this save you petrol, but it will also lead to a more relaxed and enjoyable driving experience.
Proper vehicle maintenance
Make sure you maintain your vehicle by keeping your engine properly tuned, ensuring your tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure, and changing air filters and spark plugs at the recommended intervals. Keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape will help you drastically save on fuel consumption.
Lighten the load
With fleet vehicles, this might be a bit hard to follow, but carrying unnecessary weight by having cargo that exceeds the vehicle's recommended weight intake can increase fuel consumption. Take some time to properly plan weight distribution and remove any items that aren't needed for your journey. Every kilogram counts when it comes to fuel efficiency, so lighten the load and watch your petrol savings increase.
Invest in fleet management software that uses GPS and telematics systems to capture real-time data like vehicle usage, refuelling patterns and overall vehicle diagnostics that inform you of the water, oil and engine health.
Factors affecting fuel consumption
Running a fleet of vehicles comes with its challenges, and a big one is fuel. Many businesses rely on their fleets to transport goods and cover long distances daily. All those miles on the road add up when it comes to fuel costs.
To optimise efficiency and reduce fuel consumption, fleet managers strive to understand the factors that impact fuel usage. By considering these factors, managers can make more informed decisions regarding their fleet and implement strategies to maximise fuel economy.
Take a look at these key factors that heavily impact fleet fuel consumption and see what you can do to drastically improve your fuel costs:
Road conditions and terrain - The condition of roads, including potholes and rough surfaces, can significantly affect fuel consumption. Usually, trucks drive on different surfaces, from tar to gravel — these present varying challenges to fuel efficiency. For example, rough and uneven road surfaces, such as cobblestone or unpaved roads, can increase resistance and cause the engine to work harder, resulting in higher fuel consumption.
Traffic congestion - Traffic congestion and stop-and-go situations can lead to increased idling, which consumes more fuel. Scheduling deliveries around peak traffic hours and planning routes to avoid congestion can help optimise fuel efficiency. Keeping your fleet away from local roads and choosing routes that have highways might save you a few drops of petrol.
Vehicle maintenance - Regular maintenance and servicing play a vital role in maintaining optimal fuel efficiency. The longer you preserve your vehicles, the longer they will last. Neglecting maintenance by not fixing/replacing dirty air filters or worn-out spark plugs, can lead to increased fuel consumption with every use.
Fuel quality - Use the right fuel, the quality of fuel used can impact both engine performance and fuel economy. Clean, quality fuel from reputable sources like Engen and Sasol can help optimise fuel efficiency and keep your engine healthy.
Driver training and education - After assessing your driver's driving behaviours with telematics and tracking systems, fleet managers can monitor various aspects of driver performance, such as speed, acceleration, braking, and idling patterns, and provide drivers with proper training and education on fuel-saving driving habits. Raising awareness about the importance of fuel efficiency and offering incentives for achieving fuel-saving targets can motivate drivers to adopt fuel-efficient practices.
Petrol saving habits a fleet management system can provide
Fleet management software has several smart fleet technologies that are created to assist fleet managers in optimising fuel efficiency, reducing costs, and contributing toenvironmental sustainability. Most fleet managers use businesses that can track their vehicles and provide fleet management software features to efficiently monitor their fleet like Cartrack.
Cartrack’s fleet management solutions can help you track driver behaviour, identify maintenance issues, give you real-time updates on vehicle performance through inclusive reports and analytics, and monitor your fleet’s fuel consumption rate.
This is how Cartrack can assist in making fuel last:
Route optimisation and planning:
Fleet managers employ sophisticated route planning tools to optimise driving routes. With Cartrack’s Delivery feature, factors like traffic conditions, route history, road conditions, and fuel consumption data are considered. It can provide drivers with the quickest and shortest route options that avoid deviations and unnecessary travel, resulting in decreased fuel consumption per trip, a decrease in harmful CO2 emissions released by your fleet and overall significant savings in fuel costs.
Monitor and analyse fuel consumption:
Cartrack’s fleet management systems provide real-time monitoring of fuel consumption by using data analytics. With this, fleet managers gain insights into individual vehicle performance, driver behaviour, and fuel efficiency trends for each of their vehicles. Cartrack’s MiFleet fuel validation feature can also assist with fuel monitoring by connecting to fuel sensors or CANBus integration to monitor and analyse fuel consumption data, accurately track fuel usage and identify inefficiencies. This data empowers managers to address fuel-consuming patterns, implement targeted training programs for drivers and maximise fuel efficiency across the fleet.
Driver training and incentive programs:
Drivers play a pivotal role in increasing fuel efficiency. Some Managers conduct comprehensive training programs to educate drivers on effective fuel-saving techniques. These programs can cover the driving benefits of smooth acceleration, maintaining consistent speeds, reducing idle time, and more. Fleet managers can access detailed reports and analytics on the fleet platform to assess each driver's performance, and identify critical areas that need improvement. Providing more targeted training and instilling a fuel-efficient culture, helps encourage drivers to adopt eco-conscious driving habits. Incentive programs and Cartrack’s performance monitoring (driver scorecards) can be used to track driver behaviour and reward safe driving, further motivating drivers to drive safer and use fuel more responsibly.
Vehicle maintenance and performance:
Cartrack assists fleet managers in keeping track of vehicles’ health with preventative maintenance alerts and notifying them of scheduled maintenance and inspections to ensure that vehicles operate optimally and avoid costly breakdowns. By addressing issues promptly, fleet managers prevent fuel-consuming problems, like engine misfires that can waste fuel, and ensure that vehicles maintain peak efficiency and avoid unnecessary downtime.
Environmental sustainability initiatives:
Cartrack provides tools and features that enable fleet managers to optimise vehicle utilisation and fuel consumption such as asset management, fuel monitoring and route optimisation.
If a business has electric vehicles in their fleet that need vehicle tracking and telematics technology installed, Cartrack's leading SaaS platform provides seamless integration to EVs, provides fleet managers with battery management for real-time monitoring of the state of charge and temperature, and has preventative maintenance to track battery health and notify managers when the battery needs to be replaced.
Fuel tracking with Cartrack
Look no further than Cartrack for your ultimate solution for efficient fleet management.
Use Cartrack’s advanced telematics and tracking solutions to give you real-time insights into your commercial fleet's fuel consumption and unlock substantial fuel savings.
Supercharge your fuel savings with Cartrack Today!
Discover effective petrol-saving tips that work and learn about common myths to avoid. Save money and reduce your environmental impact with these practical strategies.