Showing posts from tagged with: trucking cost control

10 Ways Fleets Can Improve Fuel Economy

Posted November 21, 2016 by Administrator

shutterstock_20471446 - Copy (2)Every year, U.S. vehicles consume more than 6 billion gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline combined. Fuel costs are the largest part of a fleet’s operating budget, so it makes sense to focus on fuel reduction strategies. Many corporate sustainability initiatives contain a fuel efficiency program. Volatile fuel prices have leveled out in the last few years, making it somewhat easier to plan and manage fuel costs.

Individual drivers are usually responsible for finding fueling stations on their own. This makes it difficult for managers to forecast the fuel budget, both on the road and off the route. It is well worth it to develop an effective fuel management strategy to ensure costs are kept in check.

Here are some ways fleet managers can set up an effective fuel management strategy.

  1. Require drivers to drive conservatively. Fuel economy can be improved by 33% percent when drivers stay within speed limits and driving conservatively, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) Holding drivers accountable for driving safely and avoiding harsh stop-and-go driving can translate into lowered fuel costs.
  1. Stop unneeded idling. Unnecessary idling, even just one hour per day, can waste as much as $189 per vehicle, according to the EPA. The bigger the vehicle’s engine, the more fuel it consumes when idling. Fleet managers and vehicle owners can download a Vehicle Idle Reduction Savings Worksheet from the Argonne National Laboratory Energy Systems research website to help them calculate potential savings from reducing idle times here.
  1. Keep tires inflated to the optimal tire pressure. Fuel economy can be improved by keeping tires inflated to the correct pressure. Underinflated tires can lower gas mileage for as much as 0.4 percent for every pound per square inch (psi) reduction in pressure.
  1. Plan Efficient Delivery Routes. Adjusting routes can optimize fuel economy. Consider route planning software to help plan routes and reduce fuel consumption.
  1. Use the Proper Diesel Truck Engine Oil. Using the right engine oil can improve gas mileage by 1-2 percent. For a complete discussion about the best engine oil to use for your rigs in 2017, click here.
  1. Make sure your wheels are in alignment. It is imperative that you keep your wheels aligned. If any are out of alignment, it increases the drag on your vehicle, which reduces fuel economy.
  1. Instruct drivers to use cruise control. Make sure your drivers use cruise control if their rig is equipped with it. Cruise control helps drivers maintain a constant speed, which saves fuel.
  1. Remove unneeded payload. Reduce the weight on your vehicle by clearing away unnecessary equipment, tools, parts or products that are not needed that day, therefore improving fuel mileage.
  1. Consider installing a telemetric system. Telemetric systems will provide managers with the data needed to address poor driving habits, such as harsh braking, excessive idle time or unnecessary acceleration. It can also report oil pressure and other diagnostic information, which gives managers information that can really make a difference in fuel economy.
  1. Instruct drivers to use lowest-cost fuel stations. Many fuel card companies offer fuel pricing information every day. Buying fuel from the lowest priced stations can really add up for fleets.

To learn more about transportation practices and coverages to help your business succeed, contact us.

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Alternative Work Availability to Help Employees Return After Injury

Posted September 1, 2015 by Administrator

shutterstock_250505056 - CopyWorkers Compensation for trucking companies can be expensive in several ways. Businesses need to replace the injured employee until they are available to return to work and work related injuries can increase insurance costs. One way to help decrease expenses is by creating alternative positions for injured workers.

Light Duty Options

Depending on the injury, some employees may not be able to return to their full duties but may be able to perform lighter tasks, such as a filing position, dispatch or loading management. By having alternative positions available, you will reduce the time the employee receives workers compensation and can transition them to their original position when they are ready.

Communication is Key

Companies who create alternative work policies need to communicate with both the employee and the employee’s physician. If the employee knows that they may be able to return to work sooner, they will inform their doctor who can help them determine work restrictions.

The company needs to be aware of the employee’s restrictions and work with the physician to help create a position that will allow the doctor to release the patient to go back to work.

By coordinating with the employee and the doctor, the company may be able to help an employee return to work weeks or months sooner than they would originally be able to. This helps the company reduce costs and lets the employee receive a full paycheck instead of relying on workers compensation benefits.

Employees Want to Return to Work

Often employees don’t want to stay at home until they are released from a doctor’s care; however, companies can’t risk re-injury if the employees push themselves to return to work before they are ready. Offering alternative work options will help workers understand they don’t have to wait until they are fully healed and can aim for shorter rehabilitation.

Working with the employee benefits the worker and the company. Consider how you can create alternative positions in order to reduce workers compensation. To learn more about transportation safety, risk reduction and best practices, contact us.

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Texting & Other Distractions – How Much Are They Costing Your Fleet?

Posted January 6, 2015 by Administrator

Commercial drivers know that distractions while driving increase the likelihood of an accident. But many overlook some of the more mundane distractions they might encounter while on the road. Additionally, specific distractions now carry substantially increased fines and penalties in many states, with more on the way. Avoiding accidents, as well as large fines and court appearances, may mean redifining what operators consider distracting. These distractions include:

  • Eating – requires operators to remove one hand from the wheel, and usually to make eye contact with the food, shifting visual focus away from the road.
  • Drinking – requires operators to remove one hand from the wheel. Additionally, beverages can be hotter or colder than expected, or spill, any of which can cause significant distraction.
  • Radio – audio entertainment and/or nonessential communications should be minimized, so as to maintain focus on the roadway conditions, traffic, etc.
  • Texting – highly visually distracting, and now carries heavy fines and penalties in many states, including mandatory court appearance.
  • Navigation System – adjusting navigational information can draw one’s attention away from the road for far too long – pull over to make changes to your navigation.
  • Cell Phones – talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device means one hand off the wheel and/or the abnormal positioning of other body parts (chin on shoulder, knee on wheel, etc) which can lead to significant and unnecessary risk.

To learn more about reducing driver distractions in your fleet, contact us.

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