There have been many exciting developments in recent years that have helped fleet managers minimize expenses more than ever before. In order to protect profits, fleets generally have to budget fuel costs and watch fuel usage carefully. There are many technologies to help you do this faster and more efficiently, such as:
• Fuel purchase tracking systems - When you assign every truck its own fuel credit card, you can easily monitor how much fuel it is using by comparing the frequency of fill-ups to the mileage reported by the driver (or tracked on GPS). This helps you to identify problems that may be causing poor fuel economy, such as driver habits and mechanical problems, so that they can be addressed with additional training or maintenance.
• On-board GPS devices - Electronic on-board recorders (EOBR) are now being used by many fleets in order to monitor their trucks' whereabouts at all times. In addition to identifying the vehicle's location, EOBRs also indicate the speed at which it is traveling, and whether it is idling for long periods of time. GPS tracking devices can be used to replace driver logs showing on-duty and off-duty time, and can help identify problems that need to be addressed with additional training, such as speeding, improper acceleration, and excessive idling.
• More efficient fuels - A cleaner and more highly efficient diesel fuel is in the works, thanks to a government grant to Cummins Inc. Driven by energy concerns and the desire of several fleet managers to save money on fuel, scientists are working on a way to make your fuel go farther.
• Fuel-saving technology - Hybrids are gaining popularity, and not just as passenger cars: Many fleets are now beginning to use hybrid trucks, too. In addition, gasoline and diesel engines are also getting improved fuel economy than in previous years. Even if you can't afford to buy all new vehicles to take advantage of these new technologies, you can still modify your existing vehicles, sometimes with the help of government grants.
These and other advancements in technology are making it easier than ever for fleets to save money on fuel. With $187 million funding fuel efficiency projects in 2010, technology is sure to continue in this direction, bringing additional advancements every year that will help you continue to tighten up your fleet's expenses. Who knows what the future will hold?
Even with these exciting technological advancements, it is important to not lose sight of what is most important today: taking care of your existing vehicles. Keep up routine maintenance for your vehicles and take advantage of technologies such as fuel purchase tracking and on-board GPS devices that will make it easier to keep tabs on your fleet and minimize your expenses. No matter what the future brings, you will enter it with a well-maintained and fuel-efficient fleet!