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Part two: Is your fleet drinking profits?

Individuals and businesses alike are concerned about future fuel prices in South Africa as the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues. Early predictions say that petrol and diesel increases could be at least three times higher than the last increase.

 The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says in light of the uncertainty and likely probability that fuel will increase considerably, fleet managers cannot afford to neglect fuel consumption policies. In the first part of this series, 10 tips on reducing fleet fuel consumption were shared. Below are the final ten tips to implement to better fuel consumption.”

  • Avoid aggressive driving: this can lower fuel economy by 15 – 30% on highways and 10 – 40% in stop-and-go traffic and is unlikely to even save time. Give drivers tips to avoid aggressive driving: when accelerating pretend there is an egg you must not break under your foot to help achieve more moderate and steady speeds and look 12 seconds ahead to adjust speed gradually
  • Be energy conscious: advise drivers to watch their instant fuel consumption display to create awareness of current usage and when to adjust driving. Provide drivers with a monthly fuel consumption report to indicate progress and encourage further improvement. Make energy consciousness part of your organisational culture.
  • Consider carpools: encourage drivers to share a vehicle when heading in the same direction. From an organisational perspective, institute a policy where drivers may take vehicles home if it is along their route and avoid unnecessary trips to the office.
  • Vehicle choices: if employees receive a car allowance that allows them to choose their own vehicles, incentivise them to select more efficient models.
  • Be selective: while there is a standard price for petrol, diesel can be sold at lower prices. Require drivers to make use of fuel stations that charge lower diesel prices.
  • Route optimisation: investigate root optimisation software to help select the straightest paths, avoid traffic lights, minimise idling, anticipate traffic conditions and select routes with less elevation change.
  • Lead by example: company culture that optimises reduced fuel consumption starts at the top. Avoid excluding executives from the same standards others are held to. Additionally, select executives to be ‘poster children’ to reducing fuel consumption and encouraging all to follow suit.
  • Stay ahead of the times: keep track of new technology that can help save on fuel consumption. When upgrading fleets, consider vehicles that offer these perks within your budget.
  • Telematics optimised: while most organisations use telematics to reduce fuel consumption, ensure you are aware of all the functions it offers.
  • Gamification: use your telematics system to score your drivers and use these reports to award top performing drivers and foster healthy competition.

Ultimately, the best way to reduce fuel consumption is by giving drivers the motivation and skills to do so. “Provide them with these skills, through eco-driver training as provided by MasterDrive, and implement policies to help manage this,” says Herbert.