More efficient fleets can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and your operating costs at the same time.
Many businesses have large fleets of vehicles and the annual costs and greenhouse gas emissions associated with their operation can be substantial. Fleet managers have significant opportunities to improve the fuel efficiency of their operations.
Increase the Fuel Efficiency of Your Existing Fleet
Perform regular maintenance. Improving the fuel efficiency of your fleet could be as simple as ensuring all maintenance of your vehicles is regularly completed. This could include a full tune-up by a mechanic, or simple things that all drivers could do, like checking the tire pressure of vehicles before taking them on the road.
Train employees. Fleet managers cannot directly control the driving style of employees, but increasing their awareness of fuel-saving driving habits is the first step. Fleet managers should distribute information to promote more fuel efficient driving styles. Some employers have created competitions and rewarded employees who achieve the best fuel efficiency. Check out our tips for being an efficient driver.
Cut out idling. 10 seconds of idling wastes more fuel than restarting an engine. Many organizations, including the Provincial Government, have set anti-idling policies for its drivers and around public buildings. Fleet managers can adopt a similar approach to eliminate unnecessary idling. Not only does this save energy, money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it also improves local air quality.
Purchase Fuel Efficient Vehicles
Right-size your fleet. Fleet managers should regularly scrutinize whether they have the right vehicles for the job. The fuel efficiency of a vehicle is impacted by a variety of characteristics, such as engine size and vehicle weight. By ensuring that a vehicle is big enough for the job and not excessively large, you can increase your fleet's fuel efficiency.
Consider fuel efficiency in vehicle tenders. The Federal Government provides fuel efficiency ratings for vehicles to help you compare the performance of different options. You can use these ratings to consider a vehicle's fuel costs over the mileage you expect to get from it. This allows fleet managers to consider the long-term "life-cycle" costs against the up-front purchase price. Once you know the type of vehicle you're looking to purchase, use the Fuel Consumption Guide to find the most fuel-efficient option for passenger vehicles.
Track mileage and fuel use. Fleet managers need information on how far their vehicles are travelling and the fuel-efficiency they are achieving. By tracking your kilometers travelled per litre of fuel, you are better positioned to monitor progress over time and identify the best options for improving the fuel-efficiency of your fleet.
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What have others done?
Corner Brook Pulp and Paper - a part of Kruger - has taken an aggressive approach in trying to reduce fuel consumption. The company installed approximately 40 on-board computers in their trucks and started measuring fuel consumption, truck speeds, engine RPMs, road profiles, driver shifting patterns and driver braking patterns. Using the data received, and paired with behavioural changes of drivers, the company was able to reduce their fuel consumption by almost 4% percent each year. The company estimates that this currently saves them $250,000 each year.