Fuel is one of the biggest costs in the logistics industry, therefore it also offers a lot of possibilities to increase margins. Good fuel management is one of the key fleet management skills, as it can save the company 5% to 10% of fuel. If your truck uses 29,9 litres of fuel per 100 km* and drives 120.000 km per year, good fuel management saves you up to €32.400 per year per truck. This means that you save up to €3.240.000 per year if you have a 100 truck fleet. In this blog, we will discuss which variables have an effect on fuel efficiency for trucks, so that you are able to increase your fleet’s margin.
Has fuel efficiency for trucks always been ‘a thing’?
Fuel management has not always been so instrumental to be successful in the industry. In the past, it was more about delivering as much as soon as possible to increase the margins - the volume was key. Due to the standardisation of most logistics processes, the difference is now in the details. Fuel management is not only about fuel, no matter how contradictory that may sound. It has to do with driver behaviour, choice of tyres and many other variables. A good tyre makes sure that there is less friction with the road and thus less fuel usage. In turn, good driver behaviour makes the tyres last way longer. As you can see, there are a lot of things that have an effect on the fuel efficiency of trucks.
8 variables of good fuel management for trucks
There are some variables that you need to take into account if you want to save fuel. We can sum them up as follows:
1: Good maintenance
- Ensure that the engine is well-maintained
- Monitor the tyre pressure
2: Driver behaviour
- Speeding behaviour: when accelerating or breaking in an aggressive manner, drivers use more fuel
- Cruise control use: driving at a permanent speed costs less fuel
3: Choice of tyres
- Good tyres have a less rolling resistance
- Tyres with a good profile have more grip
4: Truck design
- Engine: choose the right engine for your specific needs
- Aerodynamic drag: truck manufacturers are optimising the aerodynamics to remove friction and save fuel
- Weight: trailers are becoming less heavy
5: Foresighted driving
- When they are near a red light, a driver can ‘roll’ instead of stop until the light turns green again. This to limit the need for acceleration
6: Minimise fuel consumption due to idling
- Avoid that drivers stop somewhere and leave the engine running
7: Route planning
- Planning of the most efficient road
8: Good fuel network
- Better fuel prices and fuel stations on the road
- Enough fuel stations on the road so that you do not need to fill up the truck with a full fuel tank
If you take these 8 variables into consideration, you optimise your fleet’s fuel efficiency. By doing so, you save an enormous amount of money and thus, increase your margins.