5 Ways to Improve Fuel Usage with Better Data
Running a successful business demands efficiency. Companies that rely on vehicles are no exception. While the cost of fuel is in constant flux and often feels unpredictable, there are things fleet managers can do to be more efficient. Many of these tactics for effective fleet management are driven by a common goal — eliminating unnecessary fuel consumption.
There are many ways to go about decreasing fuel waste and we are going to look at five specific strategies:
- Tracking and controlling fuel usage
- Optimizing routes
- Simplifying maintenance scheduling
- Training better drivers
- Protection against fraud and misuse
With real-time data, fleet fuel cards may give you everything you need to control your fuel spend.
While each of these approaches to reducing fuel waste differs, all are directly impacted by fleet cards. With real-time data, fleet fuel cards may give you everything you need to control your fuel spend.
The Power of Fleet Cards
Fleet cards have effective fleet management. Originally designed as a payment method for fuel and maintenance costs, they have become the go-to for advanced data collection. A fuel card gives business owners insight into their vehicle’s performance and fuel consumption.
A fleet card tracks the details of every transaction. With this information, fleet managers can identify patterns, anomalies and areas for improvement.
It all begins with tracking fuel usage.
Tracking and Controlling Fuel Usage
To decrease unnecessary fuel usage, fleet managers need to know how much is being used. Simply looking at overall volume doesn’t do any good. You need to know how much fuel is being used by each driver, vehicle and route. Fortunately, every bit of necessary data may be provided by a fleet card — all in real time.
Every time a driver uses a fleet card, the transaction details are automatically logged in your fleet card dashboard. This makes monitoring different data points and viewing trends over time simple. Track purchase details such as:
- Transaction date and time
- Fuel station brand
- Dollar amount
- Volume of purchase
- Odometer readings
By analyzing this data, you can identify high-volume fuel users. When a driver or vehicle uses more fuel than others for similar routes or usage windows, there may be an opportunity for improvement.
Every fleet card has purchase controls to help control spending. Fleet managers can set limits like:
- Day and Time: Limit purchases to particular times of day or days of the week.
- Dollar or Volume Amount: Set transaction maximums.
Transaction data and purchase controls give you what you need to reduce unnecessary fuel usage at the pump. But that data can be used for much more — beginning with better routing.
Optimizing Routes with Data
With optimal routing, you can reduce fuel costs and extend the life of your vehicles.
Predictive and Scheduled Maintenance
Another area where fuel card data can help with fleet fuel economy is predictive maintenance. When vehicles consume more fuel than usual, an underlying maintenance problem may be indicated. By analyzing fuel consumption trends, unusual increases may be observed. Fleet managers can then schedule maintenance before a problem becomes worse.
Regular vehicle maintenance is also vital for achieving optimal fuel efficiency. Fleet card data can aid in tracking maintenance intervals, ensuring vehicles are serviced regularly.
Driver Training Programs
Fleet card data is ideal for driver training. Tracking fuel usage by drivers can help promote fuel-efficient driving habits. The same information can also identify drivers who use more fuel, suggesting a need for training or retraining.
Tracking fuel usage by drivers can help promote fuel-efficient driving habits.
Fuel usage is a great foundational metric for monitoring drivers. Fleet managers can drill down further into specific behaviors with the addition of GPS app options. Combining a fleet card with GPS lets you track things like acceleration, speed, braking and idle times. Correlating transaction details with GPS data points can help identify inefficient drivers. With this insight, you can implement targeted driver training programs to promote fuel-efficient driving habits.
Fraud and misuse have been long-standing problems with every payment method. With fleet cards, you may have more peace of mind. Every card is equipped with an extra layer of security. When you assign a fleet card to a driver, the driver is given a Personal Driver ID Number (DID). This DID is unique to the person and card. This means only that driver can use the card.
With this extra layer of security, cards can’t be used by others, which helps to limit fuel theft. When you combine card controls with a DID, misuse is easier to control.
By addressing fraud and misuse, fleet managers can help reduce unapproved fuel purchases.
Run a Fuel-Efficient Fleet
Monitoring fuel transactions, planning consistent maintenance, implementing driver training and card security all lead to reduced fuel usage. Fleet cards provide the data and tools to help make it all possible. There are many ways to make a fleet more efficient — fleet cards are the perfect place to start.