Extending fleet longevity can help your business cut costs and maximize productivity. Although you cannot eliminate every barrier, you can do many things to save fuel costs and ensure your trucks provide a long life of work.
This guide shares effective fleet management tips, including how to save fuel, when to service your trucks, and other ideas about helping your fleet last longer.
Truck Fleet Management Strategies
From saving costs on fuel to regularly servicing your vehicles to learning pre-driving tips, your drivers can help ensure fleet longevity and protect your business from unnecessary spending. Here are some of the best fleet management tips to prolong your trucks’ lives and save costs.
You can save a ton of money by being more fuel efficient and minimizing fuel costs. Using fuel wisely will go a long way in an industry with deliveries, travel time, and pickups. Check out these truck fleet tips for fuel solutions:
- Avoid overfilling the tank: You can lose tons of fuel by overfilling gas tanks. When fuel gets hot, it can expand and overflow, leaving your truck with less fuel and causing you to spend more to travel shorter distances. Fuel can heat from the sun or the hot engine, leading to waste and dangerous road conditions for other drivers. Additionally, the extra fuel can add more weight to the truck, making it drive slower.
- Brake moderately: Braking to a complete stop can make it harder to regain speed. The truck will need more fuel to get back into motion and travel at the same speed. Your drivers should always come to a complete stop at stop signs and lights, but they can minimize unnecessary stops while obeying traffic laws.
- Regulate speed: You can steady your driver’s fuel usage by encouraging them to maintain a constant speed. Accelerating burns fuel, and doing so frequently results in fuel loss. Consistently falling under the speed limit and accelerating to reach it will affect your fuel usage and create a less comfortable ride.
- Maintain higher gears: Similarly to regulating speed, remaining in high gear can help your trucks. Encourage your drivers to slow down and speed up incrementally rather than stopping and starting suddenly. Higher gears can save fuel, and your drivers will need to make fewer changes by altering their stop-and-start patterns.
- Watch slippery or uneven roads: Rain, ice, and oil can make it much harder for trucks to accelerate. Even gravel roads and similar conditions can create a rough terrain that complicates your driver’s journey. Instruct your drivers to accelerate slowly after stopping in these locations to prevent accidents and minimize fuel use.
- Prevent unnecessary stops: It can be challenging to determine every stop your drivers might need to make, but some tips can minimize their stops. Encourage your drivers to complete multiple activities during one stop. For example, when drivers stop for fuel, they can also use the restroom and purchase any snacks or supplies they need for the rest of the trip, reducing their total stops.
Regular Vehicle Maintenance
Regular maintenance is one of the best ways to improve the life span of any vehicle. These regular services ensure every component is in working order and help you identify minor issues before they create a more significant problem. Some maintenance tasks require a visit to the dealership or auto shop, while others you can complete in the yard. Regular maintenance includes:
- Rotating your tires: Rotating your tires helps create an even wear to help them last longer. We recommend rotating your tires every time you get an oil change to ensure proper maintenance. Doing so can prolong the tires’ lives, ease the burden on the suspension systems, and create a smoother ride for your drivers.
- Balancing your tires: Each vehicle should have an even weight distribution. You cannot prevent your tires from becoming unbalanced, as every pothole, bump, and similar natural occurrence will affect them. Still, you can get back on track quickly while preventing larger problems. Balance your tires when you rotate them to create smooth rides and relieve the suspension system.
- Evaluating fluids: Your drivers should always have the necessary fluid levels when driving. Monitor the engine coolant, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, diesel exhaust fluid, and engine oil. These fluids will affect your driver’s ride and protect them from harsh conditions, like winter weather, while prolonging your truck use.
Oil and Filters
One of the most important things you must do for any vehicle is to remain consistent with oil and filter services. The size of your vehicle, driving conditions, environment, and fuel type can affect how often you need to get an oil change. Older trucks with high mileage will benefit from getting a filter replacement during each oil service, and you should stay up to date about your new models’ needs. Always be aware of your oil levels and evaluate the color, smell, and consistency to be sure you are issuing proper maintenance.
Check the owner’s manual to determine the best oil for your trucks and be consistent with your choice. Many oils can extend your trucks’ lifetimes, so invest in high-quality supplies that will aid your fleet.
Additional Tips for Fleet Vehicles
Your drivers can also do small things before each trip to prolong their trucks’ lifetimes. Your drivers should assess the driving conditions and prepare their vehicles. Ask your drivers to allow the truck to warm up before driving. This small task will enable the engine to lubricate itself and prolong its life.
Instruct your drivers to understand the weather and road conditions before beginning a trip. By knowing what to expect on the road, they can adjust their drive to have a smooth ride and put less strain on their vehicles. This will also help you determine what kind of maintenance each truck needs, especially when your drivers use the same vehicles to run the same routes daily.
Look for ways to minimize engine time. Many fleet vehicles experience long idle run times, which can cause an increase in services and maintenance. You can reduce engine hours by creating incentives for your drivers. Implement alerts when trucks sit idle past an allotted time, and create reward systems to recognize drivers exceeding your expectations and helping your business.
Contact SC Fuels for Your Fleet Needs
At SC Fuels, we know your fleet of trucks needs attention and care to deliver the best possible service. Our fueling company has been powering progress since 1930, and we are one of the country’s largest and oldest family-owned distributors.
With SC Fuels, you can meet all your fleet needs with our services. You can use our fleet cards to avoid fluctuating gas prices, long lines, and detours to keep your drivers on their route and save on fuel. You can also use our wholesale fuel delivery service to save time and money with bulk deliveries.
No matter what your fleet needs, we can help. Contact SC Fuels to learn more about what we can do for you.