Fuel prices are currently relatively low compared to past prices. However, the price of oil shifts with every natural disaster, war, and swing in the economy. The United States is on the heels of a long recovery, but it will eventually flip to a downturn. The best way for your company to survive the next economic contraction is to prepare now and implement policies designed to stretch your fleet’s gas dollars.
If you’re watching the news like everyone else, you are probably worried about a potential war. It will also take a while for Texas to recover from Hurricane Harvey. These events contribute to an unclear economic forecast that may impact the price of oil. To shield your company against future rises in the price of oil, here are a few tips your fleet can use to save fuel.
1. Check for adequate tire pressure
According to the Department of Energy, the average truck driver can increase their fuel efficiency if their tires are inflated properly. A tire that is under-inflated by even one PSI can result in dramatically increased fuel costs over the course of the life of the vehicle. However, don’t inflate the tires beyond the manufacturer’s recommendation, because that can also decrease fuel efficiency.
2. Make sure all air filters are clean
The air filter helps clean your engine and keep it running efficiently. A dirty air filter can actually reduce fuel efficiency by up to ten percent. Most manufacturers recommend you replace air filters every 12,000 miles to maintain peak performance.
3. Maintain fuel systems regularly
Fuel systems inevitably pick up resin, carbon, and other deposits over time. These build-ups result in poor engine performance and reduced efficiency. You should flush out the fuel system, including the injectors, intake valve, and combustion chamber using a cleaning kit. You can perform these fuel system sweeps on your own or hire a professional to maintain your fleet.
4. Slow down
The temptation to drive fast affects almost everyone. The difference in arrival times from 65 to 75 miles per hour is minuscule compared to the enormous savings that can be reaped in reduced fuel costs. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that each vehicle loses up to five percent of fuel efficiency by unnecessarily accelerating and braking.
5. Reduce weight in the cab
Similar to driving fast, there is a strong temptation to pack trucks with as much as possible, but this can also reduce fuel efficiency. In fact, for about every 100 extra pounds in your truck, you lose about two percent of efficiency. When you load your trucks, make sure you carry only what is needed. A good trick is to empty your cabin and keep only the essential tools, supplies, and equipment for one trip. There is a strong temptation to take everything possible with you. However, the money you save is far more valuable than your drivers having tools they will likely never use.
6. Plan routes before you leave
You can consolidate your drivers’ trips as much as possible to help save on fuel costs. Similar to reducing weight, if you can consolidate routes and deliveries, you can save considerably on the diesel your fleet uses. Additionally, reducing the number of miles driven helps save on wear and tear costs on trucks.
7. The AC vs. windows debate
There is conflicting data on whether running the AC or opening windows is more efficient. Some studies argue that using an AC reduces efficiency by up to five percent. However, it is unclear how much efficiency is lost when you drive with the windows down while at high speeds. Regardless, make sure you either run the AC or open the windows to cool down, but do not do both.
Buying bulk fuel for your fleet can help you save
At Kendrick Oil, we pride ourselves on providing exemplary service and high-quality products. We offer a wide range of fuel at wholesale prices, including diesel and gasoline, as well as off road diesel and other fuels. If your fleet is in need of fuel at regular and reliable intervals, feel free to give us a call at (800) 299-3991 or Contact Us by email. We have locations in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Colorado, and Kansas.