Fleet managers must always keep an eye out for ways to improve fuel efficiency. Regular maintenance, reducing time spent idling, and watching driver behavior are all great options for doing this. Another option is known as rightsizing your fleet. This technique is not as well known as others but can be a great part of your fuel efficiency strategy.
What is rightsizing?
This term refers to creating a more efficient fleet by optimizing the size and composition of your vehicles. If your vehicles are older, they will need to be replaced. Your fleet may be too large or too small as well. By fixing these issues, you are conducting rightsizing. The key is to balance your fleet’s needs with vehicles that currently meet them.
Rightsizing the correct way
Given the definition of this technique, it may seem simple to accomplish your goals. But, there is more to rightsizing than just getting rid of or upgrading a few vehicles.
You must start with a strategy before making any decisions about your fleet. You can involve anyone who helps make choices for your fleet, like managers and even drivers. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Look at the daily needs of the fleet. This includes fuel usage, mileage, vehicle types, and general fuel economy.
- Compare that information with the overall economy and performance capabilities of the fleet.
- Think about which vehicles need to be reassigned, replaced, or eliminated.
- Ask some questions, like how many vehicles you actually need to accomplish your goals, how much fuel each vehicle uses, and if there are any more fuel-efficient options out there. This is a good time to include the drivers that use the vehicles every day.
- Rank the fleet vehicles according to their performance and needs.
- Consider your budget. Any choices you make will need to fall into your restrictions.
- Before making any big changes, see if other options are available. For example, if your budget would benefit from on-site fueling, you may not have to replace as many vehicles.
If you have found that some vehicles need to be replaced, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier. You can switch to vehicles that have smaller, more efficient engines. Also, you can buy vehicles that weigh less, as long as this doesn’t interrupt what your fleet can haul. Finally, you can switch to vehicles with alternate fuels or simply use different fueling options if your current vehicles allow for this.
Upgrading your fleet vehicles
When buying new vehicles isn’t an option, there are a few other things you can do.
- Converting your vehicles’ drivetrains can make them just as efficient as newer ones.
- If your old vehicles don’t meet EPA standards, you can retrofit them with extra components to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This also improves efficiency and performance.
- Repowering your fleet is the most costly of these choices. It includes replacing the engine entirely. This can be more complicated, especially with older vehicles.
Do you need bulk fuel and services?
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