Modern Contractor - 5 Fuel-Saving Tips
10/12/2012 - inthinc Technology Solutions Inc., a global provider of telematics, fleet management, and driver safety technologies, has examined customer data collected from 500 fleets and nearly 50,000 vehicles to validate suggested solutions on how to save money on fuel costs. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average price of diesel fuel in the U.S. hit $4.14 per gallon last April, the highest amount since August of 2008.
With prices expected to rise over the summer, here are five tips to save money at the fuel pump:
1. OBEY THE SPEED LIMIT
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, vehicles that honor the speed limit maintain a higher miles-per-gallon ratio. Each 5-mph increment driven over 60 mph is the equivalent of $0.31 per gallon of gas.
2. AVOID AGGRESSIVE BRAKING AND ACCELERATING
Not only does frequent braking and accelerating create wear and tear on vehicles, it also significantly decreases mpg. A 2011 study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) has shown that by observing the speed limit and avoiding hard braking and accelerating, drivers can improve mpg by as much as 25 percent. The inthinc waySmart® fleet management solution verbally alerts drivers when they are aggressively braking and accelerating, coaching them to become safer and more fuel-efficient drivers.
3. TURN THE KEY: ELIMINATE IDLE TIME
One hour of idle time represents 80 miles of engine wear and approximately 1 gallon of fuel. By turning off the engine when not driving, fuel is conserved, engine wear is limited, and carbon emissions are reduced. inthinc idle monitoring calculates the amount of time vehicles are left idling, allowing companies to identify areas where they can stop fuel waste. Additionally, managers can set time limits to alert drivers when they have been idling for too long.
4. CHECK VEHICLE REGULARLY
Checking tire pressure daily and replacing oil on time will ensure optimal performance. Studies have shown that fully inflated tires can gain up to 3-percent more miles and regular oil tune-ups will net an additional 4 percent. inthinc vehicle inspection alerts remind drivers when it is time to inspect the vehicle and replace oil, ensuring vehicles are running efficiently.
5. PLAN TRIPS AHEAD OF TIME
By mapping routes ahead of time, companies and drivers can look for ways to cut down on the amount of travel time. Plan trips around rush-hour traffic and check local maps for quicker and flatter surface routes. With the inthinc online portal and the LiveFleet™ feature, managers can check vehicle trips and find more efficient routes for its drivers. Live-dispatch capability allows managers to locate their nearest vehicles to a specific location, reducing travel time and optimizing fuel use. â–