5 Tips to Increase Fuel Efficiency and Save on Equipment


We all know how hard-hit gas and diesel prices have been hit by inflation over the past several months. It’s ridiculous, right? Well, as an equipment operator and/or fleet manager – fuel efficiency is now more important than ever before. To put this into perspective, a single Caterpillar 313 holds around 68 gallons – which at a national average price of $5.72 takes almost $400 to fill up! This can become super expensive with a fleet of machines over a long project – especially with a large number of construction starts in the next year or so.


Here, you can find our top 5 ways to streamline your fuel management and allow for quite a bit of saving. Check them out below.


1. Idling, idling, idling!

One of the most overlooked impacts to your company’s fuel economy is equipment idling. According to Cashman Equipment, “idling can amount to 15-20% of total fuel used” if the equipment is left sitting there, unused. Let’s say you have a fleet of one hundred machines, each sitting idle for an hour a day… that can waste over one hundred gallons in that time period with thousands of dollars as gone like the wind!


Fleet managers who monitor their equipment and/or implement an idling policy (such as preventing machines from idling more than 10 minutes) prove to save on diesel as well as prevent higher maintenance costs with more wear-and-tear. Just make sure you or your operators turn off their equipment if not in use. It’s as simple as that, although very easy to overlook!


2. Keep your equipment well-maintained


There are many aspects of heavy-duty equipment that need to be top-notch for the best fuel efficiency, including air filters, tire pressure, oil filters, and grease fittings. With maximum operating performance, the power needed to perform is reduced which allows for less diesel to be consumed. Keeping your equipment serviced regularly is essential for costly problems that are easily preventable.


One of the best ways to do this is through a digital equipment maintenance and monitoring platform such as Senzit – which monitors several aspects of your engine and gives you a complete overview of your fleet! With a data-driven solution to your maintenance management problems, you can easily ensure maximum fuel efficiency.



3. Monitor consistent speeds


These next two tips are for essential for those who operate in the trucking industry.


Avoiding quick starts and setting speed limits on highways for consistent driving speeds can ultimately add up to a higher fuel economy. According to fleetequipmentmag.com, “every 2% reduction in aerodynamic drag results in approximately 1% improvement in fuel economy” and “above 55 MPH, each 1 MPH increase in vehicle speed decreases fuel economy by 0.1 MPG”. Although this seems very slim, over days upon days of driving, every MPG counts and can add up to thousands of dollars over the year.


Making sure all of your operators are also well-trained on your trucks is crucial to preventing those quick starts and stops that may be contributing to higher fuel costs. Implement effective training protocols that teach drivers best practices and avoidances on the road. It’s definitely worth investing the time and effort to improve your staff’s performance – as these actions don’t usually get your operators to the next light faster and just waste diesel.


4. Optimize driving routes


The other best tip for those on the highway includes making sure your driving layout is optimized, and minimizing miles driven and turns taken. Lowering the actual number of miles needed for a route is just going down to the basics of trucking operation and planning. Not only does this practice save you money, but it increases your drivers’ efficiency as well – allowing for less time per trip and a happier customer!


Another positive use for some of these digital telematics solutions is potential route optimization – which is great for fleet managers and saves them valuable time. Although this is not provided by all services, some operators may be inclined to research and take upon the many opportunities the SaaS market gives.



5. Be on alert for service signs!


Our final tip here is one that may come as no surprise to many – make sure you are monitoring your equipment for mechanical problems that may arise on-site. These signs come in many forms and almost always start with your machine’s service sign, so don’t ignore it! Preventative maintenance can go a long way, keeping your well-maintained vehicle from using more fuel than necessary. According to Groff Tractor & Equipment, be on the lookout for excessive black smoke or a bad fuel injector – as these may be significant signs of reduced fuel efficiency.


Along with servicing your equipment in a timely manner, make sure to follow any OEM recommendations put forth for your specific vehicle. If you service your fleet with correct fluids at required levels, your equipment will surely work its intended job with little to no problems. Although this may take you a little extra effort researching specific models and makes, manufacturers know best!


A little effort goes a long way


Putting in this effort to keep your fuel efficiency at its peak is essential to increasing profit margins and cutting gas prices in times such as these. If you were to take any tips from this list, we recommend making sure your fleet is not idling and keeping it well-maintained and serviced. With these simple tips, you can save THOUSANDS of dollars a year and put it into something worth your time.


Not only this, but you can keep your fleet and its operators happy and healthy. Limit accidents, save time AND money, and pave your path to business success with easy fleet management tactics.


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