A new year is seen by nearly everyone as a fresh start and the perfect time to reassess what’s working and what can be improved. And it’s true—the weeks after the holiday rush is over are the ideal time to get the metaphorical and literal house in order. In addition to personal goals, now is a great time to take a magnifying glass to your fleet and consider your overall fuel efficiency.
Fuel efficiency is about far more than just mileage for a fleet owner. It’s about how hard all the components of your fueling system are working for your operation—from what you put in the tank to your billing and invoicing cycle. Use the following steps to clean up your fleet’s fuel system:
- Maximize your current equipment
Nothing can spell trouble faster than ill-maintained or down equipment. A key component to maximizing and maintaining your equipment is what type of fuel you’re using. A premium diesel fuel leaves fewer engine deposits and has been shown to improve fuel economy by as much as 5 percent. According to The Trucker’s Report, the average commercial class-8 truck uses about 20,500 gallons of fuel each year. A 5 percent fuel savings would amount to nearly 1,025 gallons—you can do the math for what the total annual savings would be for your fleet. If you live in a cold northern area, Cenex offers a winterized premium diesel, Wintermaster®, to get through the season. For other areas of the country, Roadmaster XL® would be appropriate for the entire year.
- Right-size your on-site fuel storage
Now is the time to assess if your on-site inventory fits the needs of your fleet. If in the past year you’ve added equipment or if you found your operation slowed down while waiting for deliveries, it may be time to consider upgrading your fuel storage capacity. Even if your fleet hasn’t grown, fewer deliveries mean fewer variables, which all affects how smoothly your operation runs. If your tank size and delivery schedules are the right fit for your operation, be sure to take the time to have your tank cleaned. Water and contaminants can build in fuel storage tanks and, over time, cause fuel filter and engine issues for your vehicles.
- Streamline your fleet’s invoicing and billing
Another key area to consider when looking for efficiencies in your total fuel system is reducing paperwork and finding ways to simplify your billing. For example, one benefit of adding on-site storage is dealing with fewer invoices. If you haven’t done so already, consider incorporating a fleet fuel card – like the Cenex Voyager Fleet card. With the Cenex Voyager Fleet card, operators can save up to five cents per gallon on monthly fuel purchases and receive free online tracking of mileage and expenses. A new fuel card that offers consolidated invoices, volume rebates and driver rewards could help simply your business.
An efficient fuel system, from the diesel you use to how you develop a simple billing process, is important. No matter where the road takes you and your fleet, your local Cenex® dealer is here every step of the way to answer questions you may have while planning.
Photo courtesy of FLICKR USER.