Fuel costs can consume 60% of fleet operating budgets and with fuel costs rising it is more important than ever to control this variable expense. On top of the rising cost of fuel, not only does excessive idling create unnecessary fuel consumption but will also increase a company’s maintenance costs by several thousand dollars per vehicle. The increase in engine hours will also lead to downtime of the vehicle due to more frequent maintenance visits. One way to measure idle time in your fleet is to utilize V-Track. Customized reporting options will show fleet managers idle time, excessive idle time as well as excessive RPM by driver, specific branch, region as well as the entire fleet. V-Track is capable of sending alerts to management of violators and thresholds can be set to impact the drivers scorecard highlighting fuel efficiency. It is important to use this data and assign costs to what excessive idling costs a company. Once there is an understanding of what the idle data is, there are several ways to work with drivers to reduce idle time.
- Driver Training
Once problem drivers with excessive idle times are identified, it is important to create training programs that address this behavior specifically. Train drivers to shut off engines if they expect to be parked or standing for a while. When drivers understand that cost savings for a company benefits them in the long term, increases their driver scores, and helps for more stable employment, they tend change this behavior to remain in good standing with their company.
- Incentivize Drivers for Good Behavior
The most effective way to get drivers to save on fuel is to incentivize drivers for good behavior. Our customer base that has utilized telematics data, such as idle time reduction and drivers’ safety scores to pay drivers safety bonuses has seen the most benefit in seeing their drivers do their part in managing fuel costs. The benefit of using a telematics tracking product like V-Track is that this data is easily reportable and available at any moment.
- Optimize Vehicle Routes
A big cause of high idle times is traffic congestion. In most cases traffic is difficult to avoid, however optimization of delivery routes to avoid heavy traffic areas can go a long way in reducing costs. Velocitor’s V-Track system uses algorithms that optimize routes with predictive traffic to avoid areas with heavy congestion. Tracking vehicles and adjusting routes is a good way to avoid high traffic areas, which will help in reducing unnecessary idle time.
Gamification of telematics data is often used by safety departments; however it can also be a beneficial tool for fleet efficiency. V-Track measures excessive idle time and excessive RPM and directly applies it to the driver score. Providing gift cards or prizes for highest score, greatest improvement, or least idle time can motivate drivers to practice good fuel management behavior creating a great benefit to the company.