Big List of Fuel Savings Tips for Your Businesses

Fuel cost is a primary budget factor for all businesses. With today’s extreme fuel prices, fortunately, there are many ways operators can cut vehicle fuel waste and costs substantially. Below is a list of great ways to help reduce fuel costs for your business. These recommendations are provided by various experts in industrial vehicle operation.

Managing the Problem of High Fuel Costs

The general complaint about fuel costs is one we’ve seen discussed in online industry forum pages and expressed in interviews with national service business leaders:

Fuel bills have increased to staggering rates during recent operating periods. Unfortunately, it can be a conundrum trying to find appreciable savings upfront, since the majority of fuel providers are similarly priced. At best, you can reasonably expect to save just a few pennies per gallon. The biggest reduction in the fuel bill was from tighter controls on purchases. For example, using fleet fuel purchase cards and having managers check receipts daily, more efficient route planning, and increased driver fuel waste awareness training.
Some routes cover many miles per day. So, educating drivers on how much can be saved from reducing speed from 70 to 65 mph can make a big difference in fuel consumption, wear on vehicles, and safety.

General Fuel Savings Tips

Here are some obvious and some less apparent fuel savings tips to help you manage operating costs in your portable restroom rental or other sewage-hauling business:

When Route Planning

Optimize Routes: Improve route efficiency by ensuring that each driver is taking the shortest and least congested driving route. Ideally, choose routes that are also the least interrupted by traffic stops, school zones, construction work areas, other slow speed zones, etc. Routinely ask your drivers for current input. Reducing service route driving time can cut up to 20 minutes daily average per vehicle.
Make Sure GPS Matches Routes: Monitor GPS systems carefully, and ensure all drivers are actually using the routes you have designated. This is to prevent some workers from attempting to lengthen their work hours by using longer or slower routes to and from customer sites.
Choose Best Urban Drive Times: Travel at the least busy times for the areas the driver needs to pass through.

Reduce Engine RPMs: Remind all drivers frequently to use the overdrive option for highway driving. Lower RPMs means less fuel waste.
Control Driving Speeds: Emphasize using cruise control in vehicles that have that feature.

Monitor Driver Habits: Require good driving behaviors. Use monitoring technology to automatically flag excessive acceleration, idle times, and much more for auto-reporting.

Use Good Routing Tech: There is even technology that designs routes to avoid as many left turns as possible! That cuts idle time. In larger fleets, this can yield worthwhile fuel savings.

When Fueling

Top-Off the Tank: Keeping fuel topped off leaves less space in the tank for ambient air, which means minimal space for the buildup of water condensation. (This can be a worse problem in the Southeast and South Midwest than in the arid Southwest desert region.)
Use the Right Fueling Station: Be smart with where you tell your drivers/operators/mechanics to fuel up. At a few cents here and there all year long in a big fleet can add up to major fuel cost savings over time.

Assign the Right Equipment: For example, don’t send heavier vehicles out in the field for a repair call or an off-site customer meeting if you have a pickup truck that can serve the purpose.

Reduce Weight in Tanks: For longer driving distances, try to use the nearest liquid waste dumping facility to the pickup destination, instead of bringing it all the way back to more familiar locations.

Turn Off Engine When Parked: Cut down fuel-wasting idle time by turning off engines while fueling, waiting in line, servicing toilet units, eating lunch, making phone calls, etc.

Use Cardlock for Fueling: Monitor your Cardlock system carefully and use alerts to notify you when drivers are fueling. Watch for theft.
Convert to Propane: Propane is typically spectacularly cheap per gallon compared to gasoline or diesel after installation rebates, and the fuel mileage is similar to gasoline. Investing in an engine conversion may seem financially risky, but for driving routes hundreds of miles per day between several service vehicles and sewage water hauling trucks, the ROI may make this a good option for you.

When Performing Maintenance

Inspect All Moving Parts: Check all moving engine and external operational parts on each vehicle on a routine fleet inspection schedule.
Maintain Correct Tire Pressure: Keep the air pressure in all tires at the manufacturer’s specifications. Driving on low tires causes drag, and that cuts your miles per gallon.

Change Oil: As part of your scheduled fleet maintenance, change engine oil and oil filters on all service vehicles at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.

Maintain Clean Radiator Clean: All vehicle radiators should be kept clean as a priority. When an engine runs at hotter temperatures, it burns fuel less efficiently.

Change Spark Plugs: Changing spark plugs on schedule. Letting bad spark plugs wait for replacement can increase fuel waste by as much as 30%!

Track Current Conditions: Track the current vehicle, road, weather, and traffic conditions, and any other factors that can affect your budgeted daily fuel consumption.

Change Air and Oil Filters: Fuel filters and air filters per the vehicle manufacturer’s prescribed maintenance instructions to avoid clogging that reduces the engine’s performance. Regularly changing fuel filters will also lengthen the life of the fuel injectors.
Maintain Fuel Injectors: Compare performance between trucks to help identify those that are consuming fuel disproportionately. Check the fuel injectors and have faulty units serviced.

Check for Fuel Leaks: Check for fuel or oil leaks from trucks routinely and make repairs promptly.

When Buying Vehicle Parts

Choose the Appropriate Tires: Install proper tires for urban street and highway driving, vs. heavily treaded tires for rough terrain.
Use the Most Economical Fuel Type: Be careful choosing the fuel type for the new wastewater hauling vehicles you purchase. Naturally, the type of fuel you select should be partly based on the region you’re in.

Overall Significance of Fuel Waste Reduction

Promoting business fuel cost savings by sharing information with employees and peer companies can help liquid waste-handling business owners succeed. It can also help the small business economy and the country more broadly. So, set goals and follow through with fuel savings strategies. Then, remember to congratulate yourself and your team on improving your efforts toward the industry’s reduction of fuel waste and environmental pollution. It is essential to the collective performance of the commercial services economic subsector in environmental responsibility.

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