It used to be that the simple ability to choose diesel fuel over gasoline was a cost-benefit, but that’s no longer the case. Now you’re getting hammered, and fuel costs just keep rising. No wonder uncovering ways to increase diesel fuel performance has become a major concern for fleet operators.
Whether your fleet includes heavy-duty trucks, buses and other transportation vehicles, construction equipment or lighter vehicles using diesel, using an automated fuel management system can help you capture extensive data about how your vehicles are functioning and where your fuel is going. You can use that information to evaluate every aspect of your fleet operation.
And that means you can maximize diesel fuel performance for a more profitable bottom line.
Resist the urge to idle.
The State of Connecticut prohibits idle times over three minutes except in certain unavoidable circumstances. And they’re not alone. Idling has become something of a “poster child” for excessive vehicle emissions, with resulting legislative action across the country. But getting idle time under control can significantly boost your company’s bottom line, too.
What’s your average mileage now? And what’s your average daily idle time per vehicle? Industry statistics show that a “typical” diesel-powered vehicle burns about one gallon for every hour at idle. If you could cut that by just 25%, how much would you save over a year?
Shutting down engines when they aren’t actually working or using auxiliary power to run air conditioning or heaters during stops and breaks can tremendously improve diesel fuel performance and save considerable money. It also reduces unproductive-but-costly engine hours. That means you’ll be able to stretch out your routine maintenance schedule. Lower total engine hours will increase the vehicle’s resale or trade-in value or simply extend its lifespan, and can extend the value of your warranty, too.
Diesel fuel performance is easily monitored with a fuel management system. You get reliable, accurate, complete data – exactly the information you need to plan projects, manage daily operations, support long-term planning and capital investment strategy.
Take advantage of diesel fuel performance technologies.
In some cases, specialized equipment can help your engines produce top diesel fuel performance. You might consider:
Enhance driver training.
Even the best drivers can get into a routine that may not be the most economical.
Power take-offs not only waste fuel, over time they can cause soot build-up that further reduces mileage and can cause expensive equipment failure. Speeding increases aerodynamic drag which in turn reduces mileage. For heavy-duty trucks, simply reducing speed from 56 to 50 miles-per-hour can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 22 percent.
Your fuel management system can monitor diesel fuel performance with detailed vehicle statistics but also with information that pinpoints where drivers could be more thoughtful or more conservative. Instituting specialized training or refresher courses can make drivers more aware of the effects of their actions. Get them actively involved in working to save fuel by rewarding them – hold a contest for the greatest improvement, or offer awards for the best quarterly record, etc.
Ultimately, getting top diesel fuel performance depends on knowing what you have and putting it to the most cost-effective use. Investing in an electronic fuel management system can help you track, monitor and manage fuel assets, dispensing details, accounting and compliance reporting. It can eliminate human error and greatly enhance fuel security. And all that adds up to short-term and long-term savings.
Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee