6 Ways To Improve Your Fleet Efficiency

by Michael Kotendzhi | Trucking, Logistics

Today, everyone's world revolves around one simple word; efficiency. That is what drives businesses forward, saves people's time, and improves the quality of life. With that in mind, let's try to be efficient today. Here are six ways to improve your fleet efficiency and help your drivers and your company.

The dangers of idle time

Idle time of the vehicle is becoming more and more common. When the motor is running but the vehicle is not moving, it poses a serious issue with gasoline consumption. About 2 minutes of idle time is equal to almost a 1 mile of driving. The best way to tackle this issue is to look for ways to reduce idle time as much as possible. That means:

  • instruct the drivers to reduce the time spent warming up the engine;
  • anytime they wait for the traffic light or stop to make a delivery, they should turn off their truck;
  • they shouldn't keep the engine running just so they could use the radio and other equipment;

Introduce fuel cards

Fuel cards are a good way of tracking how much money the drivers spend on fuel. That is a great money-saving strategy to reduce company costs and increase fleet efficiency. You will ensure they purchase the fuel at the best prices, and in return, get data about their spending fuel habits.

Reduce delays in the time schedule

Time delays are probably the number one issue in the logistics industry. Whether it is because of the mistakes in inventory tracking, organizational issues, or any other reason, it seriously affects fleet efficiency.
An excellent way to tackle this issue is to implement fleet management software. A telematics system will provide an array of useful data that will help increase your fleet efficiency in all sectors.

Route planning

Another strategy to reduce fuel consumption and deal with delivery delays is to plan more efficient routes. As mentioned earlier, any time you start the engine, stop, or maintain idle time, it uses up the fuel. Frequent stops throughout the day are not a good thing. With a more efficient route, the drivers will operate more efficiently and get the job done faster.

Driving behavior changes that will improve your fleet efficiency

It is a fact that drivers face many difficulties on the road. Whether it is because of the road or weather conditions, traffic jams, or any other unpredicted situations, the way of driving affects fleet efficiency.

One of the goals should be to go easy on the brakes. Hard stops use more fuel and affect the brakes over time. It will lead to more frequent maintenance, and consequently, more expenses.

To fix this issue, you need to apply a proactive strategy and anticipate potential problems on the road. Furthermore, all drivers need to be more conscientious and resort to hard braking only when necessary.

Another way to improve driving behavior is to be mindful of the speed limit. As an example, a driver might have fallen behind schedule. To make the delivery on time, he or she increases the speed of the vehicle above the limit. They reach the destination on time, or even earlier, but spend additional money on the fuel. Furthermore, they put other drivers at risk and potentially risk being stopped by the police due to speeding.

Regular vehicle maintenance

An effective supply chain management requires vehicles to operate without any problems. Any issue with the vehicle will result in unscheduled stops and create massive delays, consequently reducing the overall fleet efficiency. Furthermore, it poses a danger for the driver and other people on the road.

With that said, always replace fuel filters on time, use recommended grades of motor oil, repair any damage or replace parts, and keep everything functional at all times.
Key takeaways

Let's do a quick summary of the way to help your fleet in operating better:

  • reduce idle time
  • use fuel cards
  • cut schedule delays
  • plan more efficient routes
  • improve driving behavior
  • do regular vehicle maintenance

By following these strategies, you will improve your fleet efficiency and help the business move forward.

Michael Kotendzhi is President of Operations & Transportation and a partner at 18 Wheels. Michael has over 15 years of experience and is equipped with a degree in Logistics from the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business. As well as a background in logistics from XPO Logistics (formally Kelron Logistics), North America's largest contract warehousing provider.

Michael's experience includes supply chain management, reverse logistics, & domestic transportation. He has developed 18 Wheels' trucking solutions, effectively utilizing the sister company's vehicle fleet and building a transportation supply-chain network across North America.