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How Driver Behavior Affects Fleet Fuel Management

September 05, 2019     ShareThis

Fuel. One of the most costly expenses any fleet spends on a daily basis can become a recurring nightmare for fleet managers looking to stay within budget.

Though there are many external factors that can affect your fleet’s fuel usage such as, accidents, road closures, and such, ultimately, main fuel consumption ties back to the drivers – and their behavior – after all, they are the ones behind the wheel. For your company’s bottom line, uncontrolled driver behavior can spell serious bad news, as not only is your company harming the environment – more than it has to – but also, you overall company growth efforts are being gravely impacted, due to an inability to repeatedly go over your fuel budget.

However, luckily for you, driver behaviors are more than fixable. In fact, you can boost overall vehicle fuel efficiency by as much as 30% if you pay attention to driving styles and behaviors. And, all it takes is a little training.

But first, let’s find out just how driver behavior affects your fleet’s fuel management, and just how route planning software can help.
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Speeding

We all know a driver that is always jack-rabbiting when the lights turn green. While your drivers may think that their speeding actually decreases the time that they are on the road – it truly reduces breaking time by 4%. But, along with the jackrabbit starts, and harsh breaking that comes along with speeding, also comes a higher consumption of fuel, and of course, increased toxic emissions.

In fact, speeding can increase fuel consumption by up to 25%. Therefore, encouraging your drivers to keep to the speed limit, and maintain a constant speed, or even coasting, should be a top priority for you. As well as training, investing in route planning software is the way to go. With real-time GPS tracking, you can be in the know on your drivers habits at all times, as well as plan an optimized route that will get your drivers where they need to be at the right time – so, they can focus on getting to the destinations at a constant speed, without worrying about times.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive drivers are everywhere, and like most things, have the ability to influence others on the road with their competitive, dangerous, and intimidating driving behaviors. Whether your drive as such, or mimic drivers such as these, it’s fairly easy for them to fall into the unsafe driving trap, and mimic, or even encourage, aggressive driving on the road.

Now, aside from the obvious unsafe nature of this driving, behaviors such as tail-gating, phone use, harsh breaking, and so on, can all lead to unsafe and aggressive driving, which in turn, greatly impacts fuel consumption.

As well as this, aggressive driving is known to reduce a vehicle’s engine life, and increase wear and tear on the tyers – thus, quickly making fuel, not the only expense you’ll have to worry about.

It’s clear that even the most seasoned drivers are not immune to influences from others. However, they can also be influenced for the better. By demonstrating safe driving behaviors your drivers should practice while on the road, you’ll be able to ensure they ignore their unsafe impulses and save on a lot of fuel.

Idling

We’re no strangers to the fact that your car is performing at its least efficient when it’s going nowhere. While idling, your car may be stopped on the same spot, yet the engine is still running – meaning that fuel is being burned, you’re drivers are getting nowhere, and you’re producing greenhouse gasses. Seems like a bad situation, wouldn’t you agree?

To avoid this, hold training sessions that encourage your drivers to turn off their engines when stopped for more than 30 seconds, for example when stopped at a delivery, stopped on the side of the road, and even better, create an optimized route that minimizes idling situations. Thereby, effectively removing the possibility to idle for your drivers.

While you personally may not be out on the road to determine traffic conditions, in today’s day and age, that’s okay. With route planning software, you can receive real-time updates on any weather and traffic conditions that may compromise the route, and plan accordingly, to ensure your drivers aren’t idling, and wasting unnecessary fuel.

Conclusion

When it comes to fuel consumption, there are so many factors that could affect your driver’s fuel use. But, these external factors aren’t the only influencer, after all, it’s your drivers that control the vehicle – and so, certainly impact fuel consumption rates.

Behaviors such as speeding, aggressive driving, and idling, are only but a few of the bad habits your drivers may have while behind the wheel. Therefore, it’s your job to encourage them to practice safer, and consistent behaviors, for the sake of their safety, and your budget.

With MyRouteOnline’s route planner, you’ll be able to keep track of these bad habits and prevent them. All you have to do is enter your addresses, and keep an eye on all activities – and as an added bonus, you’ll receive an optimized route, helping you save even more fuel along the way.