Workshops lead to big savings for small fleets

AWE McNicol three trucks

Reduced fuel use, improved compliance, and greater staff involvement are just some
of the outcomes for operators of small fleets who have been through EECA’s Heavy
Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Workshop Programme.

AWE McNicol workshops [pdf 105 KB]


Central Wool Transport, T/A AWE McNicol, based in Hawkes Bay, started the workshop programme in 2014.

AWE McNicol managing director Warren Brausch says the workshops provided a forum for him and three other transport operators (from different sectors) to have an open and frank conversation about how to achieve efficiency in their respective businesses.

“There was a lot of experience that was shared with us that gave us a kick-start to our fuel savings programme,” says Brausch. “It was an unexpected benefit to meet with the other company managers and share information.”

“We discussed putting systems into place, tyre management, health and safety, and driver training - a lot more than just how to save fuel,” he says.

Brausch says that one of the biggest benefits of starting the EECA Heavy Vehicle Fuel Efficiency programme was seeing greater engagement with the drivers.

“Being a small business we would give the drivers their work orders for the day and off they would go, but now we have a much better engagement with them,” he said.

By simply talking to the drivers about his plans to reduce fuel costs and then use the savings to reward them, Brausch says there was an immediate saving in fuel.

“2.9% is just the beginning, 10% fuel saving would be very achievable by the AWE McNicol driver team.”

“We implemented accurate monitoring of our fuel use, and in four months we have already made a saving of 2.9% in fuel simply by engaging our drivers, and before we’d even started the implementation of the SAFED driver training programme.” he says.

Pollard says that 2.9% is just the beginning, he feels that a 10% fuel saving would be very achievable by the AWE McNicol driver team once they have completed the SAFED programme which is scheduled to be completed within the year.

EECA fuel management advisor Jim Pollard says that the fleet operators had quite different businesses, one was in bulk transport, one was a rural transport operator, one was a bulk product operator, and AWE McNicol is a wool transport specialist.”

“Every workshop series is different as it is adapted for the operators attending. In this case, because the four operators weren’t competitors, the workshops had a lot of sharing of ideas and knowledge on fuel management,” says Pollard.

“They discussed how to improve management of fuel data, how to control fuel and minimise fuel loss and wastage.

AWE McNicol has a fleet of nine truck and trailer units and after comparing notes with the other three operators during the workshop Brausch says he is moving to European brands for their fuel efficiency and has purchased Renault and Volvo trucks for the fleet.

He says that standardisation of the fleet will also pay dividends, there
will be less complexity for permanent staff drivers swapping from one brand of truck to another, and it will also make life easier for relief drivers.

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