Setting up your fuel efficiency programme
Setting up your fuel efficiency programme with care from the outset greatly improves your chances of success.
EECA Registered Fuel Management Advisors
EECA registered Fuel Management Advisors are available to assist transport operators to establish fuel efficiency programmes and can apply for funding from EECA to cover some of the costs associated with establishing a customised programme to suit their business. For more information visit the link below and a list of FMA's is available on the "How to apply" tab.
Understanding your costs
The FMA will assist you to identify your fuel costs and develop the necessary initiatives to focus on reducing not only fuel costs but a range of other transport related costs such as repairs and maintenance, tyres, insurance excess, ACC premium and potentially even fleet vehicle selection.
Remember, you can't manage what you don't measure.
The FMA will help you establish achievable targets to reduce fuel costs of up to 10% of your annual fuel bill.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
For saving fuel, the most important KPI is fuel efficiency in km/litre for each vehicle, or litres per 100 km travelled (L/100km).
Calculate this by filling your tanks at the end of each month and taking odometer or hubodometer readings. GPS-based service providers may be able to provide distance figures, too. As with all your figures, they must be accurate to be useful. You need at least 3 months to establish a reasonable baseline.
Other KPIs to consider:
- fuel productivity in tonne-km/litre or revenue/litre of fuel used (fuel intensity), to help you to look at ways of getting the most out of every dollar of fuel you spend.
- time spent when the engine is idling and the vehicle is not moving down the road
- speeding events or time spent over the legal speed limit, especially time spent above 90km/h. Speeding makes very little difference to total travel time, but uses a lot more fuel.
Start making changes
Harsh driving uses up to 30% more fuel than smooth driving uses. There are several simple measures you can take to improve your driver's fuel consumption.
Tyres and wheel alignment
Inflating tyres and aligning wheels correctly saves fuel. A vehicle with a tyre under-inflated by 10 psi across an axle set uses 1% more fuel. Having even one degree of misalignment across an axle set not only increases wear on tyres but also increases fuel use.
The FMA will either carry out of arrange for an EECA funded tyre audit to be carried out on your fleet and include any initiatives to improve fuel efficiency as part of the overall fuel efficiency programme.
Review your maintenance procedures to give special attention to engine tuning, unblocking air filters, using the best oil and making sure brakes don't drag.
There is little benefit to be had from fitting aerodynamic devices to vehicles that operate at average speeds lower than 70km/hr. However, to save on fuel when operating at these lower speeds, place loads near headboards when possible. Using covers on empty tipper bodies saves fuel at all speeds. For higher speed operation, the biggest improvement will come from a properly fitted cab roof deflector or fitting side guards or panels (skirts) to trucks and trailers. Skirts not only improve fuel efficiency but also reduce road spray in wet conditions, provide some under-run protection and improve vehicle stability.
The FMA will work with you to review your routing and scheduling practices to identify potential improvements. Where plant and machinery is a key part of your fleet, the FMA can assist with fuel efficiency initiatives here too.