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Archive for February, 2013

Fleet Operators – Are you doing all you can to address the three most important factors in Fleet Operation?

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

A recent study was done by Steril-Koni about important factors for fleet maintenance operations. The study shows that safety, controlling costs, and minimizing downtime are the three most important factors in fleet operations. Here are a few tips that will help your company handle these three factors.

  • Decrease idle lengths: According to a MPG Guide by Cummins, every hour of idling decreases fuel efficiency by 1%. For many years, truck drivers have been taught to not turn off a diesel engine and, while there may be some need to do this with much older engines, it is not necessary for today’s engines. The average truck will consume approximately one gallon of fuel per hour. Long-haul truckers are required to rest 10 hours per 11 hours of driving.  In addition, the trucking industry estimates that long duration idling costs the truck owner $1.13 per day, based on the need for more frequent oil changes and sooner overhaul costs. Have your drivers stay in hotels and you will not only avoid idling costs, but you will have safer drivers because they will be more rested.
  • Evaluate the past data of accident reports: By constantly looking at past mistakes, you can prevent the same mistakes from happening again. This will keep your drivers safe and your costs down.
  • Plan regular inspections on your trucks: Even though you already inspect key parts of your trucks before every trip you could increase fuel efficiency and prevent larger maintenance issues from happening by including a more thorough regular inspection schedule. For example, your valve, injector and engine brake adjustments tighten and loosen overtime. Use your engine manufacturer recommendations for intervals, but get it done. This not only helps keep your fuel mileage at par, but extends the life of your engine.
  • Consider making investments in fuel saving options: Trailer side skirts are now available for under $1,000 and with fuel savings of over 6%, as verified in independent SAE Type II track testing, these once costly options now may make economic sense.
  • Trip Reports:  If you are a Fleet operator or owner operator, go to the shop you frequent and have them pull your trip reports often. They will charge you a minimal fee if anything to print these reports. These reports must be pulled from the ECM, and must have an OEM program to do so. The data is invaluable. Your get detailed information on idle time percentage, cruise time percentage, top speed percentage, as well as the ECM calculated fuel mileage. This report can help your troubleshoot your driver’s or your own driving habits that need attention.

The easiest way to control costs is to become a CLC member and save 20%-40% on the lowest published rate at any CLC network hotel. Your drivers will get a better night of sleep and you will save money on fuel and lodging.

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