Fuel accounts for approximately 25% of carrier operating costs. It is the second-highest expense after driver compensation and benefits. Given the general price volatility and high cost of fuel, investing in technology to reduce fuel consumption is a worthwhile endeavor.
Run on Less report
During its Run on Less roadshow, the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) demonstrated that it is possible to reach 10 mpg (23 l/100 km). In short, the experiment included seven fleets of various sizes. The trucks, which were all equipped with commercially available technology, traveled the United States for three weeks, so tests were conducted in a real-life, non-controlled environment.
The report on this initiative aims to dispel doubts about the effectiveness of technology in generating fuel savings. By making recommendations based on hard data, the NACFE hopes to encourage fleets to explore and adopt more technologies. The conclusions are threefold:
Achieving 10 mpg is possible in real-life conditions, by implementing the 10 recommendations presented in the infographic below.
Reaching high mpg requires efforts in several areas, including drivers and equipment.
Telematics reports and data-logging are profitable investments.
How to save fuel
To help carriers achieve 10 mpg, the NACFE developed recommendations that translate into 10 actions. A telematics and telemetry solution alone can cover four of these recommendations. Here’s how.
Training and rewarding conscientious drivers
According to the NACFE report, hiring, training, and rewarding drivers for attaining the best possible fuel economy is an essential element in reaching 10 mpg. Once drivers are at the wheel, technology comes into play to ensure they apply best eco-driving practices. Continuous real-time coaching is the best way to optimize driver performance. A tool such as the ISAAC Coach, which indicates optimal driving behavior for fuel economy, is an invaluable ally.
Given the workforce shortage, an incentive program fosters driver retention and enables carriers to set themselves apart. Offering competitive wages and rewarding high-performance drivers is beneficial for both the company and its drivers. However, setting up a reliable incentive program requires the right tools. To accurately compare eco-driving performance between drivers, the tool has to score them fairly. Drivers must be rewarded for their driving without being penalized for elements that are out of their control, such as truck load, engine power, vehicle year or model, or the road they take.
Optimizing cruise control and vehicle speed
Fleets can foster fuel economy by setting certain parameters. They can limit vehicle speed, for example. However, technology offers far greater potential. Drivers can use advanced technologies to make the right decisions in real time, such as adjusting the accelerator pedal use depending on road slope and truck load. These technologies are intended to guide drivers step by step and suggest best practices while they drive, whether that means progressive acceleration or upshifting.
Reducing idling time
Turning off the truck ignition whenever possible is a practice drivers should adopt. To guide drivers in improving this practice, managers have to be able to access precise data. Thanks to technology, it is possible to calculate the number of excessive idling occurrences. Results presented in terms of overall time or as a ratio of truck operation time are useful in tweaking performance when practices aren’t up to company standards. The technology is also configurable. It can be adapted depending on weather conditions throughout the changing seasons.
Keeping equipment well maintained
Predictive and preventive maintenance, made possible with data collected through a telemetry system, ensure the effective upkeep of truck fleets. Vehicle information, such as odometer readings and engine hours, allows to plan and track maintenance on each unit. Furthermore, thanks to technology, data is sent to the maintenance software thus automating the process and decision-making about maintenance to be performed on vehicles.
Ready to bank on technology to generate fuel savings and derive tangible benefits? Discover the technology several well-known carriers have chosen to maximize their performance and productivity. Contact us or request a meeting to learn more about ISAAC’s solution.