Fuel expenses rank near the top of the biggest concerns for trucking companies of all sizes. The cost of fuel is a big part of every budget in the trucking industry, and prices can seemingly fluctuate overnight, making it difficult to accurately allocate finances. However, if fuel expenses are unpredictable, there are at least a few things trucking companies can do to help lower the costs.
1. Planning Routes for Better Fuel Prices
Trip planning is essential to the efficiency of every carrier, but adding in fuel prices can make a big difference. Different states have different fuel prices and taxes on gas. Planning a trip with stops to fill up the tank in locations with lower prices can save a lot of money on fuel expenses.
2. Driving Habits Impact Fuel Expenses
There are two big factors that really eat into fuel expenses. First, driving at top speeds increases fuel consumption. The second is idling. Reducing idling can be a big hurdle to overcome, as most of the time it takes place when truckers are waiting for customers to load or unload shipments. Drivers and trucking companies are encouraged to work with customers to improve efficiency during loading and unloading times, and to reduce idling. As an aside, truckers should be encouraged to use cruise control on long trips and to implement auxiliary power units to improve fuel efficiency.
3. Implement Driver Scorecards
More carriers are using driver scorecards as incentives to reward truckers for following pest practices. Truckers need to be educated on the importance of fuel expenses and how those costs impact everything from profitability on down to the ability to get new equipment, and salaries. By using miles per gallon as a metric, driver scorecards allow truckers to see how they compare to others in the fleet and measure their own fuel efficiency.
4. Fuel Purchases
Trucking companies seem to be unable to negotiate the price at the pump, but that doesn’t prevent them from saving money on fuel expenses. By taking advantage of fuel cards, trucking companies can save upwards of 25 cents per gallon. Some fuel cards even offer big savings on equipment and high-viscosity oils, which also help lower fuel expenses. At Express Freight Finance, we offer a comprehensive fuel card program that works with over 6,800 locations throughout the United States. Our fuel cards offer savings on equipment, maintenance, and tolls, and can be used as lines of credit per truck in your fleet. Contact Express Freight Finance today and start saving on fuel.