How fleet managers can soften the blow of record fuel prices

Despite the recent announcement of lower fuel price adjustments by Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, South African consumers and businesses remain financially burdened and under pressure.

“Companies that operate a fleet of vehicles – using two or more vehicles as part of their operations – have never been more in need of finding effective ways to manage their finances and save on costs, regardless of the size of the economy,” said Justin Manson, director of sales at Webfleet. “It is crucial that any company’s fleet management adopts solutions that help reduce the fuel consumption of its vehicles and improve driver behavior.”

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Although fleet managers cannot control fluctuating fuel prices in South Africa, there are several ways to help them monitor their fleet’s fuel consumption more effectively.

Encourage fuel-efficient driving behavior

Driving behavior management has countless benefits, including reducing vehicle wear, accident risk and fuel consumption. Fleet managers can help drivers use their vehicles more economically on the road by enrolling them in a driver training program. These programs help educate them on fuel-efficient driving, including unnecessary idling, hard braking, and acceleration.

Fleet managers can complement this training with a driving performance monitoring solution, providing drivers with direct feedback and predictive driving advice on the road. This level of responsible driving will help businesses reduce the total cost of vehicle ownership.

Maintain vehicles

Ensuring fleets are well maintained helps fleet managers avoid vehicle downtime, which is a major inconvenience for any business. In addition to late or missed deliveries, which negatively impact business profits and a company’s image, unmaintained vehicles can also increase fuel expenses.

To avoid this and increase fuel efficiency, fleet managers can integrate digital vehicle maintenance solutions, which help them closely monitor the service requirements of each vehicle.

These tools also allow fleet managers to minimize the risk of breakdowns or downtime for vehicle maintenance by providing detailed information on the condition of the vehicle. These solutions can also use vehicle odometer information to efficiently plan fleet maintenance tasks, provide trouble code information, and reduce vehicle costs.

Avoid drivers getting stuck in a traffic jam

Drivers stuck in traffic can seriously affect productivity and fuel efficiency. By introducing driving terminals with navigation, fleet managers can access a complex network of live traffic data and advanced algorithms to help drivers avoid traffic jams, closed roads and other obstacles that could disrupt their schedules.

Route optimization takes the guesswork out of the order in which specific tasks should be performed. Coupled with live traffic information, it’s one of the best ways for any fleet business to save on fuel costs.

Go green by operating sustainably

A new study published by Moneybarn reveals that South Africa is ranked first for producing the most carbon dioxide emissions in the world. Companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint can encourage drivers to adopt better driving habits, such as avoiding hard acceleration, providing smooth, slow cornering and braking, and avoiding speeding.

Telematics solutions monitoring fuel consumption can also flag carbon emissions, enabling even more businesses to transition to environmentally friendly operations without compromising fuel reduction efforts.

“Fleet managers have access to a range of solutions to help them monitor and optimize the fuel consumption of their vehicles, including driver behavior such as speeding and idling, scheduling routing and even vehicle maintenance. These measures allow fleet managers to safely and efficiently navigate fluctuating fuel prices and ensure their businesses are operating in the most economical manner possible,” concludes Manson.

Daniel C. Williams