Our roads are full of HGVs carrying out the delivery work that means businesses, organisations, shops and schools can continue to function. Delivery work is an essential part of the country’s system. However, all those vehicles use a lot of fuel. Did you realise that diesel and petrol consumption is responsible for around one fifth of the cost of a fleet? Cutting down on energy use will not only boost your company’s profits, but is also better for the environment. Though it might seem like there are very few ways to cut down, you may be surprised by the impact that a handful of small changes can have on your spending.
Choosing Your Routes
It’s a common misconception that the shortest route possible from A to B is the most fuel-efficient option. However, this is not always the case. When your drivers are caught in heavy traffic or drive down winding roads, they may be using more fuel than if they take a longer but less congested route. Regular stopping and starting uses much more energy than simply driving at a consistent speed for a slightly longer time.
Looking After Your Vehicles
Of course, nobody needs to be told how essential it is to keep a fleet in tip-top condition. Ensuring that your vehicles are in good working order will lead to more efficient delivery work and potentially save you money in the long run. De-clogging air filters, removing unnecessary roof racks and checking tire pressure and the engine are just a few things that can help cut fuel usage.
Communicating with Drivers
Keeping lines of communication open at all times is a great way of decreasing your fleet’s fuel consumption. Instead of delivery work drivers wasting time by returning to the depot after a job, they can be informed of their next objective by phone, saving precious mileage. Hauliers can also keep you informed about their progress on the road, as well as delays and holdups, helping you assign drivers to jobs more efficiently.
As well as communicating with your hauliers, it’s important to monitor your fleet out on the road. Assessing your employees’ driving behaviours, both collectively and individually, is one way that you can start making informed decisions about energy consumption. Keeping an eye on bad habits, such as sudden braking and accelerating and rapid cornering, will help you highlight problem areas. These habits use more fuel than necessary, and if you crack down on them, you’ll also be increasing the safety of your drivers.
Using an Online Platform
One of the biggest ways a haulage company can waste fuel is through empty runs. Empty runs also waste time and money, and can be easily remedied by using an online haulage exchange platform to locate and secure loads for return journeys. This means that lorry drivers who have completed their delivery work won’t be returning to base with an empty vehicle, but can pick up an extra load in a convenient location. Company profits are increased and all fuel expended is used for a purpose!
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching delivery work with available drivers. Over 5,000 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.