Skyrocketing diesel pricing is creating a daunting challenge for motor carriers, forcing them to reconsider their approach to fuel management.
An eyefortransport survey published this year found fleets are using an assortment of performance improvements to ease the pressure from fuel costs. Training drivers on more fuelefficient driving techniques is the most popular measure taken to date, which also indicates that either outdated or non-existent fuel conservation training can be very detrimental to the fuel consumption of a fleet. Improving vehicle maintenance was also high on the list as was restricting vehicle speeds, a move that has admittedly been meeting with vocal opposition from drivers and owner/operators.
Truck manufacturers have worked hard of late to produce more aerodynamic vehicles and 14% of the carriers surveyed saw investing in the new aerodynamic designs when upgrading their fleets as a priority in combating fuel costs. A similar number of fleets said they have increased their manual tire checks. Only a small number (4%) said they have attempted to reduce truck or trailer weights to improve performance. Almost 10% of the sample reported using other types of performance improvements to combat fuel costs, including better fuel benchmarking, improved routing and scheduling, monitoring driver habits and introducing auxiliary power units.
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