From January to June 2022, motor fuel prices have increased by 49%, and diesel prices have increased by 55%. Though businesses — in particular those with a fleet of vehicles — can’t control these rising and volatile costs, they can take preventive measures to reduce fuel expenditures.
Fleet fuel management software can come to the rescue. Fuel management technology helps fleet operators maintain their vehicles and optimize routes to save fuel. Plus, it provides insights into fuel consumption patterns that managers can use to improve their fleet business operations.
Businesses can easily keep a check on their operating costs and maximize their profits. It provides an unparalleled level of control over the entire lifecycle process, from acquisition to vehicle disposal.
In this article, we break down the key benefits of using fleet fuel management software for drivers, fleet owners, and managers.
What is fleet fuel management software?
Fuel costs are a major contributor to a fleet’s total operational cost, second only to driver compensation.
Fleet fuel management software maximizes fuel efficiency and helps fleet managers identify the major factors that cause fuel waste. It does this by measuring factors that can cause fuel loss like harsh braking, tailgating, and speeding. Fleet management software can also report these undesired behaviors so you can coach your drivers to improve upon them.
Most fleet management technology is enabled by telematics devices that help you create reports on fuel usage and other fuel-related data points so you can keep track of fuel trends.
But what are the benefits of using such software? We’ll cover this in the next section and share how the CalAmp Application can help.
5 benefits of using a fleet fuel management solution like CalAmp
CalAmp offers fuel management capabilities as part of our telematics solutions that provide essential data on fleet management and fuel consumption.
Telematics lets you receive real-time driver and vehicle information via high-speed cellular or wireless networks. GPS and accelerometer tools provide robust data about the vehicle’s location, speed, and miles traveled. Then, with an Engine Control Module (ECM), you can get engine data to match fuel usage and distance covered.
By leveraging cloud technology, you get to see your entire fleet’s data on one screen and in real-time. Let’s consider more benefits in detail.
1. Track harsh driver behavior to save fuel
Sudden braking, gear changes, harsh accelerations, and speeding can all affect fuel consumption. Just varying a vehicle’s speed up and down between 47 mph and 53 mph can increase fuel use by 20%. Also, at 75 mph, the fuel consumption of a vehicle is 20% more than at 62 mph.
A fleet fuel management solution like CalAmp helps track rash driving habits like:
- Distracted driving
You can also set up dash cams within the vehicle to increase visibility. Dash cams can record harsh driving habits and alert the driver via an in-cab audio alert to drive more safely. At the same time, the fleet manager also gets a notification. So, fleet managers can configure the solution to notify them in real-time of any harsh driving behaviors across their fleet so they can take instant action.
Also, dash cams record videos of any such events, and with these recordings, you can coach drivers about how harsh driving can cause fuel wastage.
For fleet managers who want to implement a reward system, Driver Scorecards can help. They curate data on violations, driving trends, driver performance, and other patterns.
With scorecards, you can reward drivers who demonstrate safe driving behaviors and encourage others to avoid fuel-wasting habits.
2. Manage and enforce routes effectively
It’s no secret that driving long distances requires more fuel. However, you can optimize fuel usage with smart route planning.
Drivers can plan the shortest or the most efficient routes to optimize fuel usage with the help of a traffic map layer in the CalAmp Application. CalAmp can give drivers and fleet managers insight into the routes to avoid by highlighting congestion or construction zones.
You can also use geofence alerts around gas stations where drivers are supposed to refuel (and those that aren’t approved). You can view breaches, if any, in reports or set up alerts to notify you about a breach instantly.
Reports such as Fuel Purchase Summary give users information on when and where the fuel was purchased — these can also provide the data fleet managers need to optimize fuel consumption.
The “ignition alert” feature allows you to configure alerts if a driver uses a vehicle after hours. You can instantly know if an engine is switched on when it shouldn’t.
Optimized routes, geofencing, and ignition alerts help you avoid unnecessary fuel usage.
3. Schedule proactive vehicle maintenance
It’s important to consider the following factors for a well-maintained fleet:
- Properly inflated tires
- Aligned wheels
- Clean fuel filters
- Optimal levels of engine coolants and lubricants
Paying attention to these factors allows you to use less fuel. Preventive maintenance creates significant cost savings by reducing breakdowns. And because there are fewer breakdowns, you don’t have to send another vehicle in for driver assistance or to get back the vehicle.
However, checking upon these factors manually can take up a lot of time. Fleet management software helps with preventive vehicle maintenance so you can spot problems before they occur and save on fuel expenses.
CalAmp gives you detailed reporting on vehicle health, status, battery level, fuel economy, and more so that you can take preemptive measures. For example, you can:
1. Track tire temperature and pressure: CalAmp lets you check trailer tire temperature (with Wheel End Temperature System - WETS) and tire pressure (with tire pressure monitoring sensor). So, if pressure or temperature is abnormal, CalAmp instantly alerts the driver and saves vehicles from breaking down and wasting fuel.
2. Run utilization reports: With CalAmp, you can easily run utilization reports to identify both over and under-utilized vehicles, as both can lead to a lot of fuel wastage. Then, you can take necessary actions, like removing the over-used vehicle or replacing a part of an over-utilized vehicle for better performance and fuel economy.
3. Monitor odometer readings: CalAmp’s trucking solution can send odometer readings to fleet managers to power the maintenance scheduler. The solution identifies looming problems early on and gives safety scores on the health status of the vehicles in different colors (colors are based on different levels of severity). It then notifies when a fault can occur and provides action plans to inform maintenance decisions.
Mileage readings help managers replace vehicles at the optimal time.
4. Track cargo temperature: Our fleet management software allows you to monitor cargo temperature in real-time and set alerts if the temperature falls below a specified limit to prevent cargo spoilage or loss.
You can even adjust temperatures remotely and receive fuel alerts to keep the integrity of cargo intact.
4. Reduce idling
Idling refers to running the engine of your vehicle without driving it. During this time, a truck’s engine continues to burn fuel without providing any movement or productivity.
Idling also produces more emissions into the environment than necessary and puts unnecessary wear and tear on your engine components. Idling is bad for fuel economy if you want to get the most out of your vehicle and drive as efficiently as possible.
In every 10 minutes of idling, an average vehicle (with a 3-liter engine) can waste up to 300 milliliters (over 1 cup) of fuel.
With CalAmp, you can schedule and create idling reports to check how much each driver is idling. You can also set custom alerts to notify you if a driver idles for more time than you have officially set (i.e., notify when idling time is more than 25 minutes).
5. Monitor fuel card usage
One of the main benefits of fuel cards is they help fleet owners to better manage and track their fuel expenses. You can see exactly how much fuel each of your vehicles is using, which can be useful for identifying trends and patterns in fuel consumption.
Fuel cards also help you streamline expenses by consolidating all the fuel purchases onto a single card, rather than having to deal with multiple receipts and invoices from different vendors.
However, drivers can sometimes abuse the use of fuel cards. They can use the fuel cards for personal purchases or make non-fuel-related or unauthorized purchases at a gas station. They can also buy more fuel than required in order to receive a kickback or benefit from the excess fuel. Odometer readings can also be tampered with to make it look as though the vehicle has traveled a shorter distance than it really has.
CalAmp integrates with WEX fuel card data, so you can check:
- Fuel card abuses
- Variances from regular data
- High-price fuel transactions
- Fuel purchases that are more than the vehicle’s tank capacity
- Discrepancies between the fuel purchased and the vehicle
- Mismatches between the vehicle's location at the time of purchase and where the purchase was made (a vehicle could be miles from the gas station where the card was used)
CalAmp also creates reports that can show a summary of all fuel purchases or track the fuel spending of individual drivers.
We also enable easy IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) reporting — you can easily record data on fuel purchases, fuel usage, and vehicle mileage while minimizing audit risk.
Florida county case study
The Public Works Department in one Florida county leverages CalAmp technology to streamline and oversee their 200+ utility vehicles. Specifically, they rely on CalAmp to help them track several organizational KPIs like mileage and excessive idling.
CalAmp’s solution has helped the county’s drivers be mindful of their harsh driving behaviors like speeding, braking, and accelerating. It has also helped reduce unnecessary idling and improved safe driving.
All this has helped the county save more than $150,000 in fleet fuel costs.
Having a fleet fuel management solution is essential
If you have a vehicle fleet and want to manage your fuel costs more effectively, a telematics-based fuel management system may be your solution.
It provides an extra level of visibility and allows managers to accurately control spending, monitor usage trends, and make sure drivers are operating within company protocols.
The CalAmp fleet management software lets fleet owners and managers reduce fuel expenses and enhance fuel economy by keeping harsh driving behaviors in check, creating fuel usage reports, and measuring idling time so there’s no unwanted fuel usage.
Request a demo with CalAmp to see how our solutions can enhance your fleet’s fuel economy.