Owners of small- and medium-sized businesses know that every penny counts. Little savings here and there can mean a stronger bottom line, so finding new ways to save is important. Fueling your business vehicle or fleet is typically a considerable expense, but it’s one that offers plenty of potential for improvement. These tips can help you save on gas, which is vital for a vehicle that is always on the go, whether it’s driving the crew to and from job sites or the kids to school or soccer practice.
Maintain correct tire pressure
Tires serve an important role in any vehicle, so take care of them accordingly. Check the driver-side doorjamb or the rear edge of the driver door for the recommended tire pressure label, which has been required on all vehicles since 2003. Keep the weight of the loads you typically carry in mind, and adjust the tire pressure according to the label’s recommendations. Use a quality digital or dial-type pressure gauge to check the tire pressure monthly. Maintaining proper tire pressure not only improves your fuel efficiency, it also minimizes unnecessary tire wear and improves safety.
Lighten your load
Fuel economy is directly related to several factors, vehicle weight among them. If your truck or van is carrying unnecessary cargo, you may find savings in fuel costs by trimming the fat. Business vehicles certainly need tools, materials and equipment to get the job done, and even to be prepared for unexpected conditions — but a little organizing can go a long way toward reducing weight. Clean out those duplicate tools, extra materials and items you don’t regularly use. You’ll save money on gas and save time on searching for the right part or tool.
Driving style is another factor that contributes significantly to fuel economy and offers real potential for savings. The first step is to slow down. Reducing cruising speed will lower your fuel consumption, and so will accelerating more slowly and gently. Watch traffic ahead and leave plenty of space to avoid abrupt stopping and going. Driving gently improves fuel efficiency and reduces driver stress, a definite win-win.
Minimizing miles driven and avoiding traffic can have great positive impacts on your expenses and, therefore, your profits. You need to go where you’re needed and to respond in a timely manner to serve your customers. Do it more efficiently — saving on time and gas — by planning your trips smartly. You’ll maintain your reputation for reliability while minimizing your fuel costs.
Some traffic is unpredictable, but the morning and evening traffic in many places runs like clockwork. If possible, stay off the roads during peak commuting times. Dedicate those hours to billable work instead.
Maintain your vehicle
Fuel efficiency is greatest when all the systems of your vehicle are operating properly. An engine that’s running poorly can clearly have a negative impact on fuel economy, but other components, like suspension or electrical systems, also require proper maintenance to deliver efficient performance. Regular maintenance like oil and filter changes keep your engine in peak condition while giving technicians a chance to inspect other components like suspension, exhaust and brakes. You’ll save on gas while minimizing the costs and downtime of major repairs caused by neglecting regular service.
Gas prices spike and dip, but the expense of fueling your commercial vehicle always plays into your bottom line. Picking up a few more miles per gallon — over thousands of miles — can really add up. As a business owner, you have the freedom to decide how to spend the extra cash. Give your workers a bonus, market to new customers — and finally take that much-needed vacation with your family.