Fleet tracking: How to reduce fuel costs
By Ryan Driscoll

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This is the second of a three-part series on fleet tracking.

Let's face it, the cost of fuel isn't something fleets can hide from any longer. We all know it's going to continue to rise, and there's nothing we can do about it. What you can do, however, is be proactive in keeping your fuel costs down. A GPS fleet-tracking solution is the ideal tool to keep your fuel costs under control. Here are a few real-life examples:
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Idle-time reduction

Ahern Rentals, a large equipment-rental company, stated they "want to save $100,000 on fuel" in the upcoming month. To accomplish this, a GPS tracking company implemented driver-centric alerts, wherein an alert stating "Turn your truck off" was sent via SMS and/or email to the driver of a respective vehicle after 7 minutes of idle time and every 2 minutes thereafter until the vehicle was turned off. After 15 minutes of idle time the message was also sent via SMS to the driver's supervisor. In the first month after implementation, this customer saved mroe than $100,000 in fuel, reducing its total fuel consumption by nearly 28,000 gallons. These cost savings alone nearly tripled the amount of the total monthly spending on GPS software.

Speed monitoring

Complete Vacuum & Rental, a large oilfield service and rental company, has seen substantial fleet-wide fuel savings. Complete Vacuum & Rental has experienced a 15-20 percent decrease in speeding incidents since deploying GPS tracking in July 2008.

According to www.fueleconomy.gov, "Speeding can lower gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town." Furthermore, research indicates you can assume that for each 5 mph that is driven in excess of 60 mph you will pay an additional $0.24 per gallon for fuel.

Utilizing speeding alerts, the company was able to curb speeding by setting a threshold that instantly alerts management via SMS or email when that threshold is exceeded. Complete Vacuum has realized approximately $1,100 in monthly fuel savings due to proactive speed monitoring.

Optimized routes

Comverge Energy, a large energy corporation, decided to implement Garmin integration at its Arizona location to efficiently dispatch and communicate with its technicians and provide turn-by-turn directions. Garmin functionality optimizes routes and sends them out wirelessly to each vehicle's Garmin, leading to significantly fewer miles driven. Comverge reduced its fuel consumption by approximately 560 gallons in the first month the system was deployed, equivalent to approximately $2,250 in fuel savings with gas at $4 per gallon. Comverge AZ reports it is currently saving almost $200 a month per vehicle by effectively utilizing Garmin integration. With Garmin integration alone, Comverge is saving five times more than the monthly cost of the GPS tracking service.

GPS fleet tracking will help you save on fuel costs, which you otherwise would not be able to control. In addition to cutting idle time, monitoring speeding and optimizing routes, you also can keep fuel costs down by monitoring unauthorized usage, fuel card fraud and maintenance.

See related article: Part I

Ryan Driscoll has served as marketing manager for GPS Insight since 2009. He has worked diligently to become a trusted advisor that provides thoughtful leadership in the areas of GPS tracking and fleet management. Driscoll's background also includes experience in advertising and commercial real estate.