Most trucking companies would do anything to save on fuel. It is foolish to relay on diesel prices because they are always subject to change, making managing the expenses of a trucking company difficult. Luckily, fuel prices have been on the decline since they surged to historically high prices during the summer of 2022. Anyone in the trucking industry (and outside of it) is grateful for that, but fuel costs still remain one of, if not the, biggest expense for trucking companies across the country. Let’s talk about how and why they have begun to decline, what that means for you, and ways to continuously cut on the major expense and increase profits.
With major engine and truck manufacturers such as Cummins, Volvo, Navistar, and Daimler Truck North America partnering with the federal government to make more fuel efficient equipment, trucking companies now have a variety of money saving options at their disposal. For any trucking company, using less fuel means spending less money. The heavier the loads, the greater the saving when using fuel efficient vehicles.
Many larger carriers such as ARAMAK, Coca-Cola, Staples, UPS, AT&T, Enterprise Holdings, and Waste Management have joined the National Clean Fleet Partnership and have already significantly increased their fuel efficiency. This partnership gives members access to information exchange, technical assistance, and single point entry into ‘clean cities according to the the Department of Energy. On top of these benefits, they also make a point to give members public recognition, something that is rare in such a paramount industry. It is time for smaller carriers and owner-operators to make the transition to more fuel efficient vehicles as trucks account for around 25 percent of America’s carbon emissions from vehicles. These adaptations can lead to cheaper costs and improved productivity because the saved costs can go towards benefits like better equipment, salary increases, and driver satisfaction. The equipment and technology is out there and the federal government has been working hard to reduce the costs of these fuel saving advancements.
Currently, the EPA is pushing for the development of engine and power-train improvements, aerodynamics, weight reductions, tire rolling resistance, hybridization, automatic engine shutdown, and accessory improvements such as air conditioning. When trying to save on fuel costs, buying a truck with these features will help to significantly reduce the amount of fuel your trucks consume. If trucking companies want to save on fuel costs, they will increase the efficiency of their trucks.
While post-pandemic gas prices are gone and late September 2023 prices begin to decline for the first time in weeks, drivers must find a way to cut costs on their own. Below are some tips you can take action on in order to save big and profit more:
Invoice Factoring, Fuel Advances, and Fuel Cards
Invoice factoring gives you cash upfront for delayed invoices for a small fee so you can invest in yourself immediately. Oftentimes, factoring companies provide fuel advances of up to 50% of the invoice price so you have money to fill your tank and deliver the load. More so, they can come with fuel cards that allow major discounts by the gallon at certain fuel stations across the country. Combining these three tools is a viable option to manage cash flow, ensuring you have a steady stream of income to deliver your load and keep your truck serviceable.
Idling your truck is something that can easily be overlooked. AAA says that you can burn a quarter tank of gas for every 15 minutes you spend idling. Let’s assume you idle for a total of 2 hours per week and diesel fuel is averaging $5 per gallon throughout the country. That’s a wasted cost of just under $44, 8.5 gallons of fuel, or 56 miles of travel per month!
Tire Pressure and Tread
Worn out tires can play a major factor when looking at your trucks fuel efficiency. Investing in high-end, low rolling resistant tires can save you thousands long-term in gas costs and other maintenance expenses. According to TireBuyer, poorly made, resistant tires can increase your trucks stress and expenditure an additional 4-7%. It is imperative to own a nice set of wheels!
How Can This Help Me Save?
Finding ways to save on fuel and increase efficiency can be frustrating. When beginning, it seems like there is no singular adaptation to help you save. It takes time, effort, and consistency. However, by making small changes to your driving habits and equipment, you will see a gradual increase in efficiency, leading to major savings in the long term. Pairing those changes with tools such as invoice factoring, fuel advances, and fuel cards, can lead towards savings in the hundreds of thousands over so long. Committing yourself to a system can be difficult, luckily we can help guide you in the right direction. Contact us here to learn more.