7 Steps to Reduce Your Fleet’s Overheads
Managing a fleet is a costly endeavour that can quickly spiral out of control as your business grows and can even limit your growth as the overheads of keeping vehicles on the road eat into your business’ profits.
With that in mind, Simon Fitton, our transport manager shares our secrets in running a high mileage fleet of 60 fuel tankers cost-effectively.
He remarked: “Managing a fleet is a complex operation and ensuring it is run in a streamlined and efficient manner is paramount to the job. That’s why it’s important that anyone who runs their own cars, vans or trucks learns how to benefit from improving the quality of their fleet and reducing what they spend on fleet-related overheads without compromising the standards to which the job is carried out.”
Cost-effective vehicle finance
Leasing through contract hire is an effective and essential way of financing a fleet that allows you to continuously upgrade and have the newest, cleanest and most fuel-efficient models on the road.
If your drivers require multiple fuelling stops on a long-distance journey, then fuel cards are a cost-effective way of paying for your fuel at fuel stations as they are cheaper than pump price.
Bulk fuel ordering
In order to save even more on fuel prices, invest in on-site bulk oil storage facilities – regardless of if your fleet runs on diesel or petrol. If you have the space for an oil storage tank of even 1,000-litres this will reduce your expenditure on road-fuel, as bulk fuel orders dramatically reduce the price of fuel – especially if your fleet regularly refills at pricey service stations.
Single manufacturer fleet
As you upgrade your fleet, streamlining it to one manufacturer is essential. Two years ago, our fleet consisted of tankers from multiple manufacturers. Now, as a result of phasing out older vehicles and replacing them with brand new tankers, all of Crown Oil’s tankers are Euro-6 grade DAF trucks which allows us to streamline their maintenance. This has a significant impact in reducing maintenance costs too as they all require the same parts, so sourcing replacements is easy, and when you order parts in bulk, you spend less.
Invest in an in-house team of qualified technicians. With our fleet of tankers all being produced by one manufacturer, we’ve brought the maintenance in-house. We have hired qualified technicians and invested in top-of-the-range infrastructure to carry out the tankers’ upkeep to the highest possible standard. With many of our tankers doing around 8,000-miles a month, we service them every six weeks, to ensure they’re in as-good-as-new condition and repairs are always spotted before they exacerbate into costly issues.
It goes without saying but ensuring your drivers drive cautiously will save on fuel and maintenance costs in the long term. Safety is of paramount concern for a fuel supplier like Crown Oil, but beyond that, driving conservatively ensures excessive fuel isn’t being burned.
Plan your route
Start early so your fleet spends as little time in rush hour as possible or look for routes where time spent in congestion is minimal. This will save on fuel as minimal time is spent idling in traffic jams as possible.
“While such a strategy won’t suit every business with a fleet of vehicles, a general approach of dealing with issues before they become costly will dramatically reduce the overheads of keeping your fleet on the road,” Fitton concluded.