The cost of fuelling your fleet is one of your biggest business expenses – and fluctuating fuel prices are making cost management that much harder. The good news is there are steps you can take to better manage fuel costs.
Here are some simple things your drivers can do to significantly improve fuel efficiency.
Going easy on the accelerator can boost fuel efficiency. Avoiding aggressive driving, like hard accelerations and braking, can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 40 per cent1. In city driving, about half a vehicle’s energy goes into acceleration. By using smooth and gradual acceleration, drivers will move into a higher gear faster, which is more efficient.
On the other side of the equation, gentle deceleration – or avoiding hard braking – can save fuel. When a driver takes their foot off the accelerator, the flow of fuel to the engine automatically stops, which then idles. Every little bit adds up to significant savings.
Many new vehicles have a ‘stop/start’ feature which turns off the engine while stationary to avoid idling, helping reduce needless usage. You should encourage your drivers to use this feature.
Keep to a steady speed
Maintaining a steady speed on highways is more fuel efficient than constantly tapping the break and then re-accelerating. Using cruise control is a good way to keep track of speed – but it can be less efficient when driving around hilly areas.
Keeping to the posted speed limits can also prevent burning excess fuel – not to mention expensive fines.
Reduce the weight in the vehicle
The heavier the vehicle, the harder the engine has to work. While it may be convenient to carry a full load at all times, taking out non-essential items lightens the load and helps the vehicle run more efficiently.
Keep maintenance up-to-date
Keeping to maintenance schedules can also help keep vehicles operating in optimal condition. Issues that affect fuel consumption can be found and fixed before they cause significant problems. This is why ORIX keeps fleet managers and their drivers up-to-date on their required maintenance schedules through SMS communications and via our App and customer reports.
There are a few simple things your drivers can do to improve mileage, including regular oil changes and using the appropriate oil. Replacing a dirty air filter can also increase mileage by up to 10 per cent2.
Check tyre pressure
Ensure tyres are properly inflated and in good condition – under-inflated tyres may cause fuel consumption to increase by as much as 10 per cent3. Check tyre pressure monthly, making sure the pressure is the same in all tyres and is at the correct level for the vehicle. The vehicle’s operating manual should provide a guide for optimal inflation.
Likewise, your drivers should regularly check tyres are in good condition with plenty of tread and even wear. If tyres are wearing unevenly, they should arrange to check the vehicle’s alignment and have the tyres rotated.
Reduce air conditioning use
Running the aircon uses a lot of energy. On a warm day, reducing the temperature, even a degree or two, can significantly impact efficiency. If you’re looking for ways to keep vehicles cooler, window tinting can reduce the impact of the harsh Australian sun.
Maximise fuel card use
Encouraging your drivers to use their company supplied fuel cards will not only save you money via discounted fuel, it will also contribute to fuel efficiency reports. ORIX’s fuel card data provides fleet managers with total fuel spend (by litres and by type) and benchmarking data on fuel usage (by driver and by vehicle). Fuel exception reports can build on the fuel card data and ensure cards are being used correctly – that is, only for the allocated vehicle.
Tracking driver behaviour and training for efficiency and safety
Keeping track of the data on driver behaviour can help you understand and identify efficiencies. ORIX’s telematics platform ORIX i, can track how vehicles are driven, including harsh or excessive driving, providing recommendations to improve efficiency.
Driver training can help drivers get more from their vehicles by addressing and correcting poor road behaviours, which can improve fuel efficiency and safety.
After all, for staff driving fleet vehicles, their vehicle is often their office. In the same way staff are expected to treat the office with respect, they’re expected to treat their vehicle with respect – and they should be trained to use it appropriately.
Working together starts here
Overall, the simplest way to improve fuel efficiency is to encourage drivers to back off the accelerator, drive less aggressively and keep maintenance up to date. At a time when fuel prices are at an all-time high, simple changes can help improve efficiency and save money now and into the future.
To learn more about how we can help you make better use of fuel consumption data, contact us on 1300 652 886 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This article has been published for information purposes. Any opinions, views of contributors, conclusions or recommendations are reasonably held or made, based on information available at time of writing, but no representation or warranty, either expressed or implied, is made or provided as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of any statement made in this article. ORIX Australia Corporation Limited ABN 79 002 992 681
 Eartheasy, ‘Fuel Efficient Driving’, n.d. accessed 4 April 2022.
 Safe Motorist, ‘How to Get the Best Gas Mileage out of Your Car’ n.d. accessed 4 April 2022.
 Vehicles Technologies Office, ‘Fact #983, June 26, 2017: Proper Tire Pressure Saves Fuel’ 26 June 2017, accessed 4 April 2022.