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Cut Fuel Costs that Eat Away Your Profits

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Business Advice

In the latest issue of Ontario Home Builder magazine, an article lists 10 ways to prevent rising gas prices from “burning your profits.” Rising fuel costs is obviously not just an issue that affects home builders; it’s an issue that affects all small business owners, landscape business owners included – most of us rely on a fleet of trucks and equipment to get the job done! According to the author, while we can’t control the rise of fuel costs, we can control the amount of fuel we consume.  In pursuit of boosting our bottom line, every little bit helps. Here are some of the author’s tips for cutting fuel costs:

Train your people – Your people need to be conscious about how much fuel they consume. After all, they’re the ones who have their foot on the petal, so ultimately they have the greatest influence on fuel consumption. The author lists hard acceleration, speeding and idling as major fuel eaters. Ensure you have a proper training program for drivers and equipment operators to ensure they understand how these maneuvers affect fuel consumption and how they, themselves, can be more economical when behind the machine.

Lighten the load – the more weight in a vehicle, the more fuel consumed. Removing the excess weight will improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

Employ a fuel management system – such as onsite refueling or automated fuel tracking and

Use advanced mobile assessment technology. At LMN, we suggest PinPoint Solutions.  PinPoint can help you with routing your fleet around traffic bottlenecks helps to reduce idling time and fuel consumption. For more information on what you can do to reduce your fuel consumption, check out this post:

Follow a planned maintenance program – implement a system that ensures your vehicles and machines receive regular, consistent tune-ups.  According to the US Department of Energy, regular maintenance can improve fuel economy by 4% or more. Additionally, changing the air filter can improve fuel economy by up to 6%. Also, maintaining proper tire pressure can increase fuel economy by 3% – unfortunately, only 44% of trucks on the road have tire pressure within 5% of the correct level.

Pump tires up – proper tire inflation improves gas mileage. The article states that “improperly inflated tires can cost up to two weeks’ worth of fuel per year,” which over a year, depending on the number of trucks and machines you have, adds up to thousands of dollars in lost profit. Proper inflation also ensures an overall better vehicle/machine performance.

What else can we do to cut fuel costs?

What has or hasn’t worked for you?

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