In 2022, businesses in every industry are feeling the pinch, and the trucking industry is no exception. Even with the reinstatement of the fuel tax credit from September 29, with the full fuel excise also back on from that date, many operators will continue to be impacted by the financial burden caused by fuel costs.
While government assistance is critical, the situation offers an opportunity to assess the costs you can control as a driver and reduce spending. It may seem daunting, but having access to relevant data and insights can make the task significantly easier.
Data-based insights from telematics and fleet management platforms enable you to pinpoint issues and create a plan to tackle any problems.
Automating vehicle maintenance
When you’re on the road day in and day out, vehicle maintenance is likely not front of mind. A poorly maintained vehicle can burn through excessive fuel, reduce the longevity of parts, and cause unexpected breakdowns – costing you time and money on a very expensive asset that your business relies on. Keeping essential vehicles and their parts in good condition can help to reduce costs and avoid unscheduled time off the road. Predictive maintenance tools make it easy. The digitised systems keep record of current and historical data to help you identify what needs maintenance and what needs to be scheduled in. You’ll receive alerts if something needs attention, so you can focus on the road rather than worrying about the condition of your vehicle.
With the use of electronic forms and pre-trip inspection checklists completed by the driver, the information is sent in real-time to the office. If the check reveals a problem, you can address the issue before the vehicle leaves the yard or parts can be ordered instantly and fixed upon return if you’re already on the road, reducing delays. After all, you may not even realise something has gone wrong and drivers often aren’t mechanics.Inefficient driving habits can guzzle up fuel very quickly.
Assess your driving habits
With your vehicle maintenance taken care of, considering driving habits is the next step. As a driver, that’s the single biggest thing within your control, and inefficient driving habits can guzzle up fuel very quickly.
While eliminating excess kilometres is important, how you drive is even more so. If you’re regularly engaging in driving behaviours like harsh braking or speeding, even excessive idle, you’ll use more fuel. Frequent rapid acceleration and harsh braking can increase fuel consumption by 40 per cent.
AI-enabled technology like the Smart Dashcam can help by providing real-time alerts direct to the driver. The alerts allow you as a driver to correct your driving instantly, saving money while protecting you and the community when you’re behind the wheel.
Control what you can
Being able to better control what you can is important – and having access to data makes it easier to know what you can improve and help you make better decisions on the road. By better understanding your driving behaviours and the vehicle, you can help to reduce costs and stay resilient, regardless of what’s around the bend.
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