60 Ways to Reduce Your Fuel Spend
The cost of fuel is the No. 1 challenge facing fleet managers today.
The breathtaking increase in gasoline and diesel prices over the past
six years has given all of us a sobering reality check on how quickly
the price of fuel can cause fleet budgets to hemorrhage, especially in
the past year.
The new “fleet reality” is being defined by fuel. Ongoing high fuel
costs are prompting fleets to establish minimum mpg requirements for
vehicle inclusion on a selector list. However, the reality is that
fleet applications restrict vehicle choices. Most fleets have limited
options to change selectors and still get the right vehicle for the job.
Despite this obstacle, fleets are adopting compensatory strategies
to offset higher fuel costs. Each month, I am in contact with hundreds
of fleet managers around the country and I ask them what they are doing
to reduce their fuel spend. During the course of these communications,
I have collected 60 ways fleets are reducing their fuel spend.
1. Spec Four-Cylinder Engines.
The No. 1 approach to reduce fuel spend is spec’ing four-cylinder
engines. An increasing number of companies are changing their 2009
specs to include a greater number of four-cylinder engines in their
selector mix. For instance, Illinois Tool Works has shifted to
four-cylinder engines. “We decided to change our vehicles from the
typical V-6 to smaller four-cylinder models,” said Keith Scolan,
manager global fleet for Illinois Tool Works in Glenview, Ill.
Endo Pharmaceuticals is also expanding its selector options with
various four-cylinder models. “We have been given the flexibility to
look at whatever manufacturers make sense for our selectors,” said Joe
Niszczak, fleet manager for Endo Pharmaceuticals in Chadds Ford, Penn.,
“As a result, I am focusing on high-output four-cylinder models from
Subaru, Toyota, and General Motors to potentially replace the full-size
sedans we are using.”
E.A. Sween Company switched to a four-cylinder Chrysler Sebring from
a six-cylinder. “The fuel savings are important to us, along with the
lower capital cost and higher resale expected,” said Gregg Hodgdon,
CAFM, director of fleet operations for E.A. Sween Company in Eden
Another company planning to expand its four-cylinder engine offering
is Regis Corp. “We are looking at four-cylinder vehicles for 2010 and
will be testing four-cylinder Fusions this fall,” said Nancy Barlage,
fleet administrator for Regis Corp. in Minneapolis.
Other examples of companies shifting more vehicles to four-cylinder
engines are Bausch & Lomb, Owens Corning, Kraft Foods, Johnson
& Johnson, Merck, Abbott, Infinity Insurance, etc.