Fuel is one of the highest variable costs in the transportation industry. It’s nearly impossible to predict ahead of time when fuel prices will be low or high, so having some cost-saving tips in your back pocket will help when those prices at the pump start to climb.
Here are four ways to get the most bang for your buck at the pump.
DISCOUNT FUEL CARDS
Look into getting a discount fuel card. Top companies like Comdata, EFS, Axle, and TCS not only can save drivers an average of $200 a week, they also come with added perks like electronic checks, the ability to set limits on different cards, and reporting services. Discount fuel cards are common in the transportation industry since fuel is one of the biggest costs. Research the available options and pick what’s right for you and your business. Your routes, the size of your company, and what kind of trucks you have should all be considered when comparing the various discount fuel cards available. To learn more about the fuel card discount options for TBS clients, please click here.
Another easy way to pay the least amount as possible for fuel is to use sites like GasBuddy or the TBS Fuel Finder (exclusively available to TBS clients) to find the cheapest fuel along your route. Spending a couple extra minutes ahead of time and planning your fuel stops could save you hundreds of dollars a month. Every penny counts! Most sites have the availability to filter and set routes, so it shouldn’t take much time to figure out where the cheapest fuel is.
SHORTER/MORE PREDICTABLE ROUTES
If high fuel costs have been a constant issue, re-evaluate your routes and which loads you take. Long hauls can pay more but if they’re unpredictable and leave you far from home with no return load, those deadhead miles can eat up your profits. Consider taking shorter routes or lobbying your repeat customers for steady, predictable runs. While this strategy won’t save you money on fuel directly, it CAN help you budget for fuel costs a lot easier.
MAKE SMALL BUT SIGNIFICANT CHANGES
Making small changes can have a big impact on your fuel efficiency and fuel costs. Did you know running your A/C on full blast reduces your miles per gallon, as does having improperly inflated tires? Having your windows open creates drag, which increases your fuel consumption. Driving aggressively with harsh acceleration and braking negatively affects your fuel usage. So run your A/C only when you need it, make sure your tires are always properly inflated, keep your windows closed on the highways, and be more gentle with the gas and brake pedals. You’ll be happily surprised with your higher miles per gallon.
Being your own boss comes with lots of upsides but presents its share of challenges too. Let TBS Factoring help you overcome some of those challenges with our cash flow solutions, truckers bookkeeping services, back-office support, DOT compliance services, insurance help, trucking permit services, and more. That way you can focus on what’s most important: building your business.