How Smaller Fleets Can Combat Rising Fuel Costs

How are smaller fleets with less than 100 trucks managing in 2022 with diesel costs hovering around $5/gallon?

Some carriers pass along rising fuel costs to customers or use fuel surcharge tables, adding these per mile or as a percentage of the invoice.

What other steps can smaller fleets take to keep fuel costs as low as possible?

  • Routinely check tire pressures and conditions and use fuel-boosting equipment. New tires are efficient and especially essential when you’re using 18 of them to drive long distances. Cabs with wind sheers and trailers with curtains also help optimize efficiency.
  • Ensure drivers remain fuel conscious. Forexample, increasing night driving–with cooler temperatures and less traffic—can help increase fuel efficiency.
  • Practice proper trailer loading and strategically stack cubes to avoid costly empty miles by consolidating loads where possible.And for a better cube,stack lighter loads on top of heavier loads.
  • Employ a transportation management system (TMS) to maximize miles driven, avoid backhaul and remove deadhead. A TMS dispatch board will let you track driver schedules and availability. The Axele TMS uses a Gantt chart that lets dispatchers see an opening in a driver’s schedule and various loads available to book these loads to fill the truck, avoiding deadhead miles.
  • Consider your contract terms. Smaller fleets typically have less leverage for setting contract terms than larger counterparts. But they can still be strategic, for example, adding contract language that adds a surcharge if fuel spikes a certain percent over a month.
  • Keep an eye on recent U.S. government short-term initiatives for small fleets, like fuel tax subsidization, the opportunity to haul government freight at quality rates, and low-cost loans.
  • Use automation to locate more profitable loads. Choose the Axele TMS that connects to load boards like DAT and uses automated freight-matching features typically reserved for enterprise systems and larger fleets. The Axele TMS works best for smaller fleets.
  • Use a route optimization system like RouteMax from HaulSuite, Axele’s sister company, which focuses on LTL operations. RouteMax optimizes routes so that carriers can deliver better service and have more efficient pick-up and delivery operations, running fewer miles and using less fuel.

The Axele TMS helps smaller fleets to combat rising fuel costs by connecting to load boards to find more profitable loads. The TMS maximizes miles driven and removes deadhead from your operations, improving costs. Plus, you can get started with Axele TMS for free. Contact Axele today.

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