How To Easily Calculate Fuel Consumption In Your Fleet

Fuel Guage-p-1080
Fuel Guage-p-1080

How To Easily Calculate Fuel Consumption In Your Fleet

When it comes to fuel, every cent counts. With so many factors that guzzle your vehicle’s fuel, are you able to accurately keep track of your fleet’s fuel consumption?

Calculating fuel and successfully managing fuel consumption is vital for any business that relies on their vehicles to perform tasks, and when done correctly, results in massive cost savings.

So, how do you do it – let’s find out. 

In this article, you will:

  • Learn what fleet fuel consumption is
  • Find out what factors influence fuel consumption
  • Understand how to conveniently calculate your fleet’s fuel consumption
  • Discover the perfect solution to improve your fleet’s fuel consumption

What is fleet fuel consumption?

Fleet fuel consumption refers to the total amount of fuel used by a vehicle over a specific period. It is a measurement of a fleet’s fuel efficiency, which is typically expressed as the amount of fuel used per distance travelled. This is an important fleet metric for fleet managers because it directly impacts operating costs and fuel efficiency.

What factors influence fleet fuel consumption?

Fuel consumption isn’t just influenced by the distance you drive. There is a list of contributing factors that we fall victim to daily without even realising. Some of these factors include:

Vehicle Condition:

A well-maintained vehicle not only functions at its peak but also consumes less fuel. Vehicle condition factors that impact fuel consumption include:

  • Underinflated tyres: This causes an increase in rolling resistance, which means more fuel is required to maintain speed increasing consumption.
  • Inadequate fluid levels: Inadequate engine oil, transmission fluid, and coolant fluids place a strain on the engine and reduce fuel efficiency.
  • Faulty fuel system: Issues with fuel injectors, filters, or pumps lead to inefficient combustion, which also increases fuel usage.

Driver Behaviour:

Driver behaviour doesn’t just impact driver safety, it can also increase the amount of fuel your vehicle is consuming. Some driver behaviour factors that impact fuel consumption include:

  • Aggressive driving: Behaviours such as rapid acceleration or harsh breaking lead to an increase in fuel economy.
  • Excessive idling: When a vehicle remains stationary with the engine running, fuel continues to be consumed. This means more fuel is consumed, even when tasks aren’t being completed.
  • Incorrect gear changing: Constantly shifting between gears and selecting the incorrect ones puts a strain on the vehicle’s engine. This strain demands more power, which consequently leads to an increase in fuel consumption.

Road Conditions:

The condition of roads affects the energy that is required to move a vehicle, playing an important role in fuel efficiency. Road conditions that impact fuel consumption include:

  • Road surface conditions: While smoother road surfaces lead to a decrease in rolling resistance, rough and uneven roads increase rolling resistance. This means more fuel is required to keep the vehicle moving, which increases fuel consumption.
  • Elevation changes: Ascending inclines require more power which means more fuel will be used.
  • Poorly maintained roads: Unsurfaced roads and roads with potholes can decrease fuel efficiency due to increased vehicle vibrations and the energy needed to travel these roads.

Weather:

Adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, or strong winds lead to increased resistance. More fuel is required to maintain speed and control, leading to an increase in your fleet’s fuel economy.

How to accurately calculate your fuel consumption?

This formula is widely recognised as the standard formula to calculate  fuel consumption. It enables you to assess how efficiently your vehicle uses fuel.

Fuel Consumption (Litres/100 km) = (Litres Used X 100) ÷ Kilometers Traveled

Example:
A vehicle consumes 32 litres of fuel to travel a distance of 250 kilometres. To calculate its fuel consumption in L/100 km:

(32 X 100) ÷ 250 = 12.8 Litres/100 km

This means that the vehicle’s fuel consumption rate is 12.8 Litres/100 km, indicating that it consumes 12.8 litres of fuel to cover a distance of 100km. 

While you can manually calculate your fuel consumption costs with the above formula, Cartrack makes this process even simpler for you with an easy-to-use calculator that helps you estimate the amount of fuel a vehicle consumes at specified distances.

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The importance of a fuel management system

The data obtained from a fuel management system plays an important role in your fleet’s operation, helping you:

  • Prevent fuel theft: By helping you identify possible fuel theft (from syphoning and fuel card theft to false transactions and fuel card cloning), a fuel management system can immediately and automatically detect unauthorised fuel consumption within your fleet.
  • Put a stop to cost-draining driver behaviour: A fuel management system can quickly detect fuel-wasting driver behaviour, such as speeding and harsh braking.
  • Optimise your fleet efficiency: By helping you identify fuel-wasting behaviours and improve planning and optimisation, a fuel management system helps you implement strategies that enhance overall fleet efficiency.
  • Gain maintenance insights: A fuel monitoring system provides insight into the health of your vehicles. Increased fuel consumption levels can indicate potential maintenance issues, and identifying these issues early helps prevent costly breakdowns and reduce unnecessary downtime.
  • Calculate fuel consumption: A fuel monitoring system can measure your fuel usage by making use of GPS technology and telematics systems.
  • Track your fleet’s carbon emission: By accurately measuring the amount of fuel your vehicles burn, a fuel management system simplifies calculating your fleet’s CO2 emissions. This is important knowledge, especially in an industry that accounts for 37% of all CO2 emissions globally.

Why it’s important to calculate fuel consumption

  • Control costs and efficiency: Calculating fuel usage helps you accurately estimate fuel costs. By understanding exactly how much fuel your vehicle consumes, you can budget effectively and identify cost-saving opportunities. Also, the improvement in fuel efficiency translates to lower operational expenses, which contributes to overall fleet success.
  • Performance and driver monitoring: By consistently tracking fuel consumption, you can immediately spot sudden changes. Sudden fluctuations in fuel consumption rates can indicate potential issues, whether it be poor driver behaviour, declining engine health, or tyre pressure issues.
  • Data-driven decision-making: Knowing exactly how much fuel your fleet vehicles are consuming is a valuable insight for informed decision-making. This information can help identify the most fuel-efficient vehicles, routes, and driver practices.

Monitor and Improve Your Fleet’s Fuel Consumption With Cartrack

Harness the power of our industry-leading solutions to simplify monitoring your fleet’s fuel consumption and keep fuel consumption at a minimum. Cartrack’s world-class solutions help you:

  • Improve driver behaviour: Make use of our driver scorecards to monitor high-risk, fuel-wasting behaviour, such as harsh acceleration, braking, and speeding. By pinpointing these behaviours, you gain insights into exactly what areas require improvement to significantly lower your fleet’s fuel consumption.
  • Improve fuel efficiency with preventative maintenance: Cartrack proactively monitors vehicle health, helping you schedule maintenance tailored to your fleet’s schedule. This strategy minimises downtime and maximises vehicle performance. With this proactive approach, you can avoid unnecessary fuel consumption surges due to neglected maintenance issues.
  • Prevent fuel card fraud and theft: Cartrack’s AI algorithm automatically cross-references your fuel receipts with your vehicle’s location and fuel status. The system automatically flags suspicious fuel cost activity which could be caused by factors like fuel theft, helping you identify any possible fuel cost drainages. By being equipped to spot these drainages early on, you can investigate, resolve and reduce fuel cost wastage.
  • Automate carbon emission tracking: Cartrack’s detailed reports give you insights on how much fuel was used during a trip, along with the estimated CO2 emissions, all easily accessible via our fleet platform. This information helps fleet managers pinpoint vehicles with the highest CO2 emissions, facilitate decisions on eco-friendly replacements, and determine appropriate vehicle usage, especially for longer journeys. Tracking carbon emissions over time, understanding how to improve them and understanding the number of trees required to offset emissions are all critical to ensuring a company can make real changes towards net zero.
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Fuel Your Fleet’s Efficiency with Cartrack World-class Software

Accurately calculating fuel consumption isn’t just about cost control; it’s a strategic move towards informed decision-making, improved performance monitoring, and data-driven improvements. 

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What Are a Fleet Manager’s Duties – How to Master Your Responsibilities

Responsibilities
Responsibilities

What Are a Fleet Manager's Duties - How to Master Your Responsibilities

Those who really know it will tell you, that fleet management isn’t child’s play. 

Fleet managers are crucial to a successful fleet, playing a vital role in its running, safety and profitability. If you’re trying to do this all by yourself, it could be quite the challenge. But with a fleet management system, your stormy day-to-day can turn into a smooth-sailing current. 

Sound like music to fleet management ears? Well, let’s get you informed and equipped.

In this article, you will:

  • Learn what a fleet manager is
  • Find out what a fleet manager’s responsibilities are
  • Delve into what makes an effective fleet manager
  • Explore the benefits of investing in your fleet
  • Discover what key challenges fleet managers face
  • Gain insights into how Cartrack’s solutions will improve your fleet management

What is a fleet manager?

Each fleet has its own unique set of tasks and challenges, which is where fleet managers come in. A fleet manager is an individual who is responsible for managing a company’s fleet, along with all its aspects. Their main purpose is to ensure that the fleet remains safe, reliable, and efficient, and this is done through a range of responsibilities.

What are a fleet manager’s responsibilities?

Fleet managers are responsible for the overall running of the fleet. This may not sound like much but when you dive deeper into those responsibilities, you start to see, that it’s quite a handful of tasks:

1. Vehicle Acquisition:

Vehicle acquisition is a crucial responsibility of a fleet manager. It involves the process of obtaining, managing and maintaining a fleet of vehicles. This responsibility includes multiple stages, including vehicle selection, procurement, and the overseeing of vehicles that are essential for the company’s operations. Fleet managers must create a clear, well-thought-out acquisition plan to ensure the fleet saves time, money, and possible frustration. This crucial process also involves considering factors such as financing options and total cost of ownership. 

The benefits of fleet vehicle acquisition include:

  • Cost savings
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Improved brand reputation
  • Enhanced productivity

2. Supervising fuel consumption and expenses:

Fuel is one of the most essential expenses in fleet management, with most fleets spending around 24% of their budget on fuel. Fleet managers need to effectively manage and identify effective ways to reduce fuel expenses. They should always be monitoring fuel consumption and looking for ways to decrease fuel expenses. This means they need to keep a close eye on each of their vehicle’s fuel consumption. 

The benefits of supervising fuel consumption and expenses include:

  • Lowered fuel consumption
  • Improved fleet efficiency
  • Increased profitability

3. Managing fleet maintenance schedules:

The managing of fleet management schedules involves developing a maintenance plan that outlines when each vehicle requires maintenance. This is based on multiple factors, including vehicle age, mileage and usage patterns. This means that fleet managers need to closely and frequently evaluate fleet vehicles to determine their individual maintenance needs, identify the maintenance tasks that each vehicle requires, and develop a maintenance schedule that clearly outlines when each of these maintenance activities needs to take place.

The benefits of managing fleet maintenance schedules include:

  • Fleet and vehicle longevity
  • Improved vehicle safety
  • Improved driver retention
  • Minimised downtime
  • Reduced operating expenses
  • Increased productivity

4. Tracking the fleet:

Tracking an entire fleet of vehicles is no easy feat. Vehicle tracking, which is crucial for fleet visibility, makes use of advanced technologies such as telematics and GPS to provide real-time monitoring and data-gathering about a vehicle’s location and performance.

The benefits of tracking your fleet include:

  • Full and accurate fleet visibility
  • Improved route planning
  • Improved vehicle utilisation
  • Improved driver safety
  • Boost operational efficiency

The benefits of tracking your fleet include:

  • Full and accurate fleet visibility
  • Improved route planning
  • Improved vehicle utilisation
  • Improved driver safety
  • Boost operational efficiency

5. Benchmarking fleet performance:

Fleet managers must regularly compare their fleet’s performance with industry benchmarks to help identify areas for improvement, ranging from fuel efficiency, maintenance costs and safety records, to driver productivity and uptime. 

The benefits of benchmarking your fleet’s performance include:

  • Identifying areas for improvement
  • Improved goal setting
  • Simplifying progress tracking
  • Staying competitive

6. Networking with other fleet managers:

Fleet managers must be able to share best practices, learn from others’ experiences, and stay up-to-date on industry trends by networking with other fleet professionals. This can be done through industry associations, online forums, trade shows, and networking events.

The benefits of networking with other fleet managers:

  • Learn from others’ successes and failures
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends
  • Find new solutions to existing problems
  • Build relationships with potential partners

7. Partnering with industry experts:

As a fleet manager, partnering with consultants and technology providers who can offer specialised expertise and support can be very helpful for implementing new technologies, improving efficiency, reducing costs, and complying with road and safety regulations. 

The benefits of partnering with industry experts:

  • Gaining access to specialised forms
  • Reduced fleet cost
  • Improved fleet efficiency
Fleet Strategy

What makes a highly effective fleet manager?

Now that we’ve covered the responsibilities, what truly sets a fleet manager apart from the crowd? The answer is their effectiveness, and this is achieved by doing the following:

1. They embrace technological advancements:

As a fleet manager, it is important to understand that the purpose of technological advancements is to simplify and streamline your processes. Embracing technological advancements enhances the effectiveness of fleet managers. It provides them with the tools and capabilities to reduce costs and adapt to evolving industry trends. By leveraging advanced technology such as telematics, GPS technology, and fleet management software, fleet managers can gain real-time insights into the functioning of their fleet, grab a competitive edge, improve overall fleet performance, and drive business success.

2. They focus on fleet safety:

Prioritising safety ensures the well-being of your drivers, passengers, and other road users, fostering a culture of safety and responsibility within the organisation. This can be done by implementing a comprehensive fleet safety program, which encompasses various elements, including vehicle maintenance, fleet monitoring systems, and driver training programs designed to enhance the safety and efficiency of your drivers. When these measures are integrated with technology, fleet managers can obtain data-driven insights, helping them integrate safety into every facet of their fleet operations. By placing a strong emphasis on fleet safety, fleet managers can minimise accidents and protect drivers. According to the National Safety Council, drivers who have undergone training can reduce crashes by a staggering 50%.

3. They simplify vehicle maintenance

Simplifying vehicle maintenance is a hallmark of effective fleet management, as it leads to improved operational efficiency, cost savings, and enhanced safety. This process encompasses a range of crucial aspects that help fleet managers ensure that their fleet operates as smoothly as possible. By leveraging technological solutions such as cloud-based fleet management software, fleet managers can streamline the entire vehicle maintenance process, making it more efficient. This subsequently boosts a fleet’s fuel economy, reduces downtime, and extends vehicle lifespan. This means fleet managers can now focus on strategic planning and vehicle optimisation instead of dealing with constant vehicle issues.

4. They work to improve and simplify communication

We’ve all heard that “communication is key”, and this statement applies to fleet industries too. Clear communication not only ensures that team members understand their roles, responsibilities, and objectives, but it also helps in addressing issues promptly, whether it’s scheduling maintenance, or dispatching a second vehicle to ensure deliveries aren’t delayed. By maintaining convenient open lines of communication, fleet managers can quickly address challenges, provide support, and gather valuable feedback to make informed decisions and drive continuous improvement. Not only that, but effective communication within a fleet ensures that the fleet can easily adapt to new technologies. The byproduct of effective communication is streamlined operations, reduced costs, and fleet sustainability.

5. They are focused on data and insights

Focusing on data and insights empowers fleet managers to make informed decisions regarding vehicle usage, maintenance, and optimisation, enhance operational efficiency, and prioritise safety. By analysing data on various fleet metrics, including fuel consumption, mileage, and driver behaviours, fleet managers can quickly identify inefficiencies and implement strategies to improve overall fleet performance. Insights derived from this data enable proactive decision-making, such as implementing predictive maintenance strategies which can help reduce unplanned downtime and prevent costly breakdowns.

What are the benefits of investing in your fleet?

These responsibilities may seem like a lot for a fleet manager to have on their plate but when taken seriously, they can have a massive and direct impact on your fleet’s success, here are some rewards you can reap:

1. Reduced fleet costs

Reduce fuel consumption and maintenance expenses by investing in technologies that optimise vehicle utilisation (such as telematics and route optimisation software) and lower overall fleet costs. By coaching and training drivers on safe driving techniques, you can reduce the risk of car accidents. This also means you can eliminate fuel-wasting driving behaviour, lowering the amount of money your fleet has to spend on fuel. It has been found that drivers who are trained in fuel-efficient driving techniques can save their company up to 20% on fuel costs.

2. Increased productivity

Increase fleet productivity by investing in technologies that help reduce idle time, improve dispatching, optimise routes, and improve dispatching. This enhanced productivity leads to improved response times, better customer service, and an increase in profits. By leveraging data from this tech, informed decision-making is enabled, positively impacting fleet productivity.

3. Reduced turnover

Investing in your fleet through the implementation of fleet management solutions can significantly reduce drivers’ stress levels and improve job satisfaction. When employees see that their managers are investing in their safety, productivity, and mental well-being, loyalty to the company is fostered, resulting in driver retention.

Cartrack: The ideal no-brainer investment for your fleet

Cartrack brings you a wide range of solutions that are designed to simplify fleet management. Let’s explore these solutions, and how they can help make you a better fleet manager:

1. Cost management system (MiFleet)

No more guessing games when it comes to fleet costs. Know exactly how much money your fleet needs to run with Cartrack’s MiFleet software. This vehicle cost management software helps fleet managers keep track of all fleet expenses, including finance, fuel costs, and taxes. This means you can eliminate manual admin, spot cost leakages and stop human error.

2. Fuel monitoring:

Accurately track exactly how much fuel your fleet vehicles are consuming with Cartrack’s fuel monitoring system. By making use of a fuel sensor that is installed in your vehicle’s tank, you can keep a close eye on your vehicle’s fuel consumption. However, our fuel monitoring system goes beyond real-time visibility into fuel usage, it also matches fuel transactions, which is crucial in helping you spot potential fuel theft.

3. AI cameras:

Always keep a close eye on driver behaviour with Cartrack’s Live Vision AI cameras. We offer you cloud-connected video management software that gives you access to real-time driver behaviour alerts by making use of in-cabin cameras and AI analysis. This next-level technology can identify dangerous driving behaviours such as cell phone use, yawning, speeding, and smoking. When these behaviours are detected, in-cabin audible alerts immediately notify your drivers, allowing them to correct their behaviour in real time.

4. GPS Tracking:

Know exactly where your entire fleet is at all times with Cartrack’s live GPS tracking. By giving you real-time location updates, our solution gives you total fleet control, letting you know exactly when, where, and how your vehicles were used. It also provides you with key performance metrics such as total idle time and the distance travelled, giving you full insight into your fleet’s trips. This helps you improve fleet efficiency, promote driver safety, and optimise vehicle performance.

5. Preventative vehicle maintenance:

Say goodbye to unplanned downtime and costly breakdowns with Cartrack’s preventative vehicle maintenance. Our preventative maintenance software makes use of a combination of artificial intelligence and advanced analytics to spot potential vehicle maintenance issues before they become costly and dangerous. By analysing vehicle performance, our software can send you alerts about maintenance-related issues, such as low water and oil levels, engine faults, and worn-out brake pads. This helps you avoid costly future repairs, keep your vehicles healthy for longer, and save money.

6. Delivery app

Improve your fleet’s delivery task efficiency with Cartrack Delivery. This feature-rich solution is designed to optimise and streamline delivery operations for both managers and drivers. This app gives you access to a wide range of fleet benefits, including delivery route optimisation, real-time view of all deliveries, and eliminating excess paperwork. This leads to faster task and delivery completion, improved productivity, and happier customers. 

Space for fleet manager tips

Ai-Technology-in-Fleet-Management

Top 8 tips to help you be the best fleet manager

Here are our top 8 tips you can implement to elevate your fleet management:

  1. Use a telematics system: Streamline the monitoring of your vehicle’s location, performance, and driver behaviour in real-time, and provide real-time alerts for vehicle diagnostics.
  2. Prioritise driver safety: Promote fleet safety by tracking driver behaviour such as speeding, harsh braking, and distracted driving, and use this data to provide comprehensive driver training.
  3. Optimise your routes: Keep your routes as short and deviation-free as possible, which minimises fuel consumption and ensures on-time deliveries. Use a system that considers factors such as real-time traffic and weather conditions.
  4. Keep your vehicles well-maintained: Implement an effective maintenance plan that helps you pre-empt repairs and gives you real-time alerts of any vehicle faults.
  5. Leverage data analytics: Make use of data analytics on fuel consumption, maintenance costs, and driver performance to identify fleet trends, optimise your operations, and most importantly, make data-driven decisions.
  6. Keep team morale and stability high: Retaining a stable team is important for effective fleet management, as it improves job satisfaction, overall productivity and efficiency. Putting your driver’s safety and well-being first will improve your fleet’s driver retention.
  7. Think of your entire business when making decisions: The decisions you make can impact your drivers, customers, and those outside your business. For example, choosing to keep your vehicles maintained, safe and roadworthy can protect your drivers, other motorists and your business’s brand image.
  8. Always communicate with your team: Good communication puts all team members on the same page. Keeping your team in the loop with new schedules, route updates and job changes, all in real time, can help you drastically improve productivity and avoid delays.

Who better to help you implement these tips than Cartrack?

Master your fleet management duties and responsibilities with Cartrack’s solutions

While being a fleet manager is no child’s play, it doesn’t have to be a struggle. As seen above, our solutions are just the trick you need up your sleeve to turn your fleet management expectations into expertise.

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Power Take-off: The Complete Guide You Need to Know About for Your Vehicles and Trucks

PTO

Power Take-off: The Complete Guide You Need to Know About for Your Vehicles and Trucks

Knowing how vehicles and equipment in your fleet work is crucial for developing an effective and well-oiled fleet management system.

As a must-have component for fleet vehicles with unique or specific purposes, power take-off is important to understand if you want to get the most from your fleet’s day-to-day activities.  

Read on to learn everything about power take-off, how it works, and how to use power take-off monitoring to transform your fleet operations.

In this article, you will:

  • Get to know the basics of power take-off and how it works
  • Identify vehicle and equipment types that use PTO
  • Familiarise yourself with the different PTO types
  • Get the lowdown on PTO monitoring and sensors
  • Discover how PTO monitoring can transform fleet management
  • Find out more about Cartrack’s advanced PTO monitoring solutions

The basics of power take-off (PTO)

The power take-off or PTO is a fundamental part of many fleet vehicles’ operations, especially those that have additional functions like raising truck beds, cranes, or any other function required without directly using energy from the vehicle’s engine.

What is the principle of power take-off?

Think of PTO as a portable power generator that transfers energy from your vehicle engine to an auxiliary component like a crane or hydraulic pump. Ultimately, it helps transfer energy to other essential parts of a vehicle without using the main power source. This has many benefits like ensuring an even and consistent power distribution that meets a vehicle’s specific requirements.

What vehicles and equipment have power take-off?

With the potential to power a wide range of equipment, PTO is commonly used in fleet, construction, and other industrial vehicles with the following equipment types:

  • Auxiliary Equipment

    These devices use engine power to perform specific functions like pulling heavy loads or operating hydraulic systems on commercial trucks or other industrial vehicles.
  • Commercial Vehicle Attachments

    Accessories like tow arms and compressors use the PTO powered by the vehicle engine to function optimally.
  • Construction Equipment

    Any ancillary attachments like cement mixers, cranes, or concrete pumps work efficiently using vehicle engine power thanks to the power take-off.

Power take-off types and how they are applied

Looking at how many different types of equipment PTOs can power, it’s also important to establish whether there is more than one type of power take-off and identify their advantages and disadvantages.

  1. When taking a closer look at how PTO is applied, there may be a slight difference in application. For example, a mechanical type known as a live-power take-off is linked to the engine with a belt or shaft. However, while its constant power supply makes it a great tool, it can be subject to costly repairs as it’s prone to wear and tear over time.
  2. Another type of mechanical power take-off is called auxiliary or independent PTO. Here, the PTO’s speed is completely independent of the vehicle’s ground speed and can be activated or disengaged while the vehicle is moving.
  3. The hydraulic PTO is the third type. It uses hydraulic fluid to do a power transmission from the engine to the external component with the power requirement. Hydraulic PTO is a great option because of its increased efficiency, but it’s also more expensive than live power and independent PTO.

Overall, hydraulic PTOs are more popular due to their increased efficiency.

How does PTO monitoring work? Unloading everything you need to know

Not only is power take-off a valuable device that provides additional power for a variety of fleet, construction, and agricultural vehicles, but keeping an eye on your fleet’s PTO also has some fantastic benefits for improving its performance. 

The power take-off is monitored using a specialised sensor. By being able to keep tabs on the PTO’s activity, you can track your fleet vehicle’s productivity. Let’s take a closer look at how this sensor works and how it measures PTO activity.

How the power take-off sensor works its magic

The PTO sensor is a small device designed to pick up and monitor any auxiliary or supportive activities powered by the vehicle engine, making this sensor a game-changer for checking vehicle usage for working hours and productivity.  

The main mechanism in the PTO sensor picks up when a vehicle’s on/off indicator is triggered, which creates an event that can be recorded on a linked telematics system. PTO sensors can pick up a variety of support activities, making them very versatile in a fleet environment across several work settings. 

A PTO draws its power from the vehicle engine, and it needs to be engaged before it can start transferring power. As there is more than one type of PTO, there is more than one engagement method; so, for example, it can be via air pressure or hydraulic pressure. After the PTO has been engaged, its output shaft will transfer power to the auxiliary element, activating the function or component linked to the vehicle. A good example here would be moving the mechanical arm of a construction vehicle. 

Common types of PTO monitoring data

PTO sensors pick up specific activity depending on the vehicle type and function. For example, a crane’s PTO sensor will pick up the movement of the crane’s arm, while a dump truck’s PTO sensor will pick up the lifting of the truck bed. 

Take a look at some of the most common types of data picked up by a PTO sensor.

  1. Trip fuel used
  2. Oil temperature
  3. PTO is engaged, meaning the vehicle is working as it should
  4. PTO idling (productive vs. unproductive idling)

These are all examples of crucial information fleet managers need to determine their fleet’s productivity levels and whether they’re over or underperforming.

The link between power take-off monitoring and effective fleet management

Power take-off enables ordinary vehicles to do extraordinary things across industries, simplifying construction, agriculture, waste disposal, and more. PTO monitoring also has great benefits for fleet managers and can transform your fleet’s daily performance by supporting increased productivity during set working hours. Here are some top reasons you should consider PTO sensors for your fleet.

Why you need PTO sensors for your business

There are various ways to track your fleet activities with telematics, but external PTO monitoring adds relevant information with lots of potential value for fleet management. Consider the following pros linked to having PTO sensors in all of your fleet vehicles and how this extra tool can build on your fleet’s overall performance.

  • Improved cost management and fuel usage: An active PTO means a vehicle is busy performing additional activity, resulting in increased fuel usage. Tracking PTO engagement patterns can help develop crucial fuel and cost-saving strategies.
  • Boosted safety and compliance: Some industries require reporting or tracking to ensure regulatory standards are being adhered to, and PTO monitoring can add value here by offering valuable data. From unauthorised to misuse of fleet vehicles and equipment, PTO sensors help promote safety and compliance in the workplace.
  • Accurate diagnostics and troubleshooting: Hit the nail on the head when you’re troubleshooting with useful data like irregularities. Knowing about inconsistencies helps you trace and address the cause or main issue instead of only the symptoms.
  • Optimised maintenance planning: Fleet vehicles have extended active hours, leading to unavoidable wear and tear and an increased need for service and maintenance. PTO data can help provide context on runtime and engagement frequency, helping to estimate smart preventative service and maintenance times.
  • Operational proficiency: PTO monitoring can provide crucial insights into not only when but also how fleet vehicles’ PTOs are used. Fleet managers can use this information to improve overall operational proficiency and prevent unauthorised use of company vehicles, which can have a positive effect on the company’s budgets and annual ROI.

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Diesel Management System – 24-7 Real-time Management For All Fleet Vehicles

GAS STATION
GAS STATION

Diesel Management System - 24-7 Real-time Management For All Fleet Vehicles

Do you know just how much diesel your fleet vehicles are consuming?

Drive into excellence today. Learn how an effective diesel management system can give you real-time insight into your fleet’s diesel fuel consumption.

Step into unparalleled diesel management with a world-class fleet management system solution!

In this article, you will:

  • Find out what diesel fleet management is
  • Discover how a vehicle management system powers diesel fleet management
  • Learn why vehicle management is important for fleets
  • Understand the power of a fuel management system
  • Explore how Cartrack’s solutions can help simplify your diesel fleet

What is diesel management?

Diesel management refers to the process of overseeing and controlling the consumption of diesel in a fleet. This is particularly important, as most businesses and organisations rely heavily on diesel-powered equipment and vehicles. Diesel fuel, which is heavier than gasoline, takes longer to evaporate. It also has a greater energy density than gasoline, which means it produces 20% more energy for the same amount of fuel. So in the long run, it’s more affordable for fleets than gasoline, which is why the majority of fleets opt for diesel fuel in their business.

What tasks are typically involved in diesel management?

Diesel management involves covering the following tasks based on diesel consumption:

  • Monitoring fuel levels: Tracking the amount of diesel in storage tanks and vehicles, which helps fleet managers easily spot and address potential fuel leaks or spills
  • Optimising fuel efficiency: Diesel management focuses on improving fuel efficiency by eliminating fuel-wasting activities. This is done through proper vehicle maintenance, route optimisation, and regular training
  • Data analysis and reporting: Diesel management systems collect data on fuel usage. By analysing this data, fleet managers can make informed decisions to help improve fuel efficiency.

Why is diesel management important?

Diesel management is made up of various strategies and practices aimed at maximising the performance and economy of diesel vehicles while minimising diesel consumption and associated costs. Here are 5 reasons why it is crucial for fleets:

  • It helps reduce fuel costs: By optimising diesel usage and preventing waste, diesel management can help businesses save money on their fuel bills and get the most out of their diesel refills.
  • It helps improve fleet efficiency: By identifying and addressing inefficiencies in diesel use, diesel management can improve business fuel efficiency.
  • It helps improve vehicle maintenance: Diesel management keeps track of vehicle maintenance schedules, which helps fleet managers ensure that their diesel-powered vehicles are well-maintained, leading to reduced wear and tear, fewer breakdowns, and longer vehicle lifespan.
  • It enables real-time knowledge: By making use of advanced technologies such as GPS tracking and telematics, diesel management allows for real-time monitoring of fuel consumption and vehicle performance.
  • It helps improve driver behaviour: Diesel management helps you know which driving habits are causing your vehicles to burn more diesel fuel than usual. With this information, you can provide specific training to drivers and help eliminate these habits.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of a diesel management system, let’s break down the vehicle management software that powers it.

What is vehicle management software?

Vehicle management software, also known as fleet management software, is automated software designed for any organisation that makes use of fleet vehicles. Playing a crucial role in diesel management, it is designed to streamline and optimise the various aspects of managing a fleet of diesel vehicles, offering a comprehensive suite of tools that help with fleet-related tasks that can affect overall efficiency. This system enables the recording, storage, processing, reporting, and exporting of data related to fleet vehicles. This is done by making use of advanced technology and software.

Why is vehicle management so important for diesel-powered fleets?

Vehicle management plays a vital role in a fleet’s overall efficiency. Here are 5 reasons why:

  • It enhances fleet efficiency: Vehicle management systems play an important role in optimising diesel-powered fleet operations. This system works to provide comprehensive, real-time insights into important fleet aspects such as vehicle location, performance metrics, and maintenance. On top of providing this data to fleet managers, the system’s automation capabilities help streamline routine fleet tasks, such as planning maintenance schedules.
  • It helps improve fleet safety: Vehicle management systems help fleet managers proactively implement measures and practices aimed at minimising safety risks. By tracking vehicle maintenance schedules, you can ensure that your diesel fleet remains well-maintained and in its best running condition. This helps significantly mitigate the risk of breakdowns and potential accidents that are caused by mechanical issues. This proactive approach to the upkeep of your diesel fleet not only enhances overall fleet safety but also creates confidence for your drivers in the vehicle’s reliability.
  • It helps minimise fleet running costs: A vehicle management system optimises routes, maintenance, and scheduling systems. Optimising maintenance schedules for your diesel fleet translates to reduced repair costs; monitoring fuel usage translates to reduced diesel expenses; and monitoring driver behaviour translates to safer driving habits that reduce the risk of costly accidents. Altogether, this multifaceted approach to cost management not only guarantees financial savings but also fosters an effective and sustainable fleet operation.
  • It aids in the monitoring of driver behaviour and performance: With human error being one of the greatest causes of road accidents, driver behaviour needs to be monitored at all times. Vehicle management software can monitor risky driving behaviour, including harsh braking, cornering, harsh acceleration, and excessive speeding. By identifying these behaviours, fleet managers gain valuable insights into areas for improvement and can provide targeted coaching to improve driver behaviour and boost the overall performance of their diesel fleet.
  • It aids the monitoring of fuel consumption: Vehicle management plays an important role in effectively monitoring and controlling fleet diesel consumption. The software provides comprehensive insights into diesel fuel usage by accurately recording crucial data points such as fuel levels, fuel consumption rates, and refuelling events. This gives fleet managers detailed information to help them analyse diesel consumption patterns and trends across their fleet. This information helps them implement strategies to regulate and optimise diesel fuel usage, contributing to cost savings and fuel efficiency.

What are the different components of a fleet management system?

An effective fleet management system is made up of the following components:

  • Vehicle tracking: Vehicle tracking is a fundamental component of a vehicle management system. It makes use of GPS (Global Positioning System) technology and telematics to help businesses monitor the location, movement, and status of their diesel vehicles in real-time. This unparalleled visibility enables fleet managers to gain valuable insights to optimise fleet operation, improve efficiency, and enhance overall safety.
  • Driver management: Driver management is another crucial component of a comprehensive vehicle management system, helping fleet managers oversee and optimise the performance, safety, and compliance of their diesel fleet drivers. A fleet management system helps keep track of each driver’s habits, performance, and efficiency. By doing this in real-time, fleet managers and drivers alike are alerted the moment dangerous behaviour is detected, which helps mitigate risks and enhance overall fleet safety.
  • Vehicle maintenance management: Vehicle maintenance within a vehicle management system involves all the processes, tools, and practices that aim to ensure the upkeep, servicing, and optimal performance of diesel vehicles. A vehicle management system helps fleet managers reduce mechanical issues that lead to unplanned downtimes, track individual vehicle movements and locations throughout maintenance and deliveries, and identify harsh driving events and potential engine issues. By prioritising maintenance, businesses can minimise unscheduled repairs, increase the lifespan of their diesel vehicles, and effectively manage maintenance costs, contributing to efficient asset management.
  • Fuel management: Fuel is a significant expense for any fleet operation, making fuel management one of the most important components of a vehicle management system. Let’s explore this in detail and find out how it can help businesses achieve 24/7 real-time management of their fuel consumption.

What is a fuel management system?

A fuel management system is a comprehensive set of technologies, processes, and tools designed to manage and improve your fleet’s fuel usage and costs. This system provides businesses with valuable insights into their petrol or diesel usage, helping them identify areas for improvement and reduce fuel costs. The system facilitates effective fuel budgeting, cost control, preventive maintenance planning, and the implementation of strategies to eliminate fuel wastage.

The key components of a fuel management system

Fuel management systems involve the implementation of two key components to track fuel consumption and analyse all forms of data related to fuel usage patterns. These are:

The hardware:

These components are responsible for monitoring and controlling fuel consumption.

  • Fuel sensors: These are installed in fuel tanks and measure the level of fuel remaining in vehicle tanks, along with how it was used.
  • GPS trackers: These track the location of vehicles and equipment, helping fleet managers effectively monitor fuel usage by location
  • CANBus integration: This wireless integration allows for the real-time downloading of accurate vehicle diagnostics such as odometer readings, water temperature, oil temperature, etc., helping fleet managers prepare for their vehicle maintenance and servicing.

The software:

These components are responsible for monitoring and controlling fuel consumption.

  • Data management platform: This platform collects and stores data from the hardware sensors and trackers
  • Fuel management applications: These applications allow users to access data and manage their fuel inventory remotely.

Fuel Graph

How does a fuel management system work?

The main purpose of a fuel management system is to determine a fleet’s petrol or diesel efficiency and help fleet managers determine how to improve it. The system does this through the following 3 steps:

  • Data collection: The hardware sensors, which are integrated into the vehicles, collect data in real-time on diesel or petrol levels, engine performance, and flow rates. This data is transmitted to the central data management platform through wireless connections.
  • Data analysis: The software analyses the collected data to identify trends and patterns in diesel usage. This data can be used to calculate a fleet’s fuel efficiency, identify areas for improvement, and generate reports that fleet managers can use to identify solutions.
  • Actionable insights: The system provides actionable insights to fleet managers. These insights can be used to implement steps that work to improve fleet efficiency with diesel or petrol consumption-based solutions, such as optimising routes, reducing idle time, and implementing preventative maintenance programs.

What are the benefits of using a fuel management system for your diesel fleet?

A fuel management system yields multiple benefits for your fleet, including:

  • Reducing fuel costs: A fuel management system provides insights into fuel consumption patterns. By providing accurate monitoring of fuel usage and consumption patterns, fleet managers can spot the source of their fuel wastage and mitigate it, reducing fuel costs. An example of this is making use of route optimisation. It is reported that optimised routes can increase a fleet’s fuel savings by 20%-40%.
  • Improving accuracy in fuel usage reports: Manually recording vehicle and driver data leads to data inaccuracies that negatively affect your fleet’s efficiency. With a fuel management system, your fleet’s fuel consumption data is automatically recorded with telematics, which ensures accuracy in fuel usage reports. This automation of data collection ensures that human input errors are eliminated and that all recorded data is accurate.
  • Reducing fuel theft: Fuel theft is a massive challenge for fleets, whether it be through syphoning, false transactions, or fuel card fraud. If you’re not aware of your fleet’s fuel consumption, then you won’t be able to tell when fuel theft is taking place. A fuel management system works to combat this by giving you full insight into your fleet’s fuel consumption and recording all fuel-related expenses to determine accuracy.
  • Improving data-driven decision-making: Fuel management software provides fleet managers with detailed reports on fuel usage, costs, efficiency, and fuel trends. By tracking these reports over time, you can determine fuel patterns in your fleet and use this information to make informed decisions on optimising fuel management.

Elevate your fleet’s diesel management with 4 Cartrack solutions

Take your fleet’s diesel management to the next level with our world-class solutions. Here’s how:

  • Fuel management: The fuel cost monitoring system meticulously cross-references fuel receipts with vehicle telemetry data, effectively detecting potential fuel theft and preventing fuel fraud. With real-time monitoring and customisable reports, irregularities are quickly identified. The real-time fuel level monitoring utilises advanced sensors installed inside fuel tanks, enabling live monitoring of diesel consumption. This helps you pinpoint the reasons for sudden spikes in fuel consumption, whether it be syphoning or fuel-wasting driver behaviour. The fuel trend monitoring provides detailed fuel metrics on fuel per km travelled and per job completed for every driver and vehicle, giving you an accurate overview of how much diesel your fleet consumes.
  • Driver behaviour monitoring: Eliminate fuel-wasting driver behaviour with Cartrack’s driver monitoring system. By making use of driver scorecard data reports, you can quickly pick up on aggressive driving and idling. An idling diesel truck burns about 4 litres of fuel an hour, and speeding has the same negative impact on fuel efficiency. In fact, it has been shown that a truck travelling at about 120km/h consumes 27% more fuel than a truck travelling at 104km/h. Our solution gives you detailed reports on each driver’s behaviour and shows you exactly what caused the sudden increase in fuel consumption, helping you mitigate these issues and lower fuel consumption. Use this to provide driver training or coaching to improve behaviour and stop fuel-wasting behaviours.
  • Preventative maintenance: Preempt vehicle maintenance with Cartrack’s preventative maintenance. This system works by providing real-time alerts and diagnostics for various aspects of a vehicle’s maintenance, such as engine damage, worn brake pads, and worn-out tires, which are all vehicle issues that lead to increased fuel consumption. By receiving real-time diagnostics for vehicle mechanical issues, you can detect and quickly address these issues before they become costly, helping you minimise fuel consumption and maximise fleet productivity.
  • Route optimisation: Make your routes short and deviation-free with Cartrack’s route optimisation. This innovative tool helps you optimise your driver’s routes by analysing various factors such as real-time traffic and road conditions and route history. Traffic conditions not only cause delivery delays but also lead to increased idling, making efficient route planning crucial. An idling diesel truck burns about four litres of fuel an hour, which can be a very costly addition to your fleet’s fuel expenses.

Maximise savings and minimise waste with Cartrack’s real-time diesel management

Keeping an eye on your fleet’s diesel consumption can be quite stressful, but with Cartrack’s fleet management solution, it doesn’t have to be.

Contact us today, and let’s simplify your fuel monitoring together

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G-force – The Remarkable Science Of Monitoring Harsh Driver Behaviour

G-Force
G-Force

G-force - The Remarkable Science Of Monitoring Harsh Driver Behaviour

Harsh driving behaviour is one of the biggest challenges faced by fleets, but do you know how it is measured?

The short answer? G-force. No, we’re not talking about the movie with cute guinea pigs that work as secret agents; we’re talking about gravitational force. But how does it work exactly, and why does your fleet need to be conscious of it? Let’s find out.

In this article, you will:

  • Learn exactly what g-force is
  • Discover the crucial role g-force plays in measuring harsh driving behaviour
  • Find out what damage harsh driving can cause your fleet
  • Understand the importance of a driver monitoring system
  • Unlock unparalleled safety for your entire fleet with our driver monitoring system

What is g-force?

A g-force, often referred to as a gravitational force, is defined as a measure of acceleration. In simpler terms, it is how much you are pushed or pulled when you accelerate, brake, or turn. When we stand on the ground, the weight and force that prevent us from floating away are equivalent to one “g.” This measurement serves as a metric to quantify any form of acceleration, making it important in various fields, including aviation, the military, and the fleet industry.

What is harsh driving?

Harsh driving can be defined as any sudden change in the direction or speed of a vehicle or truck going at a steady rate. It is often noted as sudden changes in g-forces that can be monitored by an accelerometer, a device that measures changes in the speed or direction of a moving body (in this instance, a vehicle). 

When an accelerometer is at rest, it measures one g-force, which is the force of gravity acting on it. When the accelerometer is in motion, it measures the difference between the force of gravity and the force of acceleration acting on it. The accelerometer measures acceleration in meters per second squared (m/s²), and this can be converted to g-force by dividing the acceleration by the acceleration due to gravity (approximately 9.81 m/s²).  

Accelerometers are widely used in transportation, including in airbags, where they detect sudden changes in a car’s speed, signalling an imminent collision, and trigger an electric circuit that makes the airbags inflate.

How does g-force relate to harsh driving?

Harsh driver behaviour is typically expressed in terms of g-force due to its role in monitoring the behaviour. This is done by measuring the magnitude of acceleration and deceleration a vehicle experiences. Due to harsh driving that subjects a vehicle to abrupt changes in speed, direction, or both, a sudden increase in g-force experienced by the driver, passengers, and the vehicle itself is a key indicator of harsh driving. 

Harsh driving is expressed in terms off g-force, due to it playing a crucial role in measuring the magnitude of acceleration or deceleration that a vehicle experiences.

What are the different forms of harsh driving?

Harsh driving is a broad term used to describe a range of driving behaviours. Here are the four most common forms of harsh driving:

  1. Harsh braking: Harsh braking is when a driver uses more force than necessary to stop a vehicle. While there are some understandable instances where hard braking cannot be avoided (such as stopping to prevent an accident), unnecessary hard braking may suggest distracted driving, as it is a common effect of drivers failing to maintain a safe following distance. This increases the chances of a rear-end collision, as there isn’t enough following distance to allow for sudden yet safe deceleration.
  2. Harsh acceleration: Harsh acceleration is when drivers use more power than necessary to move their vehicle after coming to a stop. Frequently seen when drivers are waiting at a traffic light and slam the accelerator to get moving as quickly as possible, when drivers quickly accelerate in an attempt to beat a red traffic light, or when drivers aren’t paying attention to traffic flow and have to speed off from a stop line, harsh acceleration can be indicative of distracted driving. It often suggests a lack of focus, impatience, or an attempt to compensate for lost time while not paying attention to traffic signals or the surrounding environment.
  3. Harsh cornering: Also referred to as sharp cornering, harsh cornering is defined by a driver accelerating through a turn, which causes them to turn the corner too fast. This is quite dangerous, as it puts more force on the vehicle’s tires. This means a driver can lose control of the vehicle entirely, leading to accidents with other vehicles. On top of that, it puts top-heavy vehicles at risk of flipping. It also leads to limited visibility of the road beyond the bend, which puts drivers at risk of encountering obstacles.
  4. Lane drifting: Lane drifting is defined by a driver unintentionally drifting out of their lane and crossing into another lane or onto the shoulder of the road. When a driver diverts their attention away from the road, even momentarily, their likelihood of lane drifting is greatly increased. This is dangerous, as it increases the likelihood of collisions with adjacent vehicles and poses a risk to oncoming traffic. It can indicate distracted driving, as taking your eyes off the road can cause you to drift. It can also indicate a lack of proper following distance, increasing the risk of rear-end collisions.
Trucks

How does harsh driving impact fleets?

Harsh driving can have significant negative impacts on fleet vehicles that not only affect safety but overall fleet efficiency. Here’s how:

  1. It reduces fleet vehicle lifespan:

    Harsh driving significantly impacts the longevity of fleet vehicles in the following ways:

    – It increases tire wear: 
    Harsh acceleration forces the tires to grip the road intensely, leading to an increase in friction and heat generation. This excessive stress leads to premature tire wear, which reduces tread life and compromises the tire’s structural integrity. Harsh braking can also cause uneven wear patterns on their tires, diminishing their lifespan and necessitating more frequent replacements.

    – It increases brake system strain: 
    Frequent harsh braking leads to increased wear on brake pads, and this intense friction results in decreased brake pad lifespan, which compromises vehicle safety.

    – It increases suspension system strain: Harsh driving puts a strain on the vehicle’s suspension parts, such as shocks, struts, and bushings, which reduces their effectiveness. These components are important for maintaining vehicle stability and proper functioning of the steering system, which makes your vehicles more susceptible to mechanical failures.
  2. It increases your fleet’s fuel consumption:

    Harsh driving has been shown to increase the amount of fuel your vehicle burns in the following ways:

    – It increases fuel consumption due to downshifting: Harsh braking has been shown to drastically raise your vehicle’s fuel consumption, thereby diminishing fuel mileage. When a driver brakes harshly, a vehicle’s transmission downshifts to the lowest gear. While this downshifting is necessary to compensate for the sudden decrease in speed, lower gears require more engine revs to maintain movement, which means more fuel is burned. Tests have indicated that aggressive driving can increase fuel consumption by approximately 40%.

    – It diminishes fuel mileage: The increased fuel consumption resulting from harsh driving negatively affects your fleet’s fuel mileage. A study by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory indicated aggressive driving can reduce fuel economy by 15%-30%.
  3. It reduces tire performance:

    Harsh driving can have the following negative impact on your vehicle’s tire performance:

    – Causing uneven wear: Harsh driving contributes to uneven resistance on the tires. Harsh acceleration causes tires to struggle against intense friction, unevenly wearing the tread down. Harsh braking also forces the tires to work against the road surface, resulting in uneven wear patterns that diminish tire life.

    – Causing flat-spotting: Harsh braking can lead to flat-spotting, which occurs when tires skid or lock up, causing them to slide across the pavement. This wears down specific parts of the tire tread more rapidly than others, creating uneven wear patterns and reducing the tire’s effectiveness and life span.

    – Increasing heat build-up: Harsh driving generates excessive friction, which leads to increased heat build-up in tires. Tire overheating accelerates the deterioration of tire rubber compounds and makes them more susceptible to blowouts and structural damage.
  4. It increases the risk of collisions:

    Harsh driving increases the risk of vehicle collisions in the following ways:

    – Increasing risk of rear-end collision: Harsh driving reduces the safe following distance between vehicles, decreasing the driver’s ability to respond to sudden changes in traffic flow, and increasing the risk of collisions

    – Reducing response times to potential hazards: Harsh driving compromises a driver’s ability to respond promptly to unforeseen situations, such as a vehicle suddenly changing lanes, pedestrians unexpectedly crossing the road, or obstacles on the road. This reduction in response times increases the likelihood of accidents as the driver doesn’t have enough time to avoid potential road dangers.

    – Compromising vehicle stability and control: Harsh driving destabilises a vehicle, which affects its handling capabilities. This makes it more difficult to manoeuvre safely, especially in emergencies where drivers need to quickly adjust their driving and take sudden actions. This compromised control significantly increases the risk of accidents.
  5. It increases fleet maintenance costs:

    Harsh driving increases your fleet’s maintenance costs by:

    – Increasing wear and tear on vehicle components: Harsh driving behaviour places strain on critical vehicle parts such as brakes, tires, suspension systems, transmission, and engine components. This leads to premature strain being placed on these components, causing them to wear out sooner than planned. This means fleet managers need to allocate more time and resources for frequent servicing, part replacements, and repairs, which leads to unplanned vehicle downtime and increased maintenance costs.
  6. It harms driver performance:

    Harsh driving affects your driver’s performance in the following ways:

    – It reduces their response time: Harsh driving behaviour diminishes a driver’s ability to quickly react to unexpected situations, leading to delayed reactions that increase the likelihood of accidents.

    – It increases their stress levels: Harsh driving has been shown to induce physiological stress responses, which heighten driver anxiety and tension. This increase in stress not only affects driver’s mental well-being but also impairs their cognitive function, which affects decision-making abilities and reaction times.

    – It increases fatigue: The physical strain caused by harsh driving, such as harsh acceleration, braking, and steering, can increase driver fatigue. Over time, this constant strain contributes to increased exhaustion and reduced focus, especially during long-distance journeys. This decreases your driver’s situational awareness and impairs their judgement, heightening the potential for accidents.

To pick up on harsh driving, you need to keep a close eye on your fleet driver’s behaviour. While this may seem like a challenge, a driver monitoring system is your key to simplifying the entire process.

What is a driver monitoring system?

driver monitoring system is an advanced vehicle safety technology that combines hardware and software to consistently track and assess driver behaviour, attentiveness, and overall condition while they’re behind the wheel. This cutting-edge technology combines sensors, cameras, and advanced data processing mechanisms that work to conveniently give you unparalleled access to fleet driver behaviour. The primary objectives of this safety-focused system are to enhance safety, prevent accidents caused by driver distraction or fatigue, improve overall driver performance, and boost overall fleet efficiency.

How does driver monitoring work?

Driver monitoring systems are very intricate, utilising a wide range of components that work together to effectively monitor driver behaviour. These components include:

  1. Cameras: Cameras are the foundation of driver monitoring systems. By making use of driver-facing cameras that are equipped with infrared light-emitting diodes, the systems can track the driver’s head position, eye movements, and facial expressions. These cameras are also equipped with advanced AI algorithms that work to continuously analyse driver behaviour, and pick up on signs of distraction, drowsiness, or impairment.
  2. GPS tracking: GPS tracking is another crucial component of driver monitoring systems. By leveraging GPS tracking, fleet managers gain access to data on driver routes, stop locations, and the real-time location of their vehicles. This comprehensive video of a vehicle’s movements provides valuable insight into driver behaviour, such as speeding, idling, or unauthorised detours.
  3. Driver Scorecards: Driver scorecards are comprehensive performance evaluation tools that can assess driver behaviour within a fleet. These give fleet managers detailed insights into individual driver behaviour, encompassing factors such as speed compliance, harsh braking, and adherence to designated routes.
  4. Data processing and analysis: Data processing and analysis are integral to effective driver behaviour monitoring. By collecting and presenting a wide range of data related to driving patterns, vehicle movements and location, this system helps fleet managers detect patterns, easily identify instances of harsh driving,

What are the benefits of a driver monitoring system?

While the main reason for implementing a driver monitoring system could be to eliminate harsh driving, this system yields a wide range of benefits that positively impact your entire fleet operation. These benefits include:

  1. Improving fleet driver safety: Driver monitoring systems provide a combination of hardware and software that monitors driver behaviour around the clock. This advanced software works to detect signs of distraction, drowsiness, and fatigue, which makes it crucial to prevent accidents from occurring, as these behaviours can significantly increase the risk of accidents. 
  2. Reducing the risk of accidents: A driver monitoring system helps prevent potential accidents by identifying and alerting drivers about their distracted or fatigued behaviour while they’re behind the wheel. These behaviours significantly increase the risk of collisions and loss of vehicle control. When these signs are detected, the system can issue alerts to the driver, prompting them to refocus their attention.
  3. Lowering fleet maintenance costs: By promoting smoother and safer driver habits, driver monitoring systems help reduce wear and tear on vehicle components. Extending the lifespan of brake components, suspension systems, and tires, directly translates to a decrease in maintenance and repair costs.
  4. Improving fleet fuel efficiency: Driver monitoring systems work to detect and alert drivers to various fuel-wasting driving behaviours, such as excessive idling, harsh acceleration, and speeding. This helps drivers promptly fix their behaviour, playing a significant role in improving your fleet’s fuel efficiency. This contributes to cost savings by reducing fuel consumption across your entire fleet.
  5. Improving overall fleet efficiency: Driver monitoring systems significantly reduce accidents, which means decreased downtime. Decreased downtime due to accidents or breakdowns allows for uninterrupted fleet operations, which ensures the timely completion of tasks, deliveries, or services. This leads to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, improving overall fleet efficiency.
software

Gain unparalleled insights into driver behaviour with Cartrack’s driver monitoring system

Cartrack is here to bring a world-class driver behaviour monitoring system right to your fleet. Equipped with a wide range of technologies that help you take your driver behaviour to the next level, our system is just what you need to improve your fleet driver’s behaviour and reap the benefits of safe fleet functioning. These include:

  1. Live Vision AI cameras

    Gain 24-hour visual access to your fleets with Cartrack’s Live Vision AI cameras, an AI-powered, live streaming technology. This cloud-connected video management solution makes use of AI analysis to give you access to driver behaviour monitoring and real-time alerts. This technology can also detect various forms of distracted or dangerous driving, including:

    – Speeding
    – Smoking
    – Fatigue
    – Cell phone use

    When any of the above behaviours are detected, audible in-cabin audio alerts are triggered, immediately notifying your drivers. This helps them correct their actions in real time, preventing potential accidents from taking place. What’s more, fleet managers can also receive these real-time alerts and access the footage via a livestream feed, which helps them ensure that preventative action is immediately implemented.
  2. Driver scorecards

    Get an overview of each of your drivers and their behaviour with Cartrack’s driver scorecards, helping you determine how safely they drive. This is done by keeping track of any high-risk behaviours, such as

    – Harsh acceleration
    – Harsh braking
    – Excessive idling
    – Excessive speeding

    These scorecards help you identify the specific areas drivers need coaching in. They help you provide them with specific training to help them improve their behaviour behind the wheel. This is a very crucial part of an effective driver monitoring system, as it helps you pinpoint specific indicators of harsh driving, along with the drivers who perform these behaviours.
  3. Fuel monitoring

    Keep track of your vehicle’s fuel levels and quickly spot harsh driving with Cartrack’s fuel monitoring system. Our real-time fuel level monitoring makes use of advanced sensors installed inside fuel tanks, which enable the live monitoring of fuel consumption through our fleet management platform. By helping you conveniently monitor fuel levels as changes occur, you can quickly identify sudden spikes in fuel consumption, which could be indicative of harsh driving, with behaviours such as excessive idling, speeding, and harsh braking contributing to increased fuel consumption.

Let Cartrack help you streamline your driver behaviour monitoring today

Are you ready to establish a safety-first driving culture in your fleet? Embark on the journey to improved driver safety with Cartrack and gain access to world-class technologies. 

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Fuel Saver Device Myths Busted – Why They Don’t Really Work

Fuel Myth
Fuel Myth

Fuel Saver Device Myths Busted – Why They Don’t Really Work

Fuel card fraud is a big headache for fleet managers. It leads to massive financial losses and costly operational disruptions.

If you’re starting to notice fuel transactions that don’t align with your employees’ fuel card usage, now might be a good time to look into it before things get out of control. 

Ready to tackle fuel card fraud and discover your ultimate fuel card management solution?

In this article, you will:

  • Gain insight into fuel-saving devices
  • Debunk common myths associated with fuel-saving devices
  • Discover proven methods to saving fuel for your fleet
  • Understand the importance of effective fuel and fleet management
  • Learn how Cartrack provides a reliable fuel-saving solution

The obsession over fuel-saver devices

The attraction of fuel-saving devices lies in their promise of effortless fuel savings, and their quick-fix approach to all your fuel challenges. Many consumers who are either sceptical or don’t have the time for traditional fuel efficiency tips, find these ‘miracle’ fuel devices extremely appealing. However, some things aren’t always what they seem. 

Most of these devices are based on unfounded scientific claims or use ineffective methods to supposedly improve fuel efficiency. Many are ineffective or even harmful to vehicles. Before purchasing a fuel-saver device, it is important to conduct thorough research and consult with experts to verify its safety and efficacy. 

Truth is, there’s no magic pill for improving fuel economy, just hard work partnered with effective fuel and fleet management solutions, so be wary of claims that sound too good to be true.

Fuel Pump

Do fuel-saving devices actually work?

The simple answer to this is no. Fuel-saver devices generally do not work as advertised and do not provide any significant or measurable improvement in fuel economy. Here are some common myths about fuel-saving devices that have been ineffective:

Myth 1 – Magnetic fuel savers

Starting with the most popular myth, these devices claim to improve fuel economy by aligning fuel molecules using powerful magnets. This claim is based on the idea that aligning the molecules will make them burn more efficiently. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Studies have shown that magnetic fuel savers have no impact on fuel economy.

Myth 2 – Fuel injector cleaners

This claims to remove deposits, prevent new deposits from forming, and enhance vehicle performance from fuel injectors, which they say will improve fuel atomisation and combustion efficiency. However, modern fuel injector systems are designed to keep themselves clean, and fuel injector cleaners only make a difference if used regularly and it all depends on the quality of the cleaner.

Myth 3 – Air intake vortex generators

These devices are designed to create a swirling vortex of air in the engine intake, which they claim will improve combustion efficiency. However, studies have shown that these devices have no measurable impact on fuel economy.

Myth 4 – Engine performance chips

Also known as performance tuners, they are electronic devices that are installed in vehicles onboarding computer systems to alter the engine’s computer programming and improve fuel economy and power. However, the effectiveness of these chips has been debated as there is no evidence that these chips work.

Myth 5 – Hydrogen fuel additives

These additives claim to improve fuel efficiency by increasing the amount of hydrogen in the fuel. However, there is no evidence that these additives are effective, and they can even be dangerous if not handled properly.

So, what’s the takeaway? While the idea of fast-acting fuel-saving gadgets is tempting, it’s often best to stick to the basics — regular maintenance, good driving habits, occasional vehicle servicing and the use of a proven fuel and fleet management system.

What is a fuel-saving device?

Let’s first understand exactly what these devices even are. It is said to help improve fuel efficiency, reduce emissions, and optimise engine performance in vehicles. They are often marketed as a way to save money on fuel costs without requiring any additional maintenance or modifications to a vehicle. 

The effectiveness of these devices is often debated and despite no proof, some devices may still claim to provide minor improvements in fuel efficiency. It is essential to approach the use of fuel-saver devices with caution and always consider the potential risks and limitations before investing in one for your vehicle.

Fuel-saving solutions that genuinely work

Now that we know what doesn’t work, let’s talk about what does. There are several proven methods that you can use that will make a difference in your tank and your fuel costs, such as:

  1. Encourage a fuel-conscious driving style

    Adopting smooth and consistent driving practices is key to fuel efficiency. Discourage habits like rapid acceleration and abrupt braking. Instead, promote gradual acceleration, maintaining a steady speed, and minimising unnecessary idling. This not only conserves fuel but also creates a more relaxed driving experience, fostering a safety-conscious culture among your drivers.
  2. Implement proper vehicle maintenance

    Make sure you maintain your vehicle by keeping your engine properly tuned, ensuring your tyres are inflated to the recommended tyre pressure, and changing air filters whenever needed. For your cars, depending on the level of care they need, they can undergo interim servicing, full servicing or major servicing. Keeping them in tip-top shape will help you drastically save on fuel consumption.
  3. Route planning

    Efficient route planning is another effective strategy. Plan routes in advance to avoid congested areas and heavy traffic, saving both time and fuel. Leverage navigation apps or devices offering real-time traffic updates for optimal route suggestions. Grouping errands logically minimises travel distance, optimising fuel usage.
  4. Embrace fuel-saving technologies

    Advanced fleet management software that uses GPS and telematics systems can automatically capture real-time data on vehicle usage, refuelling patterns, and overall diagnostics, providing insights into water, oil, and engine health. Investing in such technologies is a forward-looking strategy to enhance fuel efficiency. For instance, telematics can reveal patterns in driver behaviour, aiding in targeted training programs to further boost fuel savings.

Benefits of saving every litre of petrol and diesel in your fleet

Every drop of wasted fuel is a loss for your business that adds up over time. Fuel saving is crucial as it offers a range of benefits that can directly impact the bottom line, environmental impact, and overall sustainability of your fleet.

By recognising the various benefits of preventing fuel wastage, fleet managers can optimise fuel consumption, lessen fuel costs, and elevate fleet performance. 

Here’s the full list of what your business can gain from saving its fuel resources:

  • Cost savings: Businesses, particularly those with extensive vehicle fleets, can make substantial savings by adopting fuel-efficient strategies. This directly impacts operational costs, freeing up resources that can be redirected to enhance overall profitability.
  • Improved fleet productivity: Fuel-saving practices not only cut costs but also enhance overall fleet efficiency. Optimising fuel usage extends vehicle range, reduces downtime, and facilitates better route planning. This results in increased productivity, lower maintenance expenses, and more efficient usage of fleet resources.
  • Employee safety: Embracing fuel-efficient driving practices promotes safer habits, lowering the risk of accidents and associated costs like insurance premiums and vehicle repairs. This not only ensures a safer work environment but also contributes to a healthier and more productive workforce.
  • Environmental impact: Fuel-efficient practices directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, aligning with the growing demand for eco-friendly initiatives from consumers and investors. The impact of fuel efficiency extends beyond a company’s operations to influence the entire supply chain. Collaborating with suppliers and prioritising fuel efficiency further reduces environmental impact.
  • Fleet maintenance: Regular vehicle maintenance is crucial to optimal performance and prevents unexpected breakdowns. By prioritising efficient fuel use, businesses can contribute to extended vehicle life and reduced maintenance costs.

To improve your business’s relationship with fuel and gain the benefits listed above, there is only one fuel-saving solution that is proven and trusted — Cartrack’s. Its fleet management solutions can improve your fuel management and save you fuel wastage costs.

Fuel Add

Proven fuel-saving habits that Cartrack can provide

Ever thought about getting a fleet management system that actually saves you money? 

With Cartrack, you get more than just vehicle tracking – it’s like having a personal fuel efficiency coach for your fleet. Cartrack’s fleet management solutions play a crucial role in monitoring and enhancing fuel efficiency through several key features:

Route optimisation

Cartrack’s Delivery tool has a route optimisation feature that incorporates factors such as traffic conditions, route history, road conditions, and fuel consumption data to provide drivers with the most optimal routes. This helps reduce fuel consumption per trip and contributes to a decrease in harmful emissions, resulting in significant fuel cost savings.

Real-time fuel consumption monitoring

Cartrack’s fleet management system offers real-time monitoring of fuel consumption through data analytics. Fleet managers gain insights into individual vehicle performance, driver behaviour, and fuel efficiency trends. The MiFleet fuel validation feature further assists in monitoring and analysing fuel consumption data, enabling precise tracking and identification of inefficiencies.

MiFleet for efficient fuel cost savings

MiFleet is a fleet cost management system that assists in monitoring all fleet costs. It analyses fuel consumption data and overall fuel costs. With access to fuel card transactions, Mifleet can automatically cross-reference your fuel transactions with your vehicle’s telemetry data, and flag possible fuel theft risks.

Vehicle maintenance alerts

Cartrack provides preventative maintenance alerts, notifying fleet managers of scheduled maintenance and inspections. Timely addressing of these issues helps prevent fuel-consuming problems, such as engine misfires, ensuring vehicles maintain peak efficiency and avoid unnecessary downtime.

Driver training and fleet incentive program

Recognising the pivotal role of drivers in fuel efficiency, fleet managers can implement comprehensive training programs. These programs cover driving techniques contributing to fuel savings, such as smooth acceleration and reduced idle time. Cartrack’s performance monitoring, including driver scorecards, aids in assessing each driver’s performance, enabling targeted training and incentive programs to promote fuel-conscious driving habits.

Case study: How Cartrack helped Calgan Recliners save fuel and money

Calgan Recliners is a South African furniture company that specialises in the manufacturing of recliner chairs and lounge suites. They deliver their products to their customers through their factory or various retailers around South Africa.

They were facing a challenge many companies face — high fuel consumption rates. For a company that depends on their deliveries, this is a big issue, so they searched for a solution. Cartrack not only offered smart solutions to solve their problem but also experimented to prove fuel savings were possible with their Delivery tool. 

Wayne Sholtz, a Cartrack delivery solutions specialist, tackled one of Calgan’s delivery driver’s routes for a day. Shotlz drove from the factory to 15 drop-off points using Cartrack Delivery and its powerful route optimisation tool. 

With this, Sholtz completed 167 km, whereas the driver who wasn’t using Delivery and route optimisation drove 195 km, showing a massive 28 km difference, which equated to 7 litres of diesel saved in just one day. If used for the whole month, this could save Calgan Recliners a total of around R3000 in diesel costs per vehicle, monthly.

If that’s what we can do for Calgan Recliners in just one day, imagine what we can do for your business’s fuel cost challenges.

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