Since the increase in fuel prices in October, fleet owners in South Africa have been hit the hardest. Petrol prices have increased by R1.08 for 93 Unleaded and R1.14 for 95 Unleaded per liter. While diesel prices spiked to R1.93 and R1.96 per liter.
The fuel price increases, further compounded by load-shedding imposed by the ailing state power utility, have elevated the cost of doing business in the country. Due to this increase, fleet operating companies may struggle to keep operational expenses under control. However, fleet managers can use this article as a resource to assess the consequences of the October fuel surge. We’ll investigate incentivizing good driver behaviour as a fuel cost-mitigating solution.
Every fleet’s largest expense is fuel.
In actuality, fleet owners’ second-highest expense after salaries is fuel. For this reason, fleet managers and drivers alike must work together to control fuel use. Using telemetry technologies in conjunction with incentives makes this feasible.
It is the responsibility of every fleet manager to promote good driving conduct. This lowers overall expenses, hazards, reputational harm, and accidents. Offering driver incentives by tracking driving behavior through the aid of telematics software, encourages improved driving. Fleet managers can easily create driver scorecards and review driving reports to ensure ethical patterns.
Using Geotab Africa’s telematics solutions, fleet managers can communicate clearly to drivers; the criteria for earning incentives, and how their behaviour is observed. Thorough and clear communication between drivers and fleet managers can help reduce the curve of fuel costs, prevent misunderstandings, and enhance the program’s effectiveness.
As a fleet manager, you can easily measure driver behaviour by using our fleet management software, MyGeotab, based on the following criteria:
- Harsh braking
- Fuel consumption
- Tailgating and cornering
South Africa, like any other country, bears the brunt of fluctuating fuel prices. And even though fleet owners cannot do anything to control the price they pay at the pump; they can significantly reduce the amount of fuel they consume. This is attainable through three key telemetry solutions:
- Automated, consistent, and unbiased real-time driver feedback: controlling driver behaviour in real-time is more effective in positively doing away with driving that consumes more fuel. Coaching a driver in real-time is a viable solution because it occurs in step with the behaviour rather than days after. Through our in-vehicle coaching devices, fleet managers can provide drivers with realistic performance standards that accommodate South Africa’s challenging road infrastructure.
- Automated reporting: data accuracy for reliable data on driving behaviour is essential for effective fleet fuel management. Investing in accurate tracking systems offered by Geotab allows fleet managers to accurately monitor systems to evaluate drivers’ performance. Furthermore, automated reporting allows fleet managers to engage in productive and quick secondary coaching conversations without having to sift through mountains of data. Our fleet management reports use data to enhance daily fleet operations and identify areas for improvement.
- A measured driver fuel performance metric: the incentive program should be fair and equitable. This solution offers impartiality and considers variables outside the driver’s control. With this in mind, fleet managers can rest assured knowing that the program motivates drivers without creating unhealthy competition, or unattainable requirements.
Driver behaviour has a direct correlation with road safety and fuel efficiency. Based on this, it is paramount to foster a culture of safe driving and efficient skills. And this can be achieved by creating driver scoring and scorecards. This is a type of performance evaluation based on metrics such as speeding, and aggressive behaviour, as alluded to earlier in the article. They are measured through GPS fleet tracking or telematics systems. This solution aids in determining which drivers require additional training.
Scorecards also come in handy when identifying the best driver for incentives. The scorecard lists drivers or vehicles and shows their scores in each measured category. This requires regular communication between drivers and fleet managers to ensure necessary driving skills are identified, developed, and implemented. Especially now with the fuel spikes and high accident rates.
Additional fleet fuel management solutions:
The retail and logistics sectors rely heavily on road transportation and will be hit the hardest by these fuel surges. As fuel prices rise, the cost of transporting merchandise between suppliers will rise, lowering total profit margins. Therefore, fleet owners must reconsider their fleeting strategies to avoid unnecessary fuel costs. Encouraging fuel-efficient driving also has a positive environmental impact by reducing carbon emissions. This will uplift the brand image of a business and resonate well with environmentally savvy clients.
These solutions are more necessary now as fuel has reached the R25 per liter threshold.
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