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With the current unfavourable economic climate in South Africa and recent fuel price increase leaving consumers panicked, businesses will have to be more vigilant than ever in saving fuel costs.

Technology and big data is pivotal in optimising the efficiency of business operations whilst enabling them to remain economically competitive. Data and insight into operations greatly assists in reducing kilometres travelled and the corresponding fuel usage. Fuel usage has become an integral feature that our customers are not only interested in, but rely on. Fuel remains one of the largest expenses for fleets.

One measurable method that helps drive fast fuel savings is to implement a GPS fleet management solution, also known as telematics. This post discusses some strategies for increasing fuel efficiency and will review fuel tracking basics in MyGeotab.

Compare Trends

Reducing aggressive driving is an easy and effective way to save on petrol costs. Excessive speeding, rapid acceleration, and harsh braking have negative effects on a driver’s fuel efficiency. Geotab has tools to manage these bad driving habits through driver feedback notifications and exception reports, which deter this type of driving, and ultimately improves consumption. Read more on how driver behaviour impacts total cost of ownership.

Another fuel wastage habit is idling. Very often, drivers wait in front of customers’ premises during security check-ins or keep engines running for air-con purposes. Telematics technology can help alert drivers to turn their engines off. Idling reports can also allow managers to work with specific drivers who idle regularly. Through MyGeotab, Geotab’s fleet management software, the fleet manager can set idle limits and arrange for automatic reports to be sent to employees or managers as a measurement tool. Read more on how to detect and stop true fleet idling.

Telematics technology can also help drivers reduce fuel consumption by reminding them to slow down and stay within the speed limit. Reports can also provide managers a quick look at which drivers are violating the speeding policy. MyGeotab allows you to use posted road speeds to create custom speeding rules and generate exception reports, allowing you to take corrective action.

Reviewing trend reports can help track progress. Fleets should be asking: What’s our last three months fuel and idling trend? What’s our aggressive driving and kilometres driven trend? If idling, speeding, and kilometres are being reduced, then fuel should be reduced as well.

Measure Kilometres Driven

Evaluate if drivers are taking the most efficient routes and whether the fleet is dispatching the most efficient people for the call. Geotab telematics can assist with route optimisation, dispatching the closest vehicle in emergencies, assisting drivers with the most efficient route to destinations, and knowing precisely where a vehicle is located with notification of arrival for planning, dispatch and efficiency.

Tracking Fuel Usage in MyGeotab

The tools in MyGeotab can help fleets increase fuel efficiency and reduce fuel costs.

Fuel Usage Report

The Fuel Usage report, found under the Engine & Maintenance section in MyGeotab, summarizes fuel economy, distance travelled, and monthly fuel usage. The report can be filtered by vehicle or time period.

Fill-Ups Report

Fleets can use their telematics data to validate fuel transactions. A fill-up event is defined as anytime fuel is added to the vehicle. The report will show you a brief summary, including total fuel added and total cost, for the time period you select.

The Fill-Ups report can point you to unmatched fuel transactions that need further investigation. Telematics device fill-up data with imported fuel transactions. To match a fuel transaction to a device, there must be at least one matching reference field: VIN, Device Serial Number, License Plate, Device Description (name), or Comments.

Importing Fuel Card Data into MyGeotab

MyGeotab accommodates any fuel transaction data, as long as it is in .csv or .xls file format. Fuel card importing is not tied to any specific manufacturer. Fuel transactions can be imported into your MyGeotab database via the Fuel Transaction Import Add-In or by using the API. For more details on these procedures, please refer to the Geotab Product Guide.

Ongoing Developments in Fuel Tracking

Geotab is continuously working on fuel data output to optimize accuracy and support for vehicles.

The Fuel Protector is a device that is installed on the filler port of the fuel tank. It is designed to stop fuel theft by locking out the tank so that no hoses can be inserted or tampering of the tank. The integration allows Geotab to receive a signal when the fuel cap is opened. Therefore rules and notifications can be set for instances when it is opened outside filling station zones.

The Fuel Sensor allows us to see how much fuel is used in a certain time period. This enables us to get information like fuel consumption and if there are any sudden drops in the fuel level, this can be detected as suspected fuel theft.

Author: The Geotab Team – Geotab Africa

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