Improving fuel efficiency and safety in heavy vehicle fleets
Research has found that fleets that have a focus on improving performance through driver training achieve a 7.5% improvement in fuel efficiency and a 48% reduction in vehicle incidences. However while these opportunities exist for transport operators (with driver training producing the biggest savings), as has been seen with efficiency opportunities generally in business, these measures are typically not taken up because of: lack of awareness of the opportunities and/or lack of evidence of relevant examples of the actual savings delivered (versus claimed); and/or resource shortages (lack of time) due to competitive pressures forcing companies to focus on the day to day issues of running a fleet and keeping drivers on the road; and/or financial constraints, which limits the funds available for fuel efficiency investments as the transport sector typically operates off low single-digit margins. To address the capability issue, the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) is developing a training programme on how to competently deliver a review of a heavy vehicle fleet and support the implementation of fuel efficiency initiatives. The outcome being trained individuals who acting in a consultancy capacity can undertake reviews of multiple fleets identify opportunities for fuel savings. The training also includes individuals within large transport fleets to be 'fuel champions' in their business. EECA is also providing financial assistance to fleets to undertake reviews as well as driver training and monitoring and reporting of performance. Starting with a pilot in June then launching in July, EECA will provide an update at the conference of the achievements of the programme such as success regarding recruiting advisors to undertake fleet reviews, the level of savings potential identified and the measures undertaken and results achieved.