CoatingsPro Magazine

JAN 2009

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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NOTES FROM THE FIELD 10 Ways to Cut Fuel Costs By Jack Lee emember the good old days…about a year and a half ago? Prices at the pumps were hovering around one dollar per gallon and they stayed the same for weeks. Well, the good old days are gone forever and today we live in a world where fuel prices seem to vary by the hour. Now pundits speculate about oil prices running up to $200 US per barrel. As consumers, many of us have adjusted our lifestyles. We try to drive less. Some choose to car pool, while others get rid of their gas-guzzlers and opt for more fuel-efficient vehicles and hybrids. The days of cheap fuel are over. The good old days for many compa- nies meant: fuel up the fleet and go. Little attention was paid to managing fuel costs. But in the past year the price of oil has doubled, cutting deeper than ever into profits and causing owners and managers to adopt a new fuel conscious- ness. For small business owners, including coatings contractors, fuel management has become not an option, but a necessity. R You can't control the price of fuel, but you can control your fuel consump- tion. Read below and see some surprising stats. The bottom line answer for many businesses is Fuel Management. Any company can improve their fuel efficiencies. Of course, it takes work and commitment — from the head office to your people on the road and at the job sites. More and more companies are making changes in their operating practices to cut costs now and to be prepared for even higher costs in the future. To help you adjust, here are 10 ways to cut fuel costs: 22 CoatingsPro J January 2009 Are rising fuel prices cutting into your profits? Here are 10 simple steps to decrease your fuel costs and increase green — in your wallet and the environment. 1. Train and educate your drivers. Fuel management starts with the people who have their foot on the gas pedal. Your crew can control fuel consumption each time they fire up their engines, and proper training can improve fuel efficiency, economy, and emissions. 2. Decrease idling. Be aware of the time engines idle. No longer can we leave machinery and equip- ment running all day long. Stop your engines! Excessive idling adds to your fuel costs by — surprise — as much as 50 percent and can shorten the life of engine oil by 75

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