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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percent, adding more costs. Initiate a campaign to reduce idling time and reward participants. Allowing an engine to idle more than three minutes causes expensive damage, harming efficiency, shortening engine life, and increasing mainte- nance costs. It all adds up. 3. Start off slower. This is another lesson your drivers must be taught. Jackrabbit starts waste fuel and save less than three minutes per hour driving, but can result in using an astonishing 40 percent more fuel in those minutes, not to mention increasing toxic emissions by 400 percent! What's the rush? Ease up on the gas pedal and your efficien- cies will improve. 4. Slow down. Speeding is not only dangerous, it is also costly. It wastes fuel and creates higher levels of toxic emissions. Speeds over 100 km/hour drastically impact fuel efficiencies — cars traveling at speeds of 75 mph use 20 percent more fuel, which is noteworthy. However, trucks traveling at speeds of 75 mph use 50 percent more fuel and they also emit 100 percent more carbon monoxide, 50 percent more hydrocarbons and 31 percent more nitrogen oxides. Significant savings potential here! 5. Lose Weight. Excess weight places unnecessary strain on your vehicle's engine and greatly affects its fuel efficiency. By removing as little as 100 pounds from your load, you can significantly improve your gas mileage. Check each vehicle and pitch out that unnecessary baggage! 6. Use a Fuel Management System. This is the most powerful way to lower fuel costs and increase productivity. Available systems range from basic on-site refueling (which saves up to 20 minutes in wasted time and fuel each day, per vehicle) to automated You can't control the price of fuel, but you can control your fuel consumption. fuel tracking (which details every gallon pumped into every vehicle by date, time, quantity and fuel type) to telematics (which measures overall fuel efficiency, vehicle performance, tracks fuel waste due to idling, speeding, etc. and identifies criti- cal areas to improve efficiency and reduce fuel costs and emissions). The technology exists so you can become an expert Fuel Manager and stay on top of your fuel consumption, one vehicle at a time. For more informa- tion visit www.4refuel.com or www. fueleconomy.gov. 7. Upgrade your Fleet. Whenever possible, invest in modern, fuel- efficient vehicles. Modern diesel engines are far more fuel-efficient and perform better with modern diesel fuels such as ultra-low sulfur diesel and biodiesel. Though it may seem expensive, new diesel vehicles can save thousands of dollars in maintenance, fuel, and productivity per vehicle. Measure each piece of equipment for fuel efficiency and get rid of the bad ones! Replace and upgrade your equipment regularly. It may hurt now but it will pay you back more quickly than you realize. 8. Tune-up vehicles regularly. Do you have a stringent, well-managed maintenance policy? Many compa- nies "fix it when it breaks." This attitude costs too much, especially in wasted fuel. A well maintained vehicle performs better, improves fuel efficiency, reduces toxic emissions and, in the long run, will cost less to maintain. 9. Pump it up. Proper tire infla- tion improves gas mileage. At my organization, 4Refuel, our statis- tics show improperly inflated tires can cost up to two weeks worth of fuel per year! How big is your fleet? Two weeks per year per vehicle can add up to thousands of dollars in lost profits! In addition, proper inflation results in improved vehicle and braking performance, and increases tire life. This one is an easy fix and can yield signifi- cant savings. 10. Implement "Advanced Mobile Asset Management Technology." Wow, that's a mouthful! But you can measure and manage your fleet better when you have the technology to gather the right information. This information will help your drivers and managers optimize routes with better planning. Tracking miles, average speed, and engine efficiency is critical to cutting fuel costs. In addition, mapping software and GPS equipment will eliminate thousands of unnecessary miles per week. Less time on the road means less fuel consumed, less wear on vehicles, less unnecessary expenditures, but overall increased productivity and lower toxic emissions! Once you have made a total commitment to managing your fuel better and chang- ing some of your bad fuel habits, results will follow. Stick with it. Fuel prices are only going up. CP JACK LEE is the President and CEO of 4Refuel Inc, The Leader in Fuel Management. If you have any questions or comments about this article Jack can be reached at (604) 513-0386 or on-line at AsktheExpert@4refuel.com. January 2009 J www.coatingspromag.com 23

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