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Driving better fuel economy
Some trucking firms are using a blend of technology and personal coaching to help their staff drive with greater efficiency. That’s because getting more out of the fuel they use makes economic sense – and can benefit the environment.
Profit margins are tight in the trucking industry. And fuel can account for up to 30% of a company’s operating costs. So some companies are using innovative fuel management systems to boost efficiency. One such system, Shell FuelSave Partner, is the first to combine fuel purchase data with details on driver behaviour and truck performance collected via an on-board device.
“The information helps us devise the right training for individual drivers,” says Andreas August, Managing Director of August Gschwander Transport in Germany, which has been using the system.
The box-like devices are about the same size as a dashboard satellite navigation system. They are installed in the truck cab and connected to the onboard engine computer. The information is analysed and relayed to fleet managers back in the office.
On the road, the device records such things as how aggressively the driver accelerates or brakes and feeds it into the database. Global positioning system (GPS) technology tracks the location and speed of the truck.
The system also calculates carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for each tonne a truck transports and kilometre it travels.
As a result, trucking firms can better manage their fuel-related environmental footprint and help their customers report on emissions. By autumn 2011 the system was used by more than 130 firms in 11 European countries.