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Three Ways to Save on Fuel

With fuel consistently at or near the top of your annual operating expenses, it doesn’t really matter if the price of diesel is up or down. Any savings you make in the area of fuel consumption go straight to your bottom line. And the improvements you make now will pay off down the road when the cost of fuel inevitably rises. Here are three easy places to start saving:


How do you get a handle on idle time? Here are a few simple tips:

  • Limit idle at shutoff to two minutes for older engines, almost none for newer ones.
  • Turn off trucks waiting more than five minutes to load or unload.
  • Restrict morning warmups to three to five minutes.
  • Turn off equipment during lunch and breaks.
  • Use automatic shutdown when available.


Don’t underestimate the power of the people behind the controls to help you get a handle on fuel costs. Research shows that a skilled operator can use 10-12% less fuel every day than an unskilled one. That’s in addition to benefits like improved productivity and enhanced safety on the job.
Unfortunately, finding skilled operators can be tough. 
But here’s some good news: Operator training isn’t just a tool to reduce fuel costs, it’s also one of the most effective ways to increase employee loyalty, improve retention and attract top people. Investing in operator training is win-win — good for keeping fuel costs down AND keeping good workers on the job.


More than 80% of operators are using equipment telematics or plan to start soon. One of the primary ways they’re putting the data to work is to reduce fuel consumption — 29% are tracking idle time and 27% are monitoring fuel use.

Fuel data is powerful. If consumption goes up suddenly and the operator’s task hasn’t changed, that’s a signal something needs attention. Maybe your site layout is inefficient or operators need more training. Perhaps tire pressure is low or you’re using an undersized machine, bucket or work tool for the job. Fuel data can also help you uncover issues like dirty fuel injectors, plugged air filters, defective sensors, a slipping clutch and much more. These are all problems you can fix to keep fuel costs from rising out of control.

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