Fuel economy tips for businesses. How to reduce fuel consumption?

See how to cut fuel costs through fuel monitoring system for trucks, buses, cars, and construction machinery.

The owners of businesses involved in transportation name fuel as their largest fleet expense, reaching 60% of their fleets’ operating budget. At the same time, The World Bank reports CO2 emissions to increase by 100% over the last 15 years, which makes us vulnerable to climate change. Considering the above, more and more businesses strive for fuel economy. We offer the best fuel economy tips for businesses to reduce costs.

Cutting the fuel consumption for transport and production alone will have a major effect on the ecology and economics of the country. That’s why we’ll also discuss eco-friendly practices for reducing fuel usage in trucks and buses.

Switch to the most fuel-efficient cars 

Some private vehicle owners may want to upgrade their cars. According to The Hindu magazine, the TOP 5 fuel-efficient cars running are: 

  • Suzuki Wagon R 1.0 – 21.79 kpl
  • Suzuki Alto – 22.05 kpl
  • Renault Kwid 1.0 AMT – 22.5 kpl
  • Toyota Glanza – 23.87 kpl
  • Suzuki Baleno and Dzire AMT – 23.87 kpl

The author of this article was driving a Suzuki Alto Ene Charge and achieved a vehicle fuel efficiency of 4-6 l/100 km not even trying to save fuel. But private cars are not the main concern for CO2 emission reduction.   

Fuel consumption in trucks, lorries, buses, and heavy machinery

Vehicles involved in public transport, construction, cargo delivery, and distribution are the real money drainers and eco-killers when it comes to fuel. Just compare a Suzuki consuming 4-6 liters of fuel, with an average bus, truck, or lorry: 

  • Bus – 25 l/100 km
  • Lorry/Purpose vans/4WD (Diesel) – 23.8 l/100 km  
  • Truck – 35-40 l/100 km
Fuel consumption per vehicle

Fuel as a business expense

To describe how much money a big business spends on fuel, let’s take the example of a passenger transport service operator with 4,500 buses.

  • At 60 km/h, the average bus burns 25 liters/100km.
  • Let’s say, a bus does 1,000 km daily, which equals 250 liters/day.
  • The liter of diesel costs around $1.3, meaning that fuel spending per bus amounts to $325.
  • The fuel for 4,500 buses costs $1,462,500 daily.
  • Only if you drive ideally at 60 km/h and 1,000 km per day.

Fuel economy tips for businesses #1: “The optimal speed for most trucks to drive and get the best mileage may be 55 miles per hour, but most drive much faster than that.”

(c) Jan Fransoo, a visiting professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for Inc.com

How to improve fuel efficiency in commercial vehicles

Driving style 

One of the fuel-saving strategies for transportation businesses is to promote safe driving. Diligent drivers are your company’s money-savers. They don’t get into accidents, avoid traffic tickets, and refuel their vehicles rarely. The drivers save 15% of fuel by controlling unnecessary speed, braking, and acceleration alone. ECTRI reports even higher figures: 

Fuel economy tips for businesses #2: “Recent studies have shown that in certain situations the driving style can result in differences in terms of fuel consumption (and therefore CO2 emissions) up to 40% between a calm driver and an aggressive one.”

(c) ECTRI for ResearchGate


Idling means leaving the engine on during parking, cargo unloading, or any other period when the vehicle is not moving. In most cases, drivers do it to listen to the radio or use the AC.     

The average service vehicle spends two liters of fuel per hour while idling. Two minutes of idling equals one mile driven in terms of fuel. For a truck or construction machinery, these figures skyrocket. 

“On average, service fleets idle somewhere between three to four hours a day. The average fleet vehicle burns about 1.9 liters of fuel every hour.

(c) Tom Kanewske, VP of Business Development at Derive Systems for Fleet Financials


Maximizing fuel efficiency in transportation and logistics may be achieved through optimized routes, cutting miles driven for every vehicle in your fleet. Even if you save a few miles per route, multiply it by the number of vehicles and fuel consumption of your truck, and you will see the difference. 

Fuel economy tips for businesses #3: “I told them that if they would have taken this other route, they could have saved 15 miles. This might not sound like a lot to you, but when you start adding up the fuel savings, here’s what we could have saved over the course of the month if we did this every day. Tracking is huge.”

(c) Steve Doss, Cost Control Manager of Hammer Construction for Fleet Financials


Despite the previous point, the fastest or most evident routes may not be the most fuel-efficient. If you drive 1,000 km on narrow and rough roads struggling with heavy traffic and speed limits, fuel consumption will go up due to low speed and frequent braking.  

A proper route not only cuts miles driven but also allows driving at a constant speed. 

Fuel economy tips for businesses #4: “Driving at 70mph uses 9% more fuel than driving at 60mph, and 15% more than driving at 50mph.”

(c) Driving Test Success
Fuel economy tips for businesses: how speed affects fuel consumption in vehicles


One of the ways to cut fuel consumption in trucks and heavy machinery is to improve fleet health. Here are some stats for proper maintenance affecting fuel consumption. 

  • Proper oil: +2% to fuel economy and no engine overwork.
  • Tuned engine: +4% to fuel economy.
  • New air filters: -2-6% to fuel consumption.
  • Proper wheel alignment: +10% = 8 cents less per liter due to minimized rolling resistance
  • Proper tire pressure: +3% due to lesser friction with the road.

Fuel economy tips for businesses #5: “You can improve fuel economy by as much as 2% simply by using the proper oil.”

(c) US Department of Energy


The heavier the vehicle is, the more energy it needs to keep moving. For example, 25 kg of extra weight raises fuel consumption by 1%.

Check out some more figures about how weight affects fuel consumption. 

Fuel economy tips for businesses: factors affecting fuel consumption


Drivers can think they are underpaid and look for additional income sources. In most cases, they find additional income in fuel and vehicles they drive. 

Fuel thefts happen during parking and stops, at the end of the workdays. It becomes possible if the company doesn’t check fuel-filling data provided by drivers versus actual mileage and vehicle use. 

But sometimes, drivers contrive to steal fuel even when the vehicle is moving or when the fuel bills are controlled through special fuel cards. See how companies detect fuel card fraud with a fuel tracking system and check out GAUGE, a specialized solution for fuel card control.

Another way to lose fuel is to allow drivers to use corporate vehicles for private purposes – like passenger transport and goods delivery.

Vehicle use

Last but not least, is how your drivers use company vehicles – RPMs, AC, engine launches, etc.  

According to Fleet Financials, “restarting an engine uses the same amount of gasoline as idling for 30 seconds.” The experts recommend turning off the engine only when a stop takes more than half a minute. 

The government of Canada states that air conditioning also increases fuel consumption by 10-20%. The more spacious the vehicle’s interior is, the more it affects fuel consumption due to higher engine load. In hot regions, continuous AC operation may ruin all your plans for fuel economy.  

Changing gears sooner helps to reduce RPMs, which leads to lower engine load and, thus, fuel consumption. 

“If your sales associates have turned their cars into an office or if your drivers are sitting in the air conditioning between deliveries, they’re using an enormous amount of fuel — a quarter to a half-gallon (1-1.9 liters) of fuel per hour.”

(c) U.S. Department of Energy

How to reduce fuel consumption in trucks, vehicles, vessels

Effective strategies to reduce fuel consumption in commercial fleets include the use of advanced fuel management solutions that help save fuel directly and indirectly. A fleet fuel management system is not some GPS software or fuel sensor, but a combination of solutions that covers all the aspects described above. Let’s get a view of the best solutions you can get. 

CIRCUMSPECTOR for driver behavior monitoring

Safe driving is what the world needs not only for fuel economy but also for accident prevention. CIRCUMSPECTOR app addresses both issues. The software receives driving style – or G-force – data from an accelerometer in a GPS tracker. Then it analyzes the data and shows speedings, accelerations, brakings, sharp turns, and reckless driving on your laptop or smartphone. 

CIRCUMSPECTOR detects traffic violations and ranks drivers of your company based on their driving style. It means that you can provide personalized training, bonuses, or penalties based on their driving behavior. 

The CIRCUMSPECTOR-based driver training and reward system now works at Brandix in South Asia. In 2019, at the Telematics conference in 2020, the company reported that CIRCUMSPECTOR allowed them to prevent 90% of crashes monthly, not to mention significant fuel economy.   

Circumspector driver behavior monitoring solution

HEED for maintenance management

Commercial fleets also comprise older vehicles. Their age and condition affect fuel economy dramatically. That’s why the owners had better keep them properly maintained. Use HEED to know all service works, spare parts, and maintenance expenses in your fleet. 

HEED saves the maintenance history of your fleet for more than 400 days. The app allows taking every aspect that affects fuel consumption under control. 

For example, it tells when you changed the oil last time, which oil it was, and when to change it again. The same with filters, tires and wheels service, engine checks, etc. When the vehicle needs maintenance – after a time period or kilometers driven – HEED will alert you automatically. It will help you to cut fuel costs by keeping your fleet properly maintained.  

Just recently, we’ve published a big article about HEED explaining how it works and the benefits it brings. Read it to learn more.

HEED maintenance management system

DISTRIBUTION for route optimization

DISTRIBUTION is a solution used by delivery and logistics companies for its advanced route optimization algorithm. If you need to get from point A to point B through points C, D, and Z – DISTRIBUTION will get you there at the shortest route with minimum miles driven. It allows you to reduce fuel consumption through better routes.

The more vehicles there are in your fleet, the more significant fuel savings you will achieve.

Distribution route optimization app to cut mileage and fuel spent

FiOS fleet fuel management and monitoring system

FiOS is a GPS tracking and fleet management system by KLOUDIP that allows tracking hundreds of parameters, including those affecting fuel consumption. It’s the ultimate solution for fleet fuel management.

Fuel tracking devices: fuel level sensors and meters

  1. Sensors show fuel consumption through changes in fuel level in the tank.
  2. Meters show fuel consumption by detecting the volume of fuel that gets through them.

FiOS-based fuel monitoring system gets data from fuel monitoring hardware, analyzes it, and shows fuel consumption to the user in real-time or reports. While real-time fuel consumption is simple, reports may show fuel consumption depending on various circumstances: fuel consumption vs. speed, engine load, and sensors. For example, you can create a digital air conditioning sensor “On/Off” in the system. After that, you can track fuel consumption at the time when AC was “On.”

Also, fuel reports allow you to simply detect fuel fillings and thefts. When you see the fuel level rise on the graph – it’s filling, if you see the fall – it’s a theft. Fuel level sensors and consumption counters in vehicles and filling stations help eliminate 90% of fuel thefts. And it’s only one of the benefits of fuel monitoring systems for businesses. Read below for more.

Fuel economy tips for businesses: use a fuel monitoring system

Fuel monitoring without sensors and counters

KLOUDIP brought sensorless fuel monitoring to the market. FiOS system calculates fuel consumption without special hardware. If you know the fuel consumption norm of your vehicle, KLOUDIP creates math formulas and coefficients for various driving circumstances (speed, RPMs, AC). It allows calculating fuel consumption accurately to milliliters without fuel tracking devices.  

Sensorless fuel monitoring


FiOS detects idling if the vehicle is not moving with the engine turned on. The system tells you which vehicles were idling, for how long, and where. In most cases, this data is enough to see the reasons for idling and understand if it was reasonable or not. 

Additionally, you can see the time intervals between engine launches and AC use to reduce fuel consumption even more. 


FiOS gets data from axle load and weight sensors that may be installed in the vehicle. Based on this information, the system will alert you if the vehicle is overloaded or will use weight as a coefficient for fuel consumption calculation.  


Narrow roads and speed limits become the real obstacle to fuel economy. In FiOS, you can mark roads with line geofences. For example, if you know the road is too rough, narrow, destroyed, or dangerous, you can mark it with a geofence line. When a vehicle enters this geofence, the system will alert you that the transport is taking an unauthorized route.  

Vice versa, you can mark the top-choice road by the same geofence and set recommended speed limits, and RPMs, restrict stops, and do everything to reduce fuel consumption on the road.

Geofence module to mark best roads

Private trips

FiOS can detect if a corporate vehicle is used for private purposes by entering work hours for it.

If the engine is on and the vehicle is moving after work hours, then it’s used for private purposes. FiOS will show you fuel and mileage during after-work hours so that you allocate the fuel spent to the personal use category. 

Nearest vehicle

FiOS can locate the vehicle closest to the client, warehouse, service point, or emergency situation. When you send the nearest vehicle instead of a random one, you minimize mileage and fuel spent.

Now you know fuel-saving tips for businesses with large and small vehicle fleets. Start improving fleet fuel management for cost savings. Get your comprehensive fuel monitoring solution on kloudip.com.

Frequently asked questions

1. How can I implement a fuel monitoring system in my vehicles?

Implementing a fuel monitoring system in your vehicles involves selecting the right system based on your needs and budget, installing the necessary hardware such as fuel sensors or meters, configuring the software to track and analyze fuel consumption data, and providing training to your team on how to use the system effectively.

2. What are some additional factors that can affect fuel consumption in vehicles?

Several factors can affect fuel consumption in vehicles, including driving style, idling, route optimization, vehicle weight, maintenance, and driver behavior. Proper maintenance, such as using the right oil, tuning the engine, and maintaining proper tire pressure, can improve fuel economy. Additionally, optimizing routes, reducing idling, and encouraging efficient driving behavior can help reduce fuel consumption.

3. How do I choose the right fuel monitoring system for my fleet?

Choosing the right fuel monitoring system for your fleet depends on several factors, including the size of your fleet, the type of vehicles you have, your budget, and the features you need. Look for a system that offers comprehensive fleet fuel management capabilities, including real-time tracking, fuel level sensors or meters, and reporting tools to help you analyze fuel consumption data and identify areas for improvement.

4. How can I calculate the return on investment (ROI) of implementing a fuel monitoring system in my fleet?

Calculating the return on investment (ROI) of implementing a fleet fuel management system involves a thorough assessment of the system’s costs and the potential savings it can generate. Begin by determining the total cost of the fuel monitoring system, which includes the cost of hardware, software, installation, and training.

Next, estimate the annual fuel savings you expect to achieve by using the system. Consider factors such as reduced fuel consumption, improved route efficiency, and better driver behavior. These estimates will help you calculate the payback period, which is the time it will take for the fuel monitoring system to pay for itself.

Additionally, consider the additional benefits of the system, such as reduced maintenance costs, improved vehicle lifespan, and environmental benefits. These factors can further enhance the overall ROI of the system.

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