Fuel-tracking Apps Can Help Fleet Drivers Reduce Fuel Usage and Spend

Fleet managers use fuel cards to help consolidate spending and take advantage of rebates or discounts on gas or diesel. However, a fleet fuel card can also help reduce fuel usage and spend. Fleets can take advantage of fuel card insights by using mobile apps. The use of mobile devices, like smartphones, has changed how many people run their businesses. Company owners have come to rely more and more on mobile business management. The ability to work on the go provides flexibility and freedom.

Company owners have come to rely more and more on mobile business management.

One major component of running a fleet is managing fuel costs. This means monitoring and delivering better fuel economy is vital for the success of a business. Mobile apps give fleet managers and small business owners more control and greater access to information.

Fleet Tracking: How Mobile Apps Can Reduce Fuel Consumption

Most fleet cards offer mobile apps that allow owners, managers and drivers access to information that can help reduce gallons of fuel consumed. Mobile apps can connect with other fleet tools, so that you can monitor fuel economy, find nearby fuel stations, plan better routes, monitor driving behavior, make adjustments based on real-time data, and take better care of your vehicles.

Let’s take a closer look at the features different fuel-tracking apps offer.

Monitor Fuel Usage

Any fleet card worth using tracks data in real time. With every transaction, a host of information is recorded and reported to your fuel card dashboard. Common data points include:

  • Odometer reading
  • Fuel type
  • Fuel station location
  • Vehicle ID
  • Driver ID
  • Date and time
  • Purchase amount
  • Items purchased

This real-time information is usually accessible through a mobile app. These data points help you monitor fuel economy and identify vehicles or drivers delivering lower-than-expected MPGs. Fleet managers can also ensure drivers use the appropriate fuel grade for optimal performance.

Fuel Locator Apps

Fuel locator apps provide drivers with three crucial pieces of information when making fuel purchases:

  • Nearby fueling locations
  • In-network fuel stations
  • Current fuel prices

Using GPS tracking, these apps are reliable sources of information that help drivers spend less per gallon of fuel and drive fewer miles to get it.

Route Planning

Many fleet managers have a goal of maximizing fuel economy while minimizing delivery delays. This is why route planning is key. There are many details to consider when planning a route — traffic patterns, stoplights, speed zones, sporting events, etc.

You can use the data collected from your transactions to help establish the best routes. But sometimes drivers need to change their routes to avoid surprise delays. With a mobile mapping app that uses GPS, drivers can receive alerts regarding delays. These apps also notify drivers of shorter routes to avoid such delays.

Less time spent in slow traffic can help boost fuel economy.

Monitor Driver Habits with Telematics

Many fleet card apps utilize GPS for different reasons. When you equip fleet vehicles with telematics, the resulting data can help further improve fuel economy.

Telematics uses onboard diagnostics (OBD) and GPS to monitor cars, trucks and vans. The data provided by telematics offers insight into driver behavior and vehicle performance. Here are some of the data points tracked with telematics:

  • Current speed
  • Average speed
  • Drive time
  • Odometer readings
  • Fuel economy (miles per gallon or MPG)
  • Driving patterns
  • Aggressive braking or driving
  • Idle times

All telematics information is reported in real-time, and with the right app, business owners and fleet managers can view this information from their phones or other mobile devices.

By monitoring driver behavior, you can identify those habits that reduce fuel economy, like aggressive braking, speeding, or prolonged idle times. Aggressive driving does more than consume excess fuel. Such behaviors increase the wear and tear on engines, transmissions, tires and brakes, contributing to more fuel consumption.

Ultimately, driver efficiency equals savings.

Reporting and Analytics

Mobile apps are a great way to keep a pulse on factors directly impacting fuel economy. However, there are indirect ways you can help reduce fuel consumption.

Fleet card data is sent to your fleet card dashboard, and some fuel cards offer a mobile app that allows you to view this information anywhere you have internet access. This means fleet managers and business owners can easily access real-time reports and analytics.

Easy access to data analytics based on real-time information gives you the knowledge to make informed business decisions quickly.

Choose the metrics you want to view. Some valuable reports include:

  • Fuel economy by driver: view a driver’s average fuel economy.
  • Fuel economy by vehicle: view a vehicle’s average fuel economy.
  • Fuel economy trends: view trends to identify dips in vehicle performance or problematic driving.
  • Fuel economy by route: great for route planning or making route adjustments.
  • Mileage reports: an easy way to identify excessive miles driven.

Easy access to data analytics based on real-time information gives you the knowledge to make informed business decisions quickly.

Vehicle Maintenance Scheduling

The information provided through mobile apps can help with vehicle maintenance. Fleet managers can stay on top of mileage-related maintenance like oil changes and tune-ups, both of which are shown to positively affect fuel economy.

When you see downward trends in fuel economy, it may be time to get a vehicle into the shop for preventative maintenance. If you are using telematics, you set alerts for changes in tire pressure or engine performance.

The Use of Mobile Apps Can Help Lead to More Efficient Vehicles

Mobile technology has made keeping tabs on all facets of business operations easier. Understanding and controlling factors that influence fuel economy is critical to fleet management and can help companies save money.

Make better decisions with the data provided by a fleet card, manage your fuel spending and do it all from the convenience of your smartphone.

Learn more and find the right fleet card at: Shell Business Fleet Solutions.