Fleet News

Technology is critical to limiting impact of fuel costs, says Trimble

Spiralling petrol price increases which are set to hit Britain’s fleet businesses with a multi-million pound headache in 2011 can be offset by the deployment of technology, says Trimble MRM.

The increase in fuel duty of 0.76p per litre of petrol which took effect last week could have a significant impact on businesses, especially transportation, fleet and logistics companies.

The tax rise comes on top of rampant increases in fuel prices, with a litre of unleaded petrol in the UK now costing on average 124.16p, and diesel charged at 128.35p. A year ago the respective prices were 107.74p and 109.46p.

Andrew Yeoman, managing director of Trimble MRM in the UK, a leading supplier of corporate in-vehicle telematics technology, said that despite the critical situation, companies can offset the rises by deploying telematics technology, which can make commercial vehicles more productive and efficient reducing fuel use by “up to 30 per cent”.

“Fleets are bracing themselves for an expensive year at the pumps. What’s more, many pundits are predicting a further fuel duty rise in April,” Yeoman commented.

“There are ways to limit the impact of the crisis. Understanding where fuel is being lost or unnecessarily wasted is crucial. The latest telematics software, for example, can help to reduce unnecessary driving, improve fuel efficiency, and can be used to prevent fuel fraud.”

Trimble’s technology enables companies to monitor fuel consumption, mpg and CO2 outputs, helping reduce fuel use and improving a company’s carbon footprint.

“Technology can be beneficial to show how economical a driver or vehicle is, which is vital in helping companies optimise their usage of fuel,” added Yeoman.

“Fuel cards and mileage logs that companies routinely deploy are at best problematic and open to human error or abuse. The key to achieving fuel savings is in the supply of real-time data from fleet vehicles and their drivers.”

Recent research from Trimble found that 85 percent of fleet managers believe fuel efficiency is the biggest challenge facing their businesses. The survey showed businesses are keen to respond to the threats posed by fuel price increases by finding ways to make fleets more fuel efficient, especially by reviewing vehicle use and monitoring driver behaviour.

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  • Aidan Rowsome - 14/01/2011 11:48

    I speak on behalf of many in the industry when I say I would like to meet someone who has managed to save 30% fuel using a telematics box alone. As we know, it's not technology that saves fuel, it's the driver. Research shows that driving behaviour contributes up to 33% of fuel consumption. Changing driver behaviour behind the wheel takes more than adding a telematics gadget that measures the fuel waste. Our experience with GreenRoad's service shows it needs a corporate commitment and proven driver centric solutions to get buy-in from drivers, management and unions. An incentive programme is also beneficial to sustain safer and more fuel-efficient driving over the long-term.

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