On the Road to Savings

Fleet managers are looking to reduce costs any way they can. Industry experts offer advice on how to minimize transportation costs and increase efficiency.


Increasing numbers of small and mid-sized businesses are evaluating the benefits of using a hosted solution for fleet technology to ease the headaches of managing complex software packages. Businesses are becoming receptive to the idea of using an application service provider (ASP) to deliver a solution they can use anytime, anywhere over the Internet.

Think of it as turning the information technology that runs your fleet into an on-demand, just-in-time stream—only what you need, when you need it. No longer must the customer bear the brunt of major technology risk associated with large IT asset investments. Web-based fleet management lets you deploy applications that benefit your business faster at a lower total cost. It lets you focus on your core business—delivering for your business—while ensuring you’re paying only for what you need, when you need it.

Some of the top reasons for your company to consider the ASP approach are:

  • Growing fast: You’re growing so fast you can’t keep up with rapidly changing application requirements;
  • Expanding geographically: You don’t want to replicate your IT environment in multiple locations across the country;
  • Can’t afford: You can’t afford the upfront costs, but you need and can afford the ongoing usage fees;
  • Lacking IT depth or skills: You can’t afford or acquire and retain the IT skills necessary, and you don’t have those skills in-house already;
  • Too young: You know you need this capability but you don’t have a plan or vision to get there anytime soon as a business; and
  • Ease to use: Purchased software is hard to return if it doesn’t work out. By their nature, ASP solutions must be easy to use because of their month-to-month approach.
  • The business objective for using a hosted solution is to move past simple automation to a higher level of business intelligence without the cost, complexity and concerns associated with software. —Tom Flies, vice president, business development, XATA Corp., Minneapolis.

    Don't Get Tanked

    With fuel prices climbing to record highs, companies are looking for ways to save at the pump. To help keep costs down, Inter­national Truck & Engine Corp., Warrenville, IA, offers these tips for getting the most miles out of a tank of fuel. It starts before you even hit the road, as a well-maintained truck means a more fuel-efficient vehicle:

    Check and replace air filters regularly: Replacing a clogged air filter can improve a vehicle’s fuel mileage by as much as 10 percent. The air filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter save on fuel, but also it will protect your engine;

    Keep tires properly inflated :Check tire pressure weekly to maintain optimum air pressure and to make sure the wheels are in alignment to prevent tires from dragging. This can improve mileage by around 3.3 percent. Under-inflated tires can lower fuel mileage by 0.4 percent for every one pound-per-square-inch drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. Tires are the most fuel-efficient in the second half of their life when some of the tread is worn down. Also, radials can return up to 8 percent fuel economy over bias tires;

    Avoid aggressive driving: Aggressive driving (speeding, accelerating or braking too quickly) wastes fuel. It can lower mileage by up to 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent during city driving. Sensible driving is always recommended for on-road safety;

    Observe the speed limit: Fuel mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour. Each 5 miles per hour you drive in excess of 60 miles per hour can translate to an additional 10 cents per gallon. The difference between driving 65 miles per hour and 75 miles per hour could easily result in 1-2 miles per gallon difference under many circumstances. Observing the speed limit is also another way to stay safe;

    Avoid excessive idling: Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Vehicles with larger engines typically waste more fuel at idle than do vehicles with smaller engines. To limit idle time, it is always better to turn the engine off at each stop than to leave it running. The longer the vehicle idles, the more fuel it burns.

    Increase Payload

    Already have an account? Click here to Log in.

    Enhance Your Experience.

    When you register for FoodLogistics.com you stay connected to the pulse of the industry by signing up for topic-based e-newsletters and information. Registering also allows you to quickly comment on content and request more infomation.

    OR

    Complete the registration form.

    Required
    Required
    Required
    Required
    Required
    Required
    Required
    Required
    Required
    Required
    Required