Service managers and fleet operators will certainly be feeling the pinch this week due to diesel prices in the UK hitting an all time high of a mighty 143.05p per litre.
Trimble, a leading provider in field and fleet technology, has said that with pressure coming down from director levels to increase efficiency and reduce costs, technology could provide the solution to these problems.
According to the figures released by RMI Petrol, the price of diesel has shot up by 10p over the last year, and is currently running at double the rate of inflation. This news just adds further pressure to businesses that are already strapped for cash, and particularly affects those who are in transportations and those with large field forces on the roads, due to the considerable monthly fuel bills they are faced with.
The future for fuel prices also looks bleak as global factors including rising crude oil prices, closing refineries and pressure on supply, means there will be further rises by Easter, according to RMI Petrol. In August fuel duty is set to rise again by 3.02 pence per litre, increasing to 4p per litre once VAT at 20% is added.
Andrew Yeoman, managing director of Trimble Fleet Solutions in the UK, said that despite the critical situation, companies can offset the rises by deploying telematics technology, which can make vehicles more productive and efficient reducing fuel use by up to 30 per cent.
He said: “Businesses running fleets have felt the full force of the price increase over the course of the year. What’s more, many pundits are predicting further misery in the next six months.
“There are though ways to cushion the blow of diesel costs and begin to get to grips with your expenditure. Pinpointing where fuel is being lost or unnecessarily wasted is crucial. The latest telematics software, for example, can help to reduce unnecessary driving and improve fuel efficiency.”
Trimble’s technology enables companies to monitor fuel consumption, mpg and CO2 outputs, helping to reduce fuel use and improve a company’s carbon footprint.
Trimble also suggests that a key factor in controlling fuel costs lies with the employee behind the wheel. As Yeoman continues: “Technology can be beneficial to show how economical a driver or vehicle is, helping companies optimise their fuel usage. Telematics and fleet management technology for instance provides analysis of an employee’s driving style and behaviour behind the wheel which can be monitored and allow the company to take appropriate action.
“The key to achieving these savings is in the supply of real-time data from both the driver and the vehicle.”
Research conducted by Trimble found that 85% 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.