One constant variable in costs for FedEx Ground route owners is the price of fuel, and with the recent crisis in Ukraine, it has become a huge concern. Think about it: if the price of fuel goes up 20% that eats directly into a route owner’s profit margin. And FedEx has already said they won’t help drivers offset greater fuel costs.
So there’s nothing you can do, right? Wrong. FedEx drivers and route owners are looking for ways to save on fuel using modern technology and by beefing up the maintenance on their vehicles. Here’s how route owners are being proactive.
Fuel Costs Under Pressure
It’s always a good idea to check your tire pressure anyway, but now it is more vital than ever. In fact, the EPA says that for every 1 psi of low pressure in a tire, you lose 0.1 percent of your gas mileage. That can add up pretty quickly, and with all the miles FedEx vehicles travel, it’s no small thing.
That of course is not even mentioning tire wear that is also accelerated by low pressure. So drivers who want to offset costs are checking pressures daily and monitoring them closely. Some have even installed aftermarket tire pressure monitoring systems (TPS) to keep an even closer eye on things.
Your tire alignment can also make a difference, so be sure you check that as well. It will be sure to decrease your fuel costs.
Change or Clean Your Filters
Another vital part of keeping your truck efficient? That pesky air filter. Fortunately, many larger diesel engines have filters that can be easily cleaned and reused. And even if it is time to replace the filter, a new one can up your gas mileage significantly.
The same is true for fuel filters. Changing a partially clogged filter can save you 1-2 miles per gallon right away. The filter cost can quickly be recouped, and besides that, your truck will run better overall.
Eliminate Idle Time to Lower Fuel Costs
Idle time is a fuel economy killer, and all of the arguments about having to replace starters and other components more often fall flat. Besides, not idling provides you with better security as well (and it’s company policy).
Idle time also decreases your overall route efficiency. And speaking of route efficiency…
More Efficient Routing
There are a lot of apps out there that help you with routing, some frequently used by FedEx and other delivery drivers. They are worth the investment, especially if you are a route owner with a new driver on the route. Even for experienced drivers, sometimes technology can show them shortcuts and more efficient ways to do things.
Invest in routing software and teach yourself and your drivers how to use it. Not only will it improve your fuel economy, but it will also help you get more done throughout the day with the greatest efficiency.
Upgrade your Vehicles
Okay, this one may be hard to swallow, but in the long run upgrading to hybrid or electric vehicles is the very best way to improve fuel efficiency. Even upgrading to a newer, more efficient diesel engine can make a huge difference.
While the expense at the outset is high, long term the delivery industry is moving in this direction anyway. It may be time to look at replacing that worn-out P700 after all.
If you are buying a new route, the start is the perfect time to get the most fuel-efficient vehicles you can.
Looking to buy a FedEx route and need more advice on the route that would be best for you? Need help determining the first step? Contact us here at Route Advisors. We’re here to help.