Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

Enterprise Fleet Services' Tips on Controlling Fuel Costs for Businesses

August 21, 2003

Enterprise Fleet Services, which specializes in serving companies with 15-125 vehicles, says it has a fuel card program that enables business owners to track the cost of fuel for all drivers in the company, and do so in a way that is efficient and timely. Businesses using Enterprise's fuel card program receive a separate ID number for each driver, a number that is immediately recorded electronically at the point of fuel purchase. Drivers carry a single card to purchase their fuel and have access to more fueling locations than any individual retailer's card, according to the company. At the end of the month, the fleet manager receives one report that tracks all fuel purchases. Because the program provides detailed information about each driver and the vehicle in one report, as well as exception reports that help pinpoint unauthorized purchases, companies are better able to control costs while giving their drivers maximum convenience. "Our fuel card program is one of the best features of our fleet management program because it helps us control fuel costs and still gives our drivers maximum convenience," said Bridgett Fumano, fleet coordinator for DAPP Services, a carpet cleaning and refurbishing company based in New Brunswick, New Jersey. With a fleet of approximately 20 vehicles, including cargo vans and box trucks, Fumano believes the company's fuel card program has been very effective in reducing costs. "In addition to significantly reducing our fuel costs, the Enterprise program also records mileage each time the card is used, which helps us monitor maintenance and repairs on all of our vehicles," said Fumano. "It also give me more time to focus on business, instead of contending with issues pertaining to fuel, how it's purchased, how it's paid for, whether or not the charges were correct, and billed to the right department." The company says there are other simple things businesses can do to help keep fuel costs down, many that seem to be quite simple. Driving wisely and maintaining vehicles on a routine basis go a long way in improving mileage and increasing efficiencies. Business owners can talk to company drivers about simple techniques to follow that can make a big difference in the long run. The following are just a few:
  • Go easy on the brakes and gas pedal.
  • Avoid "jackrabbit" starts by accelerating gradually whenever possible. Also anticipate stops to avoid sudden braking.
  • Slow down. You can improve your gas mileage about 15 percent by driving at 55 mph rather than 65 mph.
  • Avoid long idles. Turn off the engine if you anticipate a long wait time. Idling burns more gas than restarting the engine. (Two minutes is generally the balance between how much fuel is used idling compared to the amount of fuel required to restart the vehicle.)
  • Keep tires properly inflated and aligned. Periodic wheel alignments and keeping tires inflated to your vehicle's recommended pressure can improve gas mileage.
  • Get regular engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks. Tune-ups improve performance, as well as gas mileage. Check your owner's manual for recommended maintenance schedules. By following the manufacturer's recommendations, you should avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, low transmission fluid, or the transmission not going into high gear.
  • Check your vehicle's air filter regularly. A dirty air filter can also adversely affect gas mileage. As a full-service fleet management company for businesses with fleets between 15-125 vehicles, Enterprise Fleet Services supplies virtually all makes of cars, light and medium duty trucks and service vehicles to businesses nationwide. Enterprise has 48 fully staffed offices nationwide. For more information, visit its Web site at www.enterprise.com/fleets or call toll free 1-877-23-FLEET.
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