Utilimarc released the results of its most recent survey covering 2022 Fleet Inflation rates.
The survey was run in partnership with Xcel Energy, a utility company based in Minnesota, and studied how recent inflation has affected the ways in which fleets operate and manage rising costs.
In general, the record-high inflation rates and fuel costs have led fleet managers to take a more careful approach to capital spending. Of the fleets reported to utilize fuel hedging today, two-thirds were not using that same strategy last year. This shows the increase in caution that managers have had to take to protect their fleets from high, volatile fuel prices.
Buying fuel in bulk is another proven strategy that 70% of fleets reported using to their advantage. While only 39% are using exclusively bulk fuel, the other 31% used a combination of cheaper, bulk fuel with retail fuel. This could be an unavoidable reality for vehicles with long routes that must stop to refuel before returning to the fleet yard.
Managers are also being proactive, with 88% updating fleet rates more than once throughout the year. Other strategies include closely monitoring fleet costs by group, such as fuel, labor, parts and depreciation, and negotiating surcharges from outside vendors when possible.
Ways to Save Money for Utility Fleets
Buying bulk fuel is a great way to save money when prices continue to rise. Here are several other options that can help save money for a utility fleets.
Maintain Healthy Vehicles — Maintenance such as regularly checking tire pressure, cleaning fuel filters, and the right levels of engine coolant can help a fleet maintain a healthy life.
Route Efficiency — Routing software can help a vehicle minimize fuel with efficient routing optimizations.
Telematics — Using telematics with a fleet of any size can greatly maximize productivity. It can give real-time updates to fleet managers about idling, fueling, maintenance requirements, and more.