Rightsizing Your Vehicle Fleet to Conserve Fuel

Fleet rightsizing is a management practice that can help vehicle fleet managers build and maintain sustainable, fuel-efficient fleets. Fleet inventories often grow over time to include vehicles that are highly specialized, rarely used, or unsuitable for current applications. By optimizing fleet size and composition, managers can minimize vehicle use, conserve fuel, reduce emissions, and save money on fuel and maintenance.

Evaluate Vehicle Needs and Use
Fleet managers should understand their drivers' daily vehicle use and needs. Most fleet managers already have a handle on vehicle quantities, types, average mileage, payloads, and fuel economy. Fleet rightsizing combines this information with a critical look at fleet operations to identify opportunities for reducing fuel use. When rightsizing, fleet managers should evaluate how important each vehicle is to the fleet’s performance by asking themselves:

  • What is the optimal number of vehicles required to properly support the fleet’s needs?
  • What tasks are accomplished by each vehicle? Or, what is the drive cycle?
  • What is the daily, weekly, or monthly mileage of each vehicle? Or, what is the duty cycle?
  • Are fleet vehicles the optimal vehicle type, class, and size for the job?
  • Are there any vehicles that are no longer cost effective to operate or no longer fulfilling their purpose?
  • Are there any vehicles that are no longer being used or have a lot of downtime?
  • Can any vehicles be replaced by lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles?
  • Are there any alternatives to owning or leasing a vehicle, such as shuttle bus services, motor pool vehicles, sharing vehicles with other offices/agencies, public transportation, or short term rentals when needed?

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