Though true on some level, the old adage “you have to spend money to make money” lacks the kind of nuance necessary to make it useful in the real world. Spending without thought can have a detrimental impact on a company’s bottom line. On the other hand, to cut back on expenses whenever and wherever possible is to free up hard-earned cash which in turn can be put to work for the benefit of the business, whether it’s expanding into new markets, purchasing equipment or compensating valuable employees in the name of retention.
For business owners who spend much of their time on the road, driving from appointment to appointment, or for those with employees who are always on the go, the cost of fuel can add up quickly. However, by practicing a few common-sense driving techniques, business owners along with their conscientious employees can easily reduce overall fuel consumption, thereby freeing up money that can be put to better use elsewhere.
- Check tire pressure on a routine basis
Keeping the recommended pressure in your tires is a vital part of vehicle maintenance for many reasons, not the least of which is fuel economy. Low tire pressure increases rolling resistance, which, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, can “lower gas mileage by about 0.2% for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires.” The fact that properly inflated tires also improve ride and handling is an added bonus. Most important, under- or over-inflated tires increase the risk of tire failure, potentially leading to consequences far more serious than a lighter wallet. So find that old tire gauge or, better yet, buy a new digital one, and make a point to use it every week.
- Remove unnecessary cargo
It’s tempting to treat our work vehicles as mobile storage units in which we carry every last tool of the trade “just in case.” The fact is you could be paying for that convenience. Vehicles loaded down with extra cargo can experience decreases in efficiency, and not insignificant ones, depending on how much extra weight is added. To avoid lowering your MPG, remove everything from the cargo areas and passenger seats not absolutely vital to that day’s job. Your fuel economy and your bottom line will be better for it in the long run.
- Keep calm and drive on
Everybody has a driving style. Find the people with the smoothest, calmest approach to acceleration and deceleration and you’ll also find the ones who get the best fuel economy from their vehicles. Punching the gas or slamming on the brakes, while called for at times, can dramatically affect your MPG if it becomes your modus operandi. In short, staying under control, and under (or at) the speed limit, is the best way to arrive at your destination safely and with the most fuel left in your tank.
- Choose your next vehicle
Consumers spoke and automakers listened. The call in recent years for higher-MPG cars and trucks has been met with some of the most fuel-efficient vehicles ever brought to market, including at least one pickup truck that gets close to 30 MPG on the highway (the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel HFE*) and a new minivan that can drive up 30 miles before using a single drop of gas (the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid†). Thanks to a bevvy of technological advancements found in varying degrees in a variety of vehicles, NARI members looking to cut down on fuel costs need only do their homework to find a new car, truck or van that delivers them the capability required but won’t break the bank with over-frequent visits to the fuel pump.
Next time you’re in the market for a new vehicle, keep this in mind: NARI members along with their household family members and employees are eligible for a $500 cash allowance on select Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram and FIAT® Brand vehicles. Visit the member-benefit page on the NARI website or stop by an FCA US LLC dealership today for more details.
*EPA-estimated 21 city/29 highway mpg with 3.0L EcoDiesel V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, 4×2 HFE model. Actual mileage may vary.
†Available fall 2016.