Why avoiding left turns is saving fleets money

no-left-turn-fuel-savingsHow could something as seemingly innocuous as a left turn be costing fleets money? And how can fleets make significant savings by avoiding left turns and making this simple for drivers?

For many of us a left turn may be a routine, forgettable affair. But if you drive a CMV, particularly a large, articulated truck, you’ll be all too familiar with the headache induced by a torturous left turn in busy traffic.

The stress and frustration for you and the several motorists sitting behind you (the impatient sorts are likely sitting on their horns) is something that is best avoided to retain your sanity, your safe driving record and an excessive amount of time idling waiting for that gap that never seems to appear.

Idling – A hidden fuel cost

Truck drivers, and sometimes even fleet managers, are not aware of the cumulative effect of idling on fuel costs for the fleet. Every minute a truck is idling unnecessarily will, on average, burn up over two ounces of diesel. Multiple that by the number of minutes spent idling that could be avoided, and across a fleet of hundreds of trucks, and you have a significant expense that could be reduced, or even eliminated completely.

For example, say your fleet has 500 vehicles, and each day they spend 90 minutes idling unnecessarily, both stuck in traffic (waiting to make that left turn!) as well as sitting at the depot. Each day that’s $1125 worth of diesel you could be saving (based on diesel at $3 a gallon). Over the course of a year that’s over $400,000 of diesel burned up doing absolutely nothing.

Getting stuck in traffic is not just about unnecessary idling, it also costs precious time as drivers are delayed from reaching their destination on time, and incur expensive overtime. Better routing can not only save fuel costs but also reduce wages and boost productivity and on-time deliveries.

Avoiding left turns – A fuel (and sanity) saver

With left turns being one of the culprits for excessive idling, it’s important fleets look at options to address this problem.

One effective method of minimizing left turns is using a smart routing system. Telogis Mobile includes a handy ‘avoid left turn’ routing directive. This means that by default Telogis Mobile avoids left turns where practicable when routing to your next destination. There are also settings that can specify that routes should avoid U-turns, something that’s helpful in situations where this is not possible or potentially dangerous.

Three important ways to reduce idling

Telogis fleet solutions offer several ways for fleets to cut their fuel costs, in fact most fleets find their gas bill is cut by around 15% when they switch to using a Telogis GPS solution, and it’s related to the smart ways Telogis helps you to manage your fleet.

  • Monitor excessive idling – Regular reports highlight vehicles that are excessive idling allowing fleet managers to follow-up with the driver to find out the cause and offer coaching opportunities.
  • Smart routing – Avoiding left turns or U-turns means drivers can take routes that are less likely to result in them waiting in traffic.
  • Traffic layer – Telogis Fleet includes dynamic traffic information that means dispatch can factor road congestion into choosing which drivers to send and how to route them efficiently.

If fleets are conscious of the small things that add up, they can keep their fleets profitable as well as minimizing their impact on the environment, reducing their carbon footprint. And that’s good for everyone.

  • Kevin b Kelly

    Ive never had a problem with making left turns over the three years I drove otr.  Idling time however at truck stops using AC or heater during the winter months cost bundles.  I try to utilize the inside of truck stops and their AC, watching tv , or just having coffee in the restaurant while waiting for a load. Is better for the company and your job.  Save the company cash, and you’ll stay around longer.