Pro Pickup

April 2013

Propickup Digital Magazine

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MONEYMATTERS MATTERS DRIVER TRAINING Educating your company's employees on better driving practices is a sure way to improve the corporate bottom line on multiple levels By Robin Walton T raining your employees to take care of company vehicles, not only with inspections and proper upkeep, but by the way they drive them, can be a viable method to lower corporate operating costs. With less wear and tear on the vehicles comes lower maintenance costs, and with safer driving habits comes savings in insurance and liability costs. The biggest return on a drivertraining program will be in lowering fuel costs. A driver training program aimed at cutting costs should include defensive driving skills, vehicle awareness and trailer towing techniques. GO AHEAD, GET DEFENSIVE You may already address defensive driving as part of your safety program, but your employee training plan should also include driver training instruction. Teaching your employees to drive defensively and be more aware of other drivers and risks on the road should end up saving you money in insurance from reduction of accidents and vehicle related incidents. Make sure that employees GPS DRIVER MANAGEMENT GPS Tracking services such as US Fleet Tracking equip you to monitor drivers of your fleet vehicles. An aggressive driving report takes parameters you select – such as a change of 35 mph in less than 10 seconds to detect if drivers are accelerating normally to get onto the interstate or driving dangerously down city streets. You can run a speeding report that will tell you if a vehicle is going any speed greater than 65 mph (or whatever speed you choose). aren't being distracted by their phones and, if work requires phone contacts while driving, that they have hands-free phone calling capabilities to minimize any distractions associated with phone use. (It can also eliminate traffic citations for texting and improper phone use in many cities and states.) SAVING FUEL Teaching your employees fuelsaving techniques can save your company money at the pump and at the shop. For example, rolling into the throttle slowly will increase fuel economy while reducing wear and tear on the engine, transmission and other drivetrain components of the vehicle. The same holds true for being aware of the traffic flow, which can reduce the ups and downs of braking and accelerating. Smooth drivers pay close attention to traffic flow a block ahead and ahead, easing off the gas to let engine compression slow the truck down. Learning to use a minimum amount of throttle to maintain speed helps reduce fuel consumption, too. Cruise control helps by preventing too much coasting and having to use extra fuel to get back up to speed. Stay out of the "tow/haul" mode once the truck is up to cruising speed with a heavy load – and don't use it when the truck is empty; T/H increases shift rpm points, so the engine is revving higher between shifts, using more fuel. A careful examination of owner's manuals points out T/H is designed for use only if the vehicle is shifting a lot (hunting) 20 PROPICKUP April 2013 PP0413_Money Matters.indd 20 3/8/13 9:14 AM

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