On May 7, one of the biggest fuel pipelines in the country fell victim to a cyberattack. It was forced to shut down for several days, creating a fuel shortage that is devastating the east coast. Over a dozen states are seeing long lines as gas stations close due to a lack of fuel.
But the cyberattack isn’t the only problem affecting the U.S.’s fuel supply. During the pandemic last year, fuel usage and demand dropped dramatically. Since this also limited the number of fuel deliveries needed, many drivers left the fuel industry for more steady work.
As we deal with this fuel crisis, it’s important to approach it with a plan. We’ve included several tips that can help you and your fleet stay prepared for a fuel shortage.
Preparing for a fuel crisis
1. Constant communication
If your drivers are heading into an area with a shortage, they’ll need your dispatchers’ help to avoid running out of fuel. Check in with drivers constantly to direct them to stations that are able to serve them. If someone does run out of fuel, make sure you can respond immediately.
2. Idling awareness
Decreasing idle times is a goal for every fleet, but it’s especially important now. Use tools to remind drivers when they’ve reached an idling limit. You can also educate drivers about the costs of idling, particularly when fuel is scarce.
3. Safe driving
Aggressive driving and harsh braking both waste fuel. Drivers who speed needlessly, moving in and out of traffic, use more fuel than other vehicles. If your drivers accelerate aggressively, they’re also using more fuel than they need to. Remind your team to follow the speed limit and flow of traffic. Aggressive driving doesn’t save much drive time and it wastes precious fuel.
Tell drivers to coast as much as possible during this crisis. Coasting doesn’t use any fuel, optimizing their supply. It also helps drivers be more safe and aware on the road.
5. Telematics support
One of the best ways to save fuel is with optimized routing. Using a telematics solution guarantees that drivers will use the best routes available to them. Top solutions pair this feature with driver behavior monitoring, ensuring that every vehicle gets the greatest mileage out of its tank.
How are you resolving the fuel shortage for your fleet?