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nitrogen tire inflation for managed fleetsFuel costs are one of the biggest costs for managed fleets, but also one of the hardest to decrease without hurting fleet productivity.  Offsetting some of the expenses to drivers may have consequences on employee morale and retention . Reducing usage could mean fewer routes, fewer vehicles on the road, and less revenue overall. Fortunately, with the right data, fleet managers can save money on gas without long-term consequences on the fleet and the company. Here are four ways managed fleets can save money on fuel:

Implementing a Fuel Card Program

Every fleet manager wants to trust their employees, and a fuel card program may seem like a way to “look over everyone’s shoulder” as they refuel vehicles at the gas station. But, a program can eliminate the small non-fuel purchases that drivers add on, such as a soda or a pack of cigarettes. Each individual driver may not intend harm and deceit by adding those purchases, but if every driver is doing that, then every single one of those purchases will add unnecessary expenses to the fleet’s fuel costs. The drivers may not see their small non-fuel purchases as a big deal, but they do mean thousands of dollars spent on items that have nothing to do with refilling the tank.

Considering Fuel-Efficient Vehicles for Upcoming Fleet Purchases

Switching out the entire fleet for brand new vehicles is a massive and expensive overhaul, but when the time comes to purchase new vehicles, opting for more fuel-efficient models is a great way to start. With one or two fuel-efficient fleet vehicles, it’s easy to measure and compare the fuel economy between the old and the new vehicles. After that, those numbers can be extrapolated across a 100- or 1000-vehicle fleet to determine how much gas would be saved if every single vehicle in the fleet was a fuel-efficient model. This data can justify a gradual overhaul or switching out a few more vehicles.

Improving Route Planning with a Fleet-Tracking System

Utilizing a fleet-tracking system will provide a managed fleet with hard data on where vehicles are going and how they are getting there, highlighting various opportunities for improvement. For example, many GPS fleet tracking system show current traffic conditions, so drivers can opt for a different route, reducing travel time and gas usage. A tracking system can also show where any fleet vehicle is at any given time, so if someone needs to be dispatched to a specific location, the fleet manager will know which one is closest and can send that vehicle. Fleet tracking isn’t just to make sure that drivers aren’t using company vehicles for personal purposes on the weekends. The traffic and location data can be used to ensure that gas and time isn’t wasted needlessly.

Using Nitrogen Tire Inflation

Nitrogen can improve fuel economy by 3 percent by keeping tires at their proper tire pressure for longer periods of time. Although regular air can also be used to maintain proper tire pressure, nitrogen tires lose their pressure at a slower rate than those filled with regular air, thus providing the benefits of proper tire pressure (increased fuel economy, increased traction, increased tire life etc.) for much longer. Switching to nitrogen tire inflation does take an initial investment because fleets need to purchase a special machine for the inflation, but much like using a fleet vehicle with better gas mileage, the benefits exponentially increase with each vehicle that uses nitrogen.

Overall, saving money on gas requires tracking and measuring current usage so that the fleet can find ways to cut costs. It’s not enough to say, “we need to use less.” To save money on gas, fleets need to know where is being wasted and improve fuel economy or efficiency in those areas.

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Below is part two of the nitrogen in your tires video series. You can catch part one here, although you don’t need to watch part one in order to understand part two. Enjoy!

Well, those prices are taking a hit on many people’s pocketbooks but there are ways to save a little moneyAnd it doesn’t involve buying a new car. Heidi Glaus joins us with more. Heidi –
Glaus: Well, yeah, with prices the way they are these days everyone is looking for the smallest thing to cut back on. Ken Lawton from Go Nitro Tire might have the solution. So, what are the benefits of filling your tires with nitrogen?
Lawton: Well, Heidi, the first and most important benefit is safety. Maintenance, fuel economy, and longer tire wear; these represent the core of benefits for nitrogen-inflated tires.
Glaus: So, this is the kind of machine we’re going to be looking at. But, unlike now when we pull up to a gas station, you can’t just put in a quarter, 50 cents, and fill up your tires. This is going to take somebody special.
Lawton: It’s going to take a technician. Typically, for a conventional car, it takes six to 10 minutes for all four tires simultaneously to be done
Glaus: And, that’ll cost a consumer how much?
Lawton: At a tire store or an automotive group, it’ll cost anywhere from $24.95 to $49.95.
Glaus: And, you were saying that these aren’t really everywhere yet?
Lawton: No, they’re not. There’s just under 500 nitrogen service providers here in the United States. That number is changing and growing rapidly but it’s still a small number for the size of the population.
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summer driving season

Prepare for the summer driving season with nitrogen tire inflation

Memorial Day is next weekend, marking the beginning of the summer driving season. As many folks around the country plan trips and vacations, there’s a couple of things that will be going on in the coming months that motorists ought to be aware of.

First, according to AAA, is that car travel is expected to increase this year. It’s projected that 30.7 million people will be on the roads over the long weekend, although they will be making shorter trips than last year. Nonetheless, with more people on the roads, safety should still be a top concern. If something happens, you are more like to cause problems and/or to be a hazard to others traveling during the weekend and throughout the summer driving season. Make sure that your car is in top shape before starting on your trip.

Second, gas prices are the lowest they’ve been since February, making the summer driving season much more appealing this year than in previous years. Gas prices have decreased slightly to $3.78 a gallon, down about 4 cents from a week ago and down 15.5 cents in the past month. However, it’s also projected that these gas prices aren’t going to hold throughout the entire summer travel season, as Edward Morse, head of commodities research at Citigroup, said in the Washington Post that “It’s still a tight market, and summer gasoline is hard for refiners to make. We don’t think the worst is over for consumers, and I’d be surprised if there is not another price pickup before the July Fourth weekend.”

Gas prices shouldn’t scare anyone away from taking a quick vacation this summer or going to see family, but a great way to improve your vehicle for safety as well as improve your fuel efficiency is with nitrogen tire inflation. By making the small change from air to nitrogen in your tires, you’ll be able to maintain proper tire pressure for a longer period of time. That alone makes a big different to tire life, tire safety, and tire performance; all good things when going on a road trip.

Make memorial day weekend a memorable one for the right reasons, not because you ended up getting a flat or overspent on gas. Make it an enjoyable trip by making it a safe one.

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The current national average for gas prices is $3.83 per gallon. That’s three cents up from last week, and 30 cents higher than a month ago. It may be time to make a gas buddy by taking a few moments only to find the cheapest gas in your area. Or simply drive less and ride your bike, or walk more. There are plenty of ways to save money on gas, so if you haven’t started thinking of ways to save yet, now would be the time to start.

Now, one way to save gas money is to make our vehicles more efficient. I don’t mean turning them into hybrids. I mean simply maintaining your vehicle, or doing a few small things just a little bit differently. So, what can be done to make your car more of a penny saver instead of a penny pincher?

An informal study from Carnegie Mellon University found that the average person who drives 12,000 miles yearly on under-inflated tires uses about 144 extra gallons of gas, at a cost of $300-$500 a year. Keeping those tires properly inflated would save a few hundred dollars, which the average consumer could easily use in today’s economy. A better way to keep tires properly inflated longer is with nitrogen tire inflation. Keep in mind that regularly inflating your tire with nitrogen doesn’t replace the importance of checking your tire pressure regularly.

Inflating your tire with nitrogen also increases the life of your tire and your car. Nitrogen is a dry, non-corrosive gas and will reduce oxidation and rust due to the absence of oxygen and moisture. This will help minimize wheel corrosion to promote better bead sealing. Nitrogen tire inflation has routinely been used by airlines and racing vehicles, but the practice could prove beneficial for drivers who drive infrequently (car collectors, track drivers, snow tire users, motor home owners, etc).

The best thing about nitrogen tire inflation is that you don’t need to remove the air from you tires to make the switch. Why wait for your tires to lose pressure and risk something happening, when you can start saving money today?

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