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042219 ONRAMP_PR_RideAlong1.jpg Photo: Instructional Technologies

Driver training a key in better fuel efficiency

Younger or less-experienced drivers usually achieve higher fuel economy when paired with an experienced driver, compared with driving solo.

Editor's note: This is the second part in a series on how drivers can affect your fleet's bottom line. Read Part 1 here.

From the time new drivers join Nussbaum Transportation, they are trained to think about operating a vehicle so smoothly they would not even spill a full cup of water in the cab.  Nussbaum encourages the use of cruise control on highway stretches whenever possible and to continually anticipate traffic movements, according to Brent Nussbaum, the company CEO.

Younger or less-experienced drivers usually achieve higher fuel economy when paired with an experienced driver, compared with driving solo, Nussbaum said. Having another professional along for the ride can help ensure good driving habits are followed.

The fleet uses video monitoring from SmartDrive, and Nussbaum called the system “paramount for success.” It provides accurate, real-time performance data that uncover the strengths and weaknesses of each driver.

The company uses scorecards to encourage better fuel economy. Drivers exceeding mpg goals get points, which later are turned into monetary awards.

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Lloyd Palum, chief technology officer of Vnomics Corp., said “having a [technology] coach alongside helps drivers to stay in the mindset” of reaching higher fuel economy.

Vnomics’ True Fuel in-cab system provides onboard fuel optimization technology through real-time driver coaching and fuel efficiency insights. It only considers factors that a driver can control such as engine speed, speeding and idle time while automatically normalizing out factors such as payload weight, route, weather and vehicle configuration. The behaviors are rolled into a composite GPA-like assessment of the driver’s real-world fuel efficiency performance.

Vnomics said all active drivers using True Fuel have traveled nearly 5 billion miles and saved over 84 million gallons of fuel through in-cab coaching. The company estimates the combined fuel savings equals more than $250 million.

For 2018, it singled out four “Top Fuel Champs,” including Larry Gardner of Valley Farms Dairy LLC, who drove 57,913 miles at 99.98% efficiency; and Johney M. Pool of Saia, who drove 96,965 miles at 99.93% efficiency.

“Based on the average population, these drivers save their fleets 10% in fuel expense,” said Ed McCarthy, vice president of operations and customer success at Vnomics.


This is the second part in a series on how drivers can affect your fleet's bottom line. Read Part 1 here. Check back tomorrow for Part 3.

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