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October 18, 2022

How to Maximize Your Fleet’s Fuel Efficiency in 11 Minutes

How to Maximize Your Fleet’s Fuel Efficiency in 11 Minutes

Rising fuel costs is one of the biggest fleet management challenges of 2022. Saving money at the pump is more valuable to a fleet than ever before. With efficiency software from Derive, you can transform your fleet and maximize fuel efficiency. And you can do it in as little as 11 minutes!

The Derive VQ Efficiency software application is simple and quick to install. Regardless of vehicle, the installation will take under 30 minutes and in most cases it will be done in around 11 minutes total, most of which is just waiting for the device to work its magic. As our CEO, John Oechsle says, “It’s so easy even a CEO can do it!”

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Plug the Derive VQ Efficiency device into a vehicle from your fleet.
  2. Once it’s plugged in, the device is active and ready to go. It’ll ask you if you want to install. All you have to do is press ‘Yes.’
  3. The hard part’s over. Now you just have to step back and let the device do its work.There will be a couple times where it asks you to turn the ignition off and on, but the device will guide you through all of those steps.
  4. Once the software is installed, disconnect the device, move on to the next vehicle in your fleet, and start the process over again.

How It Works

The Derive VQ efficiency device will install software on the vehicle’s computer, providing you with these features:

  • Idle Reduction: Lowers engine idle RPMs to reduce fuel consumption while idling.
  • Eco Adjustment: Smooths out shifting patterns to reduce fuel consumption while driving.
  • Speed Governor: Limits the vehicle’s top speed to match your fleet’s policy.
  • Distracted Driving Prevention Call Blocking: Disables mobile devices while the car is in motion.

Idle Reduction

Idling engines equal wasted fuel for any vehicle or fleet. Your vehicle may be rated for 20 miles per gallon while driving on the highway. But when you’re stopped at a stoplight or stop sign, or when you’re stuck in gridlock traffic, your vehicle is getting zero miles per gallon. That’s true for any vehicle, regardless of how efficient it is when driving. 

While stop signs, stop lights, and traffic jams may be unavoidable, there’s still a step that can be taken to reduce the associated costs: lowering the RPM the engine runs at while idling.

Derive Efficiency can lower your vehicle’s idle levels by up to 30 percent, cutting your fuel costs and increasing overall miles per gallon.

Eco Adjustment

Higher engine RPMs give the vehicle more horsepower, but they also burn more fuel. It’s easier for drivers to shift into higher gears at lower RPMs while accelerating when they’re driving vehicles with manual transmissions. But your fleet is most likely made up of vehicles with automatic transmissions. With those, the driver has little control over what RPM the engine needs to reach before shifting into higher gears.

Derive VQ’s Eco Adjustment feature takes the bulk of the responsibility of managing fuel economy out of the drivers’ hands. It calibrates the vehicle’s computer to adjust shift points and torque settings in a way that maximizes fuel economy, lessens wear and tear on the vehicle, and smooths out the driving experience.

Speed Governor

Limiting a vehicle’s top speed doesn’t just improve safety on the road and lower the chances of collision-related vehicle repairs. It can also save fuel. 

It’s no mystery that faster vehicle speeds have an impact on fuel economy. One reason for this is the vehicle is pushing against more air resistance.  Engines have to work harder to overcome the added air resistance. Another reason is the engine runs at a higher RPM the faster the vehicle is moving. Each turn of the engine burns fuel. So a vehicle driving the speed limit in its highest gear is going to burn less fuel than it would if driving 10 miles over the limit.

All of this translates into higher fuel costs for higher driving speeds. The Derive VQ Efficiency software adds a speed governor which can restrict a vehicle’s maximum speed to the limit set by your fleet policy. Relying on the vehicle to manage driving speed means drivers are no longer in a position where their driving habits can affect their safety or your company’s bottom line.

Distracted Driving Prevention Call Blocking

You might think of distracted driving prevention as a safety feature. And it is. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, distracted driving accounted for 3,142 deaths and more than 400,000 injuries in 2019

But did you know distracted driving can also have an impact on fuel consumption? A driver distracted by their smartphone may over-accelerate and brake while driving more often than a driver who’s paying attention and keeping their eyes on the road. Unnecessary acceleration and braking waste more fuel. And a distracted driver is far more likely to miss a turn or pass an exit and deviate from their planned route, forcing them to backtrack. This adds extra miles to the drive, resulting in more wasted fuel. According to Fuels Market News, drivers who are distracted by a mobile device can average 8% lower miles per gallon compared to non-distracted drivers. That might not seem like much, but that wasted fuel adds up quickly when you account for all the vehicles and drivers in your fleet.

If you started reading this article while you had the Derive VQ Efficiency device plugged into your vehicle, then by now, the device has probably finished installing software onto your vehicle’s computer to give you access to the features we’ve listed above. Your vehicle’s idle speed is reduced, the shifting patterns have been smoothed out, and a speed limiter has been installed. Your vehicle would now be one of more than 100,000 other vehicles with Derive VQ Efficiency software embedded into it. 

Once you complete the process for every vehicle in your fleet, you’ll be able to save up to 8% fuel efficiency while driving and gain up to 20% fuel efficiency savings while your vehicles are idling. 
Percentages are fine and all, but it’s easier to visualize cost savings for your fleet when you can look at actual dollars. Visit Derive’s ROI and sustainability calculator to determine how much money your fleet can save.

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