Fuel Savings Tips for 2022

Why are your business’s power sweeping fuel costs higher than necessary, and what can you do about it?

Monthly fuel expenses in many average-sized power sweeping companies are tens of thousands of dollars. A significant percentage of those costs can be saved. There may be little the industry can do about high diesel and gas prices, but deficiencies in operating practices for maximizing fuel economy add up to a substantial amount of wasted fuel. So, below is an update of our 2021 list of great fuel-saving tips for power sweepers and field services vehicles.

How To Save Powersweeping Fuel Costs

From how you maintain your power sweeper fleet to how your operators manage fuel economy while working in the field, it’s worth adopting ways to cut fuel waste. Here are some ideas provided by industry experts to help you add up monthly savings that make it well worth the effort over the period of a budget year.

Convert to Propane: Propane costs are about 50% less per gallon than diesel and 30% less than gas. Mileage performance is similar to gas. Propane also contains less carbon than diesel or gas. Engine conversion can cost $8,000 to $9,000, but for a truck logging around 100 miles per day, the savings can start to recover the initial investment very quickly

Rework Routing: Increase fuel use efficiency by having drivers on the most practical routes for avoiding fuel waste. Send trucks onto the road during hours with the least traffic congestion.

Use Overdrive: Make sure drivers are using overdrive on any vehicles that have that feature.

Reduce RPMs While Sweeping: For example, have operators run rear engines at around 1100 if appropriate, vs. 1800 RPMs during sweeping. Consider restricting fleet vehicles to 60 or 65 mph instead of 70 mph on the highway.

Monitor Drivers’ Habits: Use your remote monitoring technology for queues to coach your operators to improve fuel-wasting driving habits, like excessive acceleration on highways, etc.

Avoid Brake-Riding: Train operators in the art of maintaining safe sweeping speed without riding the brakes. Sweeping at a few more miles per hour without using the brake, vs. sweeping slower but riding the brake can sweep much more linear distance while burning the same amount of fuel.

Dump Waste Water: Unnecessarily carrying the waste can significantly reduce fuel economy.

Restrict Auxiliary Engine Use: Ensure operators are not running auxiliary engines while traveling between accounts.

Don’t let engines idle: Turn off engines when parked, or when filling up water, waiting in line for a fuel pump, or to dump waste, eat lunch, take breaks, etc.

Utilize Cardlock: Focus on your Cardlock system. Set up alerts to help you capture all too common incidents of fuel theft.

Use Appropriate Equipment: Send the right sweeper for the task. If mechanical broom work is required, don’t send an air truck to do the job, because it will take much more time and waste fuel.

Inspect Sweeper Parts: Maintain parts and replace as needed. For example, replace worn broom drives to prevent fuel waste.

Check Filters: Ensure that air and fuel filters are routinely inspected and changed as needed, to maintain normal engine performance.

Check Fuel Injectors: Faulty injectors can admit excess fuel, and may account for significant differences in fuel use between similar vehicles.

Check Tire Pressure: Check tires frequently and keep air pressure to the manufacturer’s specifications. Tires with low pressure cause excessive friction, reducing fuel mileage.

Check Radiators: Keep all radiators clean. When engines run at higher temperatures, they burn fuel less efficiently.

Check Spark Plugs: Change spark plugs on schedule to prevent bad plugs from reducing your fuel economy — by as much as 30%!

Fuel Savings Tips Contributors

The fuel cost savings tips above have been provided by the following industry experts on fuel savings in power sweeping operations:

Pete Phillips, Business Development Manager- Sweeping Corporation of America

Hayden Miller, Manager, Fleet Integration, Sweeping Corporation of America

Brian Giles, Schwarze Product Manager

Cutting Fuel Costs and Waste

Training is a great place to promote a new internal company culture of challenging one another to incorporate as many ideas for reducing fuel waste as possible in power sweeping. A team mindful of preserving fuel and managing costs can be critical to the long-term success of a growing powersweeping business. Further, contributing to reducing fuel waste in an industry of heavy fuel usage can significantly help advance the effort toward greater environmental responsibility across the U.S. business sector in 2022 and beyond.

Additional Information Resources

https://afdc.energy.gov/vehicles/propane_emissions.html
https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-09/documents/1.5_liquefied_petroleum_gas_combustion.pdf