How To Cut Your Power sweeping Fuel Costs 2022 Update

Recent cleaning and maintenance management industry research finds that the extreme spike in fuel prices this year has severely complicated the struggle for many small businesses hoping to recover from the economic damage of the pandemic. The research report from the Alignable Gas Price Poll shows that cleaning services that involve covering a lot of distance in vehicles daily are the companies being the hardest hit. As monthly fuel costs for the average pavement sweeping company can be in the tens of thousands of dollars, that data certainly resonates with powersweeping business owners.

2022 Runaway Fuel Costs

A June 2022 fuel cost report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says the average retail price of gas was $4.44 per gal and diesel was $5.57. The report says low inventory levels are responsible for the almost record-high fuel prices. The EIA states that the government is anticipating a gas price drop to $4.27 in Q3 of this year and a $0.79 drop in diesel bringing the price at the pump to $4.78 per gallon.

The Good News

In the March 2022 survey of 6,439 small business owners selected randomly, 68% said they are currently confronted with “very significant” adverse effects of the soaring gas prices. On the upside, a Proficient Market Insights 107-page street sweeper market report last month (June 2022) found that the industry is showing an impressive Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4.4%. This is despite the staggering spikes in diesel and regular gas fuel prices this year.

To build on the momentum that many power-sweeping companies have gained over recent months and to help those that are striving to gain traction this year, below is an update of the North American Sweeper magazine list of fuel cost-cutting recommendations.

20 Ways to Cut Commercial Powersweeping Fuel Costs

As Matt Snyder, Sales Manager, Stewart-Amos Equipment Company observes, with these ever-increasing fuel prices at the pump, getting better fuel mileage is essential. So, below is an updated list of recommendations from top pavement sweeping industry experts for cutting monthly fuel costs enough to realize total savings over a one-year period to well justify the effort.

We’ll start with the four points of current advice from Matt Snyder of Stewart-Amos this year at the top of our total list of 20 tips for cutting your pavement sweeping fuel costs in 2022:

1. Top-Off Tanks: Keeping diesel trucks’ fuel tanks topped off will help with keeping water out of the fuel system.
2. Use Dust Control: Adding a dust control product to the sweeper water tank will allow you to carry less water. Remember, 200 gallons of water add 1,670 lbs to the truck, causing more fuel consumption.
3. Change Fuel Filter: Remember to clean or change all filters.
4. Change Spark Plugs: Change out spark plugs on the chassis. This will improve performance (up to 30%).
5. Redesign Routes: Rewrite your routes to help cut fuel waste. For example, send trucks that must travel on the busiest roads during the least busy hours.
6. Minimize Running Auxiliary Engine: Don’t run auxiliary engines while driving from one account location to another.
7. Use Overdrive: Emphasize the importance of using overdrive for all highway driving.
8. Reduce Waste Water Weight: Reduce fuel use by dumping volumes of wastewater instead of carrying the weight unnecessarily.
9. Don’t Let Engines Idle: Don’t let the engine run while parked, taking breaks, waiting in line, filling with water, dumping wastewater, etc.
10. Lower RPMs: Tell drivers to run the rear engines at about 1100 RPMs, if feasible, instead of 1800 while sweeping. Limit all vehicles to 60 or 65 mph, vs. 70 mph on the highway.
11. Check Tires: Maintain tire pressure at the manufacturer’s specifications to reduce friction and increase fuel mileage.
12. Stop Riding Brakes: Train drivers to regulate sweeping speed without riding the brake, to sweep much greater distances on the same amount of fuel.
13. Maintain Radiators: Keep radiators clean for lower engine temperatures that cause the fuel to burn more efficiently.
14. Monitor Driving: Use remote monitoring to help your drivers cut habits that waste fuel, such as excessive acceleration.
15. Depend on Cardlock: Set alerts to help catch common occurrences of fuel theft.
16. Maintain Sweeper Parts: Clean, lubricate, adjust, repair, and replace, parts as needed to maintain fuel economy. (Ex: Replace broom drives as needed to avoid fuel waste.)
17. Use the Right Equipment: Send appropriate sweepers for the task type and size.
18. Maintain Fuel Injectors: Malfunctioning fuel injectors can cause major waste in fuel consumption.
19. Convert to Propane: Propane is around half the cost of diesel and a third of the gas cost. Mileage is similar to gas. The cost of engine conversion can be quickly recoverable.
20. Train your staff: Develop a team of drivers who are motivated to employ known ways and find new ways to reduce their fuel waste.

Big Fuel Cost Saving Is a Cumulative Annual Effect

While there is probably not much you can do as a business owner to stop the runaway diesel and gas prices right now, you can correct problems in your sweeper use and other vehicles to maximize fuel efficiency and cut significant fuel waste. Implementing all possible ways to manage fuel costs is critical to the short- and long-term success of many small and growing pavement sweeping companies. Plus, reducing fuel waste in our industry, which is one of great fuel consumption, can contribute much to environmental preservation.

Fuel Savings Tips Contributors

We want to thank these pavement sweeping industry experts for taking their time to offer all the critical fuel savings tips they contributed to the above list:

Matt Snyder, Sales Manager, Stewart-Amos Equipment Co.

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

Brian Giles, Alamo Group

Pete Phillips, Business Development Manager- Sweeping Corporation of America

Additional Information Resources