Some things just go well together–salt and pepper, sweet tea and ice and let’s not forget pancakes and syrup. When things complement each other to produce a better experience than either one alone, that’s true magic. Now, what does any of this have to do with trucking?

Recent reports circulating throughout the industry have focused on driver fuel efficiency and ways to increase it for the greater good of a fleet. But few have talked about the right combination of things that could make this a reality for fleets still trying to find that sweet spot.

Fuel efficiency isn’t always top of mind for drivers, as there are many other aspects of driving and the daily driver workload that require focus. So what can fleet owners and managers do to make fuel efficiency a top of mind priority and establish it as a way of life across the fleet? Here’s a powerful combination for improving driver fuel efficiency: provide your drivers with continuous positive reinforcement on their fuel performance and a fair and respectful driver fuel incentive.

A study conducted in a New York state hospital showed only 10% of employees washed their hands when met with signs warning of consequences for failing to do so. On the flip side, 90% of these same employees washed their hands when met with a positive message on those signs. For both, the desired outcome was to have employees washing their hands before dealing with patients, but the drastic difference in performance came down to the positive approach that was taken to achieve that desired outcome.

When it comes to motivation, trucking is no different than a state hospital or any other mission-critical business: many people depend on successful outcomes and employees thrive when given positive reinforcement for desired behaviors. Any fleet manager or owner can point out the times a driver gets something wrong according to a piece of telematics event data but the really successful ones point out when drivers get it right, against a properly established fuel efficiency goal.

If continuous positive reinforcement of overall fuel efficiency is the pancake, what’s the syrup? Introducing a driver fuel incentive program for your fleet’s drivers not only gives them the opportunity to benefit from their demonstrated individual proficiency but also provides overarching goals to work towards to benefit the entire fleet. A Workboard study showed that 69% of successful companies were able to make teams of top performers by vocalizing company-wide goals. Fuel efficiency is a great candidate for this!

For driver fuel incentive programs to work well requires fair, actionable, driver-respecting and drivers know that MPG is not entirely within their control.  However, new technology is available to address the challenge fleets have historically faced in using fuel economy (MPG data) as a driver-incentive measure. TrueFuel provides automated, transparent fuel efficiency data specific to each driver, normalized for vehicle, load, route and other factors beyond the driver’s control. It provides the critical insights needed to take action. Accompanied by driver-empowering in-cab tools to help drivers achieve maximum fuel efficiency, drivers, fleet managers, and fleet owners can unite to to take the proper actions towards maximum fuel efficiency.

Even though your drivers are usually out on the road by themselves, they should never feel like they’re alone. With positive reinforcement guiding successful behaviors, and True Fuel enabled incentive programs, your drivers will know the goals to hit and how to get there, and they’ll be inspired to get there. Help your drivers help you! Set them up for success!