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Pioneering incentive program offers savings without implementation woes – FreightWaves

While fuel prices are on a downward swing since spiking last fall, diesel is still sitting at over $4 per gallon. These high prices – combined with loosening capacity, dropping rates, and a looming recession – are posing significant financial challenges for carriers. 

Most carriers are scouring their budgets for ways to save money. Unfortunately, some of the most common spending cuts, especially those aimed at reducing tech spend, can leave fleets at a competitive disadvantage.

Reward and incentive programs are often thought of as financial expenditures. When executed well, however, these programs can garner serious savings thanks to improved driver behavior, allowing carriers to free up cash without making sacrifices. 

Fuel incentive programs can go a long way in encouraging more efficient driver behavior, therefore reducing waste and saving money. The problem is that these programs are notoriously difficult to implement. They can be time-consuming and expensive for companies to create. At the same time, driver buy-in is often low due to low awareness, complicated engagement processes, or apathy toward the rewards themselves.

“It’s hard for a lot of our clients to create an overall fuel incentive program, so we integrated it into our existing systems and programs,” Tenstreet CEO Tim Crawford said. “Now, the implementation of a fuel incentive program is just a couple of clicks away.”

Tenstreet unveiled a new series of tools to drive fuel efficiency – including its new incentive program – at its recent user conference. These new offerings build on the company’s existing True Fuel platform, which already aims to minimize waste by encouraging efficient driver behavior through coaching. 

The most recent True Fuel update introduced a new fuel usage assessment model, ensuring the provided scores are fair to drivers and accurately reflect their positive driving behaviors. 

“About 30% of fuel usage is controlled by the driver,” Crawford noted. “Drivers don’t care for popular miles-per-gallon based systems because a lot of the factors that go into that number are not controlled by them. True Fuel provides a score rating that only accounts for factors that the driver can control.”

Carriers can utilize this new and improved scoring system – paired with Tenstreet’s recently introduced rewards program – to compensate drivers without needing to spend time and money creating costly and complex internal programs. 

“This kind of incentive program would be difficult to do for yourself. We made it out of the box here, and we can do that because of existing connections between systems,” Crawford said. “The hard part when you’re interconnecting things is that sometimes the power is more potential than real until the individual tools themselves mature. None of this would be possible if we hadn’t started building those connections years ago.”

Implementation hurdles are not the only thing stopping carriers from introducing fuel incentive programs, though. The price associated with paying out rewards can also be a deterrent. 

“It can be tough to get a budget for driver rewards in today’s economy, so we came up with the idea of a sweepstakes model,” Crawford said. “This offering saves the company money and maximizes driver fun by offering a chance to win a larger prize.”

For example, with the sweepstakes model, drivers can use their rewards to enter for a chance to win a prize valued at $1,000 instead of being guaranteed to earn a prize valued at $10. This raises the stakes and creates a sense of anticipation for drivers, while saving companies money by reducing the overall number of prizes paid out. 

The Tenstreet Rewards tool allows carriers to reward drivers for positive behaviors outside of fuel efficiency as well. For example, carriers can send drivers points for referring new employees or even reward prospective drivers for filling out an application. Drivers can then redeem points for digital gift cards from popular businesses such as Flying J, Amazon, Bass Pro, Walmart, Doordash, and other big name vendors.

This multi-functional approach makes the incentive program a viable recruiting and retention tool, as well as a valuable fuel-saving technique. 

Click here to learn more about Tenstreet’s True Fuel or email [email protected] for a live demo.