Tony Vasquez of the 163rd
Ordnance Company of Irvine, Calif., fills a bus with fuel at the
Fort McCoy Central Fuel Issue Facility. The 163rd was training at
Fort McCoy as part of Patriot Warrior 2008. (Photo
by Rob Schuette)
Jane Schmidt, the
Installation Transportation officer, and Marci Martin, the Berring
Straits Aki (BSA)/LB&B Transportation manager, said many of these
strategies also will help personnel save fuel costs in the private
sector, as well, as gasoline prices hover near $4.
treat government vehicles like they are their own," Martin said.
"There are regular maintenance checks that can help improve fuel
Getting regular oil changes
helps keep engines in top condition and improves fuel economy. Martin
said ensuring that tires are properly inflated by checking the air
pressure monthly can help ensure a vehicle gets optimum gas mileage.
One of the key actions
drivers can take to reduce fuel costs is to slow down and drive the
speed limit, both on post and off post, especially for
highway/Interstate driving, Schmidt said.
The federal government
fuel-economy Web site states that as a rule of thumb for every five
miles an hour a motorist travels over 60 mph it is like spending an
additional 20 cents per gallon of gas.
For more information, see http://www.fueleconomy.gov.
"Another thing we
often see happening at Fort McCoy is personnel will drop people off at
a building and wait for them," Schmidt said. "Or they will
leave the vehicle running while they run into a building and then
return to the vehicle."
That is a bad strategy in
two ways, Schmidt said. First, government policy/regulations state
that when a government vehicle is stopped and unoccupied it should be
secured, or in other words locked. Because most government vehicles
used at Fort McCoy are dispatched with only one set of keys, it means
the vehicle canít be left running and secured at the same time.
Secondly, a vehicle that is
stopped is getting zero miles per gallon of gas as long as the vehicle
is idling, she said. People who start and idle vehicles to cool them
down in summer or heat them up in winter before driving are wasting
"Personnel should treat government vehicles like they are
their own. There are regular maintenance checks that can help
improve fuel economy."
BSA/LB&B Transportation Manager
Schmidt said sometimes
vehicles must be started to help clear frost from the windows before
driving the vehicles in the winter.
Fuel costs can be further
reduced if personnel make responsible decisions about combining trips
whenever possible, where they fuel government vehicles and what type
of vehicles they use, Schmidt and Martin said.
Schmidt said if someone is
planning to see two people in the same office, it would conserve fuel
if they could schedule seeing both personnel during the same trip,
rather than making two separate trips. Likewise, if they are planning
to make several stops in the same area it would make sense to combine
the trips, if possible.
Fort McCoy has several
types of government vehicles available for use, including compact
sedans, vans and trucks. Schmidt said personnel should carefully
choose which vehicle they use.
The compact sedans get
better gas mileage and are suitable for shorter trips around post and
being driven on the highway. Trucks are more suitable for being driven
to the ranges.
Martin said that personnel
should fill their gas tanks on post whenever possible.
"Fuel costs for
government vehicles are cheaper if you use government facilities (the
Central Fuel Issue Facility at Fort McCoy) than if you get fuel off
post," she said. "So if youíre driving to Fort Snelling
(Minnesota), itís cheaper to the government if you ensure the gas
tank is full before you leave Fort McCoy."
Another good strategy is to
rideshare if a number of personnel are going to the same facility for
a meeting, Martin said. Other strategies to help reduce fuel costs for
your POV are to use a post taxi for official business trips on post.
Martin said if people are
sending mail or packages to other locations on post, and donít have
a strict time limit, it is more economical to use the postís
inter-installation mail service rather than use a vehicle to deliver
"There is a federal
executive order that mandates the federal government reduce its use of
fuel 2 percent a year based on 2005 statistics," Martin said.
"This would mandate a reduction of 20 percent by 2015."
For more information about government
vehicle use, refer to government regulations or call Schmidt at (608)
388-6549 or Martin at (608) 388-3714.