Gas prices are rising fast, and companies are bracing for the impact — shedding old habits and adopting new technology.

In an effort to cut fuel costs, small businesses have turned to light trucks retrofitted to carry bigger loads and vehicles that can run on biodiesel. Some are even using special GPS devices that let bosses know when employees keep engines running hundreds of miles away.

So far, it’s working at Indianapolis Fruit Company, said Michael Gilbert, the delivery company’s director of logistics.

The company’s headquarters was alerted Thursday when one of its 18-wheelers sat idling for 40 minutes along Interstate 294 just south of Chicago. Within seconds, a written message appeared on the driver’s GPS device asking if something was wrong.

The driver phoned in a response, saying, “All I did was stop to go to the bathroom because it just, you know, sometimes takes a little longer than you think.”

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