Jan 12 2023
This post has been republished with fully updated content since its original publish date in Nov 2015
Managing a fleet, big or small, is not an easy task. There are several items to account for and challenges to overcome in order to run a successful fleet. Some of these include saving money on fuel, ensuring the safety and job satisfaction of your drivers, keeping up with vehicle maintenance and repairs, etc.
In this post, I've compiled a list of eight "how to" tips sourced from nine different fleet management software providers' blogs to help you get started.
Finding and retaining qualified truck drivers can be a challenge for many fleet managers. Element Fleet wrote a blog article (view here) that covers some of the most effective ways to recruit these truck drivers while minimizing turnover.
One of the most important takeaways is assuring that your fleet offers competitive advantages in not only compensation and benefits but also the technology it leverages. With many new truck drivers already accustomed to technology, it's important that your fleet embraces technology for more efficient business processes, as well as trucks that leverage advanced equipment.
As you know, managing a fleet of vehicles comes with a significant amount of maintenance and repairs. Putting your vehicles in the shop often means losing revenue due to fewer drivers on the road at a time. It's important that your assets are being managed proactively to help avoid lengthy downtimes that will impact your bottom line.
Does your fleet have any of these reactive symptoms? If so, Fleetio has provided some great information on how to combat, or cure, these symptoms.
Maintaining the vehicles in your fleet can be very costly, especially without proper planning. While there are many variable cost factors involved with fleet maintenance, there are still several ways to save money, which Chevin Fleet has captured in this blog article.
Much of the advice they've provided comes down to planning ahead and making sure all stakeholders are communicating, your fleet has determined the most cost-effective maintenance, and you've adopted a maintenance program.
As mentioned in the previous point, driver safety is essential to any fleet and can directly impact a fleet's success. But how do you foster a culture of safety among your drivers? According to a Lytx blog article, "Instituting successful safety programs requires considerable time and effort between the management team and the drivers themselves." Lytx suggests identifying distractions, developing safety programs, and effectively coaching drivers on safety. Safety needs to be ingrained in the company's culture with deliberate employee engagement.
Fuel cost is one of the biggest pain points for fleet managers and will remain at the top of the list for many years to come -- until fleets make the shift to electric vehicles. If your fleet is still struggling to reduce fuel costs, this recent Verizon Telematics article may be helpful to you. They've provided some of the best tools for reducing fuel costs, including GPS tracking of idling time, comprehensive gas guzzler reports, improved maps for better routing, and driver behavior dashboards.
GPS tracking can be hugely beneficial to your fleet, not only for reducing fuel costs, provided you are maximizing its full potential. Teletrac does a great job breaking down the top 5 benefits of GPS tracking so your fleet can get the most out of this sometimes underutilized technology. At a high level, these benefits include improved safety, lower fuel, and operational costs, increased productivity, and theft recovery.
Theft is an unfortunate part of the fleet business and can't always be detected easily. ClearpathGPS has defined some of the most common types of fleet theft as unauthorized vehicle use, time card padding, and equipment and parts theft. While some of these forms of theft are not quite as obvious as vehicle/vehicle part theft, they can add up over time and greatly affect a fleet business's profit margins. Leveraging a fleet management system that utilizes tracking is the most effective way to detect fleet theft.
Geofencing is a popular technology in many industries, including fleet management. Geofencing is essentially virtual geographic boundaries, or invisible fences around specific regions. In this article, FleetUp highlights some of the key ways that fleets can utilize dynamic geofencing technology to improve efficiency. Some of these include vehicle/asset/driver tracking, improved customer experience, and theft prevention. With geofencing, fleet managers are better informed and have much more control.
With the rise in consumer electric vehicles (EVs), the future of commercial fleets is also trending toward electric. EV adoption involves more than just replacing traditional gas-powered vehicles with electric or hybrid models. Proper EV fleet transition includes robust driver training, hiring or training skilled technicians, keeping tabs on the available EV tax credits and financial incentives, optimizing routes according to local charging infrastructure, and tracking and leveraging data to ensure optimal driving performance. It’s also crucial to communicate the change to both your internal teams and target audience. As a key step in deployment, Electrify Fleet recommends that companies “develop [their] organization’s position on EVs, match EV implementation to Environmental Social Governance (ESG) goals, and then get organization-wide buy-in.”
Given the never-ending tasks and challenges involved with fleet management, it's important that your company utilizes the solutions available to help work more efficiently. If you haven't implemented fleet management software yet and aren't sure where to begin, make sure that the software you pick is advanced enough to put these above tips into practice. For those managing a larger fleet, it's also important that the software you choose provides a quick way to identify your vehicles and their specs, as well as account for recently added vehicles.