Managing a fleet–whether big or small–is not an easy task. As a fleet manager of a trucking company, you have to juggle many roles to keep things running smoothly and work with reduced budgets and resources. It’s a constant battle to improve fleet efficiency and keep things moving.
Maintaining an efficient fleet can be quite challenging especially when you lack data visibility. Having said that, a robust management system should be set in place for fleet managers to properly track vehicles, drivers, and control costs.
Most fleet businesses use outdated methods such as paperwork and spreadsheets to manage their daily operations. Truth be told, these methods are inefficient, causing communication breakdowns and lacking easy access to the data when needed. This leads to downtime and unnecessary expenses.
One of the most important aspects of managing your fleet, regardless of its size, is controlling your bottom line. Calculating your fleet’s total cost of ownership (TCO) is impossible without tracking and analyzing your fleet data. Without any calculations, you may make errors and poor decisions in your fleet operations.
Fleets can benefit from using technology such as fleet management software or transportation management software to track and manage every aspect of their operations. Advanced technology can help fleets automate processes, streamline workflows, access data quickly, and improve fleet efficiency and company’s bottom line.
Tips to Improve Fleet Efficiency in a Fleet Business
Despite facing a myriad of challenges, fleet companies are on the rise. There are several ways fleets can make gains in productivity to improve their operations and reduce operational expenses.
Below, we have highlighted some ways fleets can improve fleet efficiency and productivity by streamlining daily processes and implementing advanced technology.
Know Your Operating Costs
To run your fleets smoothly, you need to know your fleet’s total cost of ownership (TCO). By knowing the numbers, you can control expenses and make data-driven decisions for your fleet’s better future.
When you try to calculate operating costs manually, you are likely to make huge errors—something your fleet cannot afford. The good part is that you can use fleet management software to automatically calculate TCO by using an aggregate of fleet data.
With your fleet’s TCO at your disposal, you can better understand your ROI and make better decisions for the future of your fleet. Implementing efficient processes such as preventative maintenance schedules and fuel management systems can help you improve your TCO and ROI.
Automate Fleet Processes
Most fleets face challenges as they rely on outdated tracking methods such as paper and spreadsheets. Fleet managers are often occupied feeding manual data entries to track and manage vehicles. When you’re responsible for taking care of every aspect of your fleet, manual data entry can waste a lot of your time and not let you focus on anything else.
To get rid of these issues, many fleets are considering automating fleet processes through the use of fleet management software. With the help of fleet management software, fleets can automate fleet processes and streamline data. This can help fleet managers save time and pay attention to other tasks to improve fleet efficiency.
Fleet managers can use telematics to automate fleet processes and improve fleet efficiency. Telematics offer features such as driver-pairing, GPS tracking, routing, and vehicle diagnostic alerts, allowing fleet managers to have real-time visibility into their fleet’s daily operations and highlight areas of improvement.
Below, we have outlined some benefits fleets can obtain by using telematics:
- Get alerts for idling and speeding
- Access real-time data and vehicle tracking
- Increase productivity with better routes and increased stops or deliveries
- Improved scheduling to reduce overtime
Using telematics can automate fleet processes and help fleet managers save a lot of time. That way, they can keep everyone in the company accountable for their job responsibilities.
Fleet managers must educate and train employees to handle multiple tasks or operations to address the problems or needs of the fleet or the customers. Frequent training can help with employee and driver retention, maintaining productivity at its peak with less turnover.
Fleet managers should also take time to review employee expectations and responsibilities so employees can be held responsible for their tasks and productivity levels.
Improve Driver’s Safety
Accidents put driver’s safety at a huge risk and negatively impact your company’s reputation, which can be the hardest thing to fix once it is affected.
One way to improve driver’s safety is by installing dash cams. With dash cams installed, drivers can have more peace of mind and fleet managers can have greater control over what is going on when drivers are on the road. Dash cams can also help increase visibility and reduce accidents.
Another way to improve driver safety is to provide defensive driving courses and educate drivers about safe driving practices.
Manage Vehicles and Fuel
You cannot expect your driver to be productive when your vehicle is subject to frequent breakdowns or stuck in the repair shop for extended periods. This can severely affect your fleet’s productivity.
Several software and telematics systems in the market provide vehicle maintenance reports and timely alerts to address minor issues before they become a bigger problem. These alerts prevent breakdowns and downtime and keep drivers on the go, improving fleet productivity and saving your fleet time and money.
On the other hand, managing fuel is critical for every fleet operating company. When fleet managers track excessive idling, they can know about inefficient routes, poor job sites, and when vehicles are wasting fuel and increasing fuel costs.
Not to forget, vehicles prone to idling can add more wear and tear to the engines, consuming more fuel and causing the need for more repairs and increasing maintenance costs.
About the Author: Sara Naveed
Sara Naveed is a creative and digital content writer who uses her creative skills to develop and edit professional web content. Being a writer has always been her dream. She earnestly hopes people appreciate her writing—an asset she deeply covets. Using her 8+ years of working experience, she writes for trucking industry experts who are always looking for better technological solutions to their problems.