There has been a significant rise of small fleets in the fleet industry. Small fleets are defined as fleets with up to 100 fleets. According to a 2019 survey by Bibby Financial Services, it was reported that there was a 52% growth in the business for small fleets. The reason is that the small fleets have been following best small business fleet management practices.
Post COVID-19, all fleets, regardless of their size, have experienced bigger challenges in the transportation and logistics industry. Small and micro fleets are also encountering the problems that were only being faced by mid-size and large fleets.
Managing a small fleet is no small feat. It comes as no surprise that fleet management is a difficult job, irrespective of the size of the fleet. Being a fleet manager is not easy; it is their responsibility to try to reduce costs, reduce liability, and increase the efficiency and safety of the fleet and drivers.
If you have entered the fleet management business for the first time and have no experience with it, you do not need to feel overwhelmed. You can look at the best fleet management practices your large- size fleet counterparts are using and then apply the same to your fleet.
We have outlined some of the best small business fleet management practices you can adopt for your fleet. You can increase the efficiency, and safety of your fleet and drivers, increase productivity and reduce costs and liability if you follow these industry best practices.
When you focus on these best practices, you can realign your fleet better and make the fleet management process faster and smoother. Let us look at some of the best small business fleet management practices you can implement into your fleet management strategy and set your fleet up for success.
It is vital to create a long-term strategy for your business if you plan to grow business in the future. A long-term strategy should be set in place and implemented at the right time to scale your fleet and meet challenges along the way.
Most businesses think they can quickly adapt to growth when they are not even prepared for it. The simpler you keep your business strategy, the simpler you can make your systems, and the easier it is for the company to adapt to growth.
Did you know that most vehicles stop operating to their optimal efficiency after completing around 70,000 miles? Well, that’s true. Fleet vehicles tend to reach these miles much faster than the rest, sometimes within a year only.
Because of this problem, it is important to consider replacing your fleet vehicles after 3 or 4 years. Many fleet-operating companies choose to lease fleet vehicles to ensure the team is always operating on all cylinders. Also, vehicle replacement is one of the most helpful small business fleet management practices as it can help the company reduce repair costs and liability in the future.
Another important small business fleet management practice is evaluating your asset utilization. Fleet owners and managers should make fleet optimization a top priority, and the best way to achieve it is by maximizing asset utilization.
It has been reported that around 42% of fleets experience only 5% of asset utilization. When assets are not utilized to their maximum capacity, they sit idle in the storage and collect nothing but dust. Companies have to bear huge costs on the unused assets when it comes to storing, maintaining, and monitoring them to avoid theft. Unutilized assets become a burden on the company.
One of the most important small business fleet management practices is to focus on preventive maintenance tasks. Increased repairs and downtime costs can slow the growth of your business. However, if you pay attention to the preventive maintenance tasks, you can reduce the likelihood of repair and downtime costs.
A deep focus on preventative maintenance of your fleet can also ensure you remain compliant with DOT inspections. Your fleet drivers can also take advantage of preventive maintenance. When they focus on the preventive maintenance plan, they will be less likely to break down and experience accidents due to vehicle issues.
It is essential to promote good driving behavior to reduce costs, repairs, and liabilities, and improve efficiency. Drivers who drive efficiently tend to use less fuel, get involved in fewer accidents, and avoid penalties.
It is easier to hold drivers accountable when they understand their fuel usage, repair costs, and fleet maintenance. You can encourage better driving with telematics, a device used to monitor idle time, diagnostics, driver behavior, etc.
Geofencing technology helps fleet-operating companies create a virtual perimeter around a certain location and let them receive alerts about the fleets remotely. When companies implement geofencing, they can receive alerts whenever a vehicle enters or leaves the perimeter.
The owner or the fleet manager would immediately know if a vehicle is still operating after working hours, possibly indicating theft. It also serves as an automatic indicator and proof of delivery of goods. What’s more, you can track idle time and happen to reduce it across fleets.
Another best fleet management practice is creating a company policy for improved training, driver behavior, and maintenance. This can help you reduce costs, encourage compliance, and ensure your operations run seamlessly.
Once an issue arises, you will know how to fix it and get back on track. You can grow your company if you maintain consistency throughout the organization. For this, you need to establish your company policy and ensure your staff workers know about their roles and responsibilities.
Without data, you cannot think of optimizing your fleet. With data at your disposal, you can gain visibility into driver behavior and the diagnostics of your fleet vehicles.
Telematics is a device fleet-operating companies can use to get insights into accurate fuel consumption, hours of service, idle time, driver behavior, thefts, asset tracking, engine diagnostics, compliance, fuel card integration, route optimization, and asset utilization.
This information can help keep your fleet safe, efficient, and compliant.
It goes without saying that small-sized fleets deal with several challenges, including reducing operating costs, improving driver and vehicle safety, improving vehicle performance, and ensuring legal compliance.
Smaller fleets need to invest in reliable and comprehensive fleet management and transportation management solution to tackle these challenges. A cloud-based TMS such as LoadStop can suit your needs and help you simplify your business operations.
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