The operating costs in the trucking industry can be quite overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the industry. And if your revenue cannot commensurate with the cost involved, you may not yield a positive ROI.
Hence, a proper fleet management system is crucial for any trucking business to reduce costs and enhance performance.
An effective fleet management system ensures smooth maintenance, replacement, financing, and tracking of your vehicles, thereby enabling you to stay at the top of your game and keeping drivers safe.
Thanks to the advanced technology, cutting costs and ensuring efficiency has never been easier. With just a few clicks, you can now significantly increase your productivity while also decreasing downtime.
But before we move on to some cost-effective solutions for your everyday fleet management issues, let us identify the greatest challenges of the fleet industry.
Major Challenges Faced By Fleet Managers
Managing Rising Fuel Costs
One of the most expensive costs of the fleet industry is fuel. The everyday rising price of fuel occupies a significant portion of your budget, hindering your ROI.
Businesses need to optimize their vehicle usage so that money is not lost on redundant and unnecessary trips. This is possible when fleet managers get a better insight into their vehicle sign-outs and trip loggings.
Fleet management comes with excessive administrating tasks that can take up a lot of your time.
From dispatching workers and communicating with customers to handling paperwork, fleet managers always have their hands full.
These routine tasks prevent you from focusing on other essential aspects of your business, like planning and strategy making. Hence, you need a find a smart solution to get beyond this tedious task.
Unexpected Maintenance Cost
Along with fuel costs, vehicle repair costs are also on the rise. However, you cannot let your vehicle sit idle out of service, or else you might lose out on work or customer trust due to vehicle shortages.
Tips To Make Fleet Management Easy And Secure
Here are a few best fleet management tips that you can employ to increase your ROI.
Set Vehicle Selection Criteria
The first criterion for selecting vehicles should be whether they can fulfill the commercial requirement. But there are also other considerations that you should not miss in the vehicle purchase checklist.
The primary considerations include availability and affordability of replacement parts, fuel efficiency, load carrying capacity, low whole life cost, and other industry-specific factors relevant to your company.
Make sure that the agent crosses off your checklist before purchasing any vehicle.
Optimization of fleet utilization is not possible unless you have all the data at your fingertips. A good purchase decision relies on information about the performance of your vehicles, drivers, and mechanics.
Hence, every fleet manager should keep track of the quantity and type of fuel used, scheduled and unscheduled repairs, contract and warranty details of vehicles, and driver licensing and certification dates.
Sophisticated GPS-based fleet tracking systems that enable you to track your driver’s performance in real-time are now widely available in the market.
Of all the sophisticated tracking systems, the apps that track school buses have gained immense popularity in recent times. You can get similar tracking apps for your fleet.
You’ll not only be aware of their location and task status but can also correct them if they take the wrong path.
Rotate Vehicle Usage
It often happens that certain vehicles are overused and take the entire repair budget, while others sit idle, running down their warranties.
Develop a system to rotate vehicles that are sent out on jobs. You can also take the help of management technology to automate vehicle rotation so that the wear-and-tear is distributed equally across your fleet.
Offer Training For Drivers
Safety training programs are essential for organizations to decrease accident rates, reduce repair costs, and stay away from legal issues, apart from keeping fleet operators and truckers safe.
One way to ensure fleet security is to implement mandatory safety rules. You can make them sign the document of safety rules to ensure they understand these policies.
Regular training programs also help drivers understand the dos and don’ts of driving. It will also prepare them for a road accident, crash, or vehicle breakdown.
Training also serves the purpose of keeping the drivers up-to-date with industry trends and making them aware of any changes in the company’s protocols.
Give Importance To Preventive Maintenance
One mistake that many fleet owners are guilty of is waiting for the vehicles to get in bad shape before performing any kind of upkeep. In the long run, major repairs cost you more than regular maintenance.
Developing routine maintenance schedules for each fleet will help businesses manage risks related to fleet operations, ensure safety, and reduce repair expenses.
With an appropriate preventive and routine maintenance policy in place, you can avoid emergency maintenance issues that may disrupt your operation.
Have Strong Policies
Having a strong policy is the key to good fleet management. Your policies should clearly communicate the expectations you have from your drivers and other staff of your organization.
If you find that your drivers don’t care for the rules and regulations, it will become much easier to enforce them when documented in the form of policies.
When strong policies are in place, drivers essentially feel accountable for any wrongdoings on their part and try to start complying with the necessary rules.
Of all the policies, the most important ones that require documentation are vehicle purchasing, data collection, driver licensing, and maintenance schedule.
Invest In Automated Fleet Management Solution
With an automated fleet management solution, you can track, evaluate, and optimize every element of fleet management – all in real-time.
Not just that, it enables you to perform advanced diagnostics to identify issues early on before they become big problems.
Once the time-consuming and tedious tasks are automated, you can focus your energy on other productive activities like planning and customer relationship building, ultimately improving your bottom line.
With the right fleet management software and the above tips in mind, you can easily monitor the operations of vehicles and go a long way in simplifying your fleet management efforts.