When it comes to fleet management, you almost can’t avoid unexpected repair costs. These can be caused by damage to a piece of equipment, unprofessional driver behavior, and other administrative headaches. This is why you need the proper knowledge for a successful fleet management operation. Perhaps you just got promoted to the fleet manager position, or you want to start your own small or medium-size fleet management company. If so, this article will certainly come in handy. Here, we present four must-have fleet management tips.
1. Use a fleet management solution.
If you want to make your operations more straightforward, a fleet management solution can do wonders. This is usually an automated system equipped with a total productive maintenance program. With this fleet management system, you’ll quickly execute tasks that initially would take a few weeks when you do them manually. What’s more, you don’t have to lose track of your schedule regarding purchases or vehicle maintenance activities like preventive maintenance and repairs. Such a program will also assist with planning and building relationship with customers, etc.
You may think you don’t need a total productive maintenance program because you run a small fleet management operation. However, a complete effective maintenance program is suitable for both large and small firms. In fact, other businesses in the manufacturing or banking sectors, for example, can also utilize it. Altogether, with a fleet management solution, you’ll focus more, achieve greater productivity, reduce maintenance costs (by limiting reactive maintenance), and achieve overall equipment effectiveness.
2. Track everything trackable.
It’s a good idea to collect accurate data that’ll help in the optimization of fleet utilization. This way, you can make guided decisions and plan properly for the future. As a fleet manager, it’s also a good idea to monitor metrics such as fuel usage, vehicle location (GPS tracking), vehicle usage (who’s driving and for what period), driver performance, and behavior on the job.
In this regard, a fleet tracking system with camera will come in handy. These modern camera systems will give you a real-time, 360-degree view of the vehicles’ interior and exterior. This way, you’ll have records of the driver’s mode of operation, which can further help to identify areas of improvement or staff training. What’s more, video footage will catch any accidents and theft, ultimately making insurance claims easier when the need arises.
3. Rotate use of the vehicle.
Many employees who work for fleet management companies prefer driving the newest vehicle. It’s best to avoid these issues with a proper vehicle rotation schedule to promote your vehicles’ adequate utilization. Furthermore, circumventing free-for-all vehicle selection will promote even distribution of wear and tear among your fleet. Ultimately, this helps to manage the lifespan of your fleet properly. What’s more, you’ll avoid the idle-sitting of your vehicles while they expend their warranties. To make the rotation of vehicles easy and seamless, you can use an automated fleet management system with a vehicle rotation module.
4. Set up policies and protocols for safe driving.
You can’t assume your employees will automatically drive the best way. Even with an installed fleet camera system, you can’t get the best out of your team without the right training. Policies and protocols in every workplace can only be adhered to when the right training is in place.
As a fleet manager, ensuring your drivers are competent is your responsibility. Good competency isn’t just about knowing how to change gears and stay on the right lanes. Examples of procedures and policies you can adopt to guide your drivers’ operation and ensure driver/ fleet safety include:
- Proper record-keeping of refueling.
- Protocol for auto accident scenarios.
- No drinking from certain hours before picking up a shift.