8 Tips for Managing Fleet Vehicles

Whether in business organizations like a trucking company or in educational institutions or school districts, fleet managers have to supervise even complex fleet operations daily.

Managing a fleet of vehicle includes supervising, organizing, as well as recording all aspects of a company’s fleet.

Being a manager, you may have to set up regular vehicle maintenance schedules, look for cost saving trials, or even execute effective driver training plans.

The complexities in managing fleet operations force many companies to outsource their fleet management tasks to firms that provide services of experienced fleet managers.

Read Also: Top 5 Tips to Increase Efficiency of Your Fleet

Exceptional fleet management can provide diverse benefits such as better productivity, reduced fuel usage, increased business efficiency and even happy customers by supplying goods and services on time.

Here are 8 tips to make you an effective fleet manager

1. Key step – have a complete fleet management program

A well-executed fleet vehicle management plan can serve as a major contributor to any business’ bottom line.


Such a well planned program includes tracking, evaluating and optimizing every element of the fleet such as buying vehicles, monitoring the fleet, managing costs, appointing and training drivers, modifying safety set of rules, setting up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), preparing the team for all operation situations and justifying associated risks.

2. Keep proper records of all data

Maintaining records are crucial for vehicle management. The manager is responsible to know all details such as what vehicle will be handled by which driver, during which time.

Make sure to have a log which will be signed by the drivers daily and this log should include details such as name of the driver, date, number of vehicles they drive and the time they started and returned.

Managers should also maintain physical and digital records of –

  • condition of the vehicle, which helps to know all the mechanical problems
  • the mileage before and after the shift and perform regular maintenance accordingly
  • tire conditions and pressure
  • detailed maintenance history  such as date of last oil change for all vehicles in the fleet
  • common routes that the vehicles are taken through and
  • alternate routes that can avoid heavy traffic patterns

With digital records, it is easy to find any report much faster than searching among a pile of papers.

3. Use advanced fleet management software

With a fleet management system, managers can track and maintain their fleet in a quick and accessible way.

Desktop as well as mobile based fleet management applications are now available to manage all types of transportation.

Such software helps to take complete control over almost every aspect of the fleet’s operations. Along with adhering to regulatory requirements, such apps can reduce the operational costs, improve fleet visibility and fuel management and increase profitability as well as driver satisfaction.

Companies are providing automation platforms for transportation that helps to convert your current fleet operating procedure to much easier ones that can boost engagement and create a better secure experience for all stake holders.

With this type of software, managers can also benefit from features such as real-time alerts, route optimization plans, planning for deliveries on-time and more. Choose the one that can integrate into your systems flawlessly.

Auto fleet management also helps to allocate the task to agents one by one based on the nearest location or it will be assigned on the first come first serve basis. There are also options to serve batch wise.

4. Hire qualified drivers

While hiring fleet employees, you should consider several factors. Accredited medical cards should be obtained to certify that the applicant is medically fit for driving commercial vehicles.

The driver must have –

  • a valid  driving  license with  appropriate class requirements
  • the physical as well as mental potential to operate vehicles in a safe manner
  • Department of Transportation’s (DOT) medical card
  • a commercial  driving license (CDL) to operate truck vehicles
  • experience in the field and a history of steady employment
  • passed a certified pre-employment drug and alcohol screening
  • a better driving record

Experience required for a driver may differ for different businesses. If they are not that experienced, consider the period of time in which they had their license.

Read Also: What Are The Benefits of Fleet Management Software?

Also ask for references from previous employers, which help to learn about the candidate’s skill level, behavior on the job and capability in the field.

5. Offer additional training for drivers

Even if the drivers joining your team has sufficient experience and training, providing additional training with instructions to drive on different types of roads, hazards of unfocused and weak driving and first aid training will help.

You should also arrange superior screening policies for all drivers and train them with safe-driving policies to lower traffic incident risks of fleet vehicles.

With successful safety training programs, organizations can decrease accident rates, reduce vehicle repair costs and lessen legal issues.

Make sure to provide your drivers with guidelines regarding the importance of wearing seat belts, and advise them on what need to be done in case of a vehicle breakdown, road incident or crash.

Also implement fleet-wide safety rules and make it mandatory for every staff to follow them. Make them aware of the consequences that may occur due to distracted driving and use of mobile devices during driving.

Also make them sign this document of safety rules to ensure their understanding of these policies.

Regular training programs also help drivers to be up to date with the transportation industry trends and any change in company rules or standards.

Less experienced staff must also be provided with on-road and off-road real-time training with the support of experienced staff.

6. Take care of vehicles too

While training and caring for your staff, remember your fleet vehicle also needs care. Consider having vehicle-specific safety policies in place to protect vehicles from any damage or accidents.

Developing wide maintenance and assessment schedules for each fleet vehicle help businesses to manage risks related to fleet operations, guarantee safety, and reduce spending on repairs can help.

Also remember to regularly update and document these guidelines. Maintenance program for your fleet can be preventive, routine or even emergency one.

While preventive maintenance focuses on maintaining the overall condition of the vehicle, routine maintenance occurs on a regular basis for every type of vehicle.

At the same time, emergency maintenance is unplanned. With an excellent preventive and routine maintenance policy, your firm can avoid any major emergency maintenance problems that may occur.

7. Use GPS software to track your fleet

Sophisticated fleet tracking systems which use global positioning systems (GPS) are now widely available to track the exact location of any vehicle. Installing GPS tracker for trucks and other vehicles helps with the better management of fleets in a much lower operating cost.

By tracking your trucks and drivers real time, drivers need not have to call you to update the location or tasks done. You can also correct them in case of they are passing through a wrong route. Managers can check the driving patterns and if vehicle is missing or someone has stolen it, location can be noticed.

8. Have an idea about fleet insurance policies

With the right fleet insurance policy, all vehicles can be covered. Make sure to find the right coverage at the most affordable price for your specific fleet.

Discussing with experienced hands in the industry helps to understand your insurance needs and the insurance providers in the industry space.

There will be changes and updates to most insurance policies each year. Consider an annual review to assess whether your current policy is meeting the company’s changing insurance needs.

These reviews can also help managers to evaluate claims and recognize ideal steps to minimize insurance costs in the future.

You must have a clear idea about the changes that may occur in your insurance policy if you add more vehicles or drivers to your fleet.

Read Also: 7 Essential Skills To Become A Successful Fleet Manager

Also check whether your insurer offer any discounts, if you implement fleet management software, or provide better security measures or arrange any focused training programs.

With this knowledge, you can consider adding these features to your fleet and thus take benefit from the discounts offered.

Let us know if these tips help you manage your fleets better.

16 Frustrating Problems Faced By Drivers on a Trip [Inc: solutions]

The frustrating problems faced by drivers on a trip are numerous. Regardless of the purpose of the trips every hurdles troubles us. It further destroys all our schedules of the day. 

The beauty of being on the road is the privilege of being your own master throughout the journey. Thus any of the hassles that hinder it is a head ache to both drivers and travellers.

Read Also: 15 Tips to Prevent Drowsy Driving [This List Could Save Your Life]

The best that a driver can do is to avoid such mishaps is to take precautions to avoid it. But, for that – one needs to be aware of such problems. So, let’s go through this post to know these issues and avoid them as much as possible.

1. Dead Car Battery


Batteries can die at the least expected timings, and it can be a huge problem. Several components in a vehicle require batteries. For example, cars that have a button-based ignition system require a battery to start the engine.

To avoid car battery mishaps, make sure to check the battery and see that it is charged enough. Also, check the power status of battery on frequent intervals. Their average lifespan is from 2 to 5 years. This lifespan depends upon external factors, such as weather conditions, usage, electric wiring system, etc.

2. Flat Tire

This problem is quite common and can be treated on your own. All vehicles are equipped with a Stepney or spare tire, a jack tool, wrench, etc. These are present there for emergencies. The issue is to change a flat tire.


CBS report states that over 60% of people do not know how to change a tire. That can be a problem if you do not have any available help while on the road. So, you need to learn how to do it by avoiding troubles. Check the tires before leaving for your trip and reduce your chances of facing such troubles in the first place.

3. Brakes Not Working

This issue is undoubtedly troublesome and dangerous. Check your vehicle brakes every time before heading for a trip whether it is short or long. Also, make sure the fluids are enough for performing the function.

If it is out of your handling ability the best way to deal with it is by getting your vehicle checked from an expert mechanic. Let him know to check the brake pads, drums, rotors, and fluid before you start your road trip.

4. Engine Fails


Engine is the heart that keeps the whole machine running. Without a healthy engine, your car is bound to collapse at one point. It is unavoidable to get your engine tuned before heading on the road.

The unusual time, Knocking sound, smoke has to be checked frequently. Avoiding a tune-up process can cause engine failure. Inspection of the engine of your vehicle may give you an idea of the parts that need to be replaced or fixed.

5. Trouble With Transmission

The transmission of a vehicle can also face trouble if there are issues such as grinding of gears, leaking of fluid, clutch noises when in neutral mode, etc. It has to be repaired or replaced with proper maintenance works.

Though these problems might not sound much, but when travelling for long term journeys, it can be fatal for the driver and passengers. Hence, get it checked before starting your journey.

6. Gas Troubles

Fuel level is a vital factor to check before a trip. This issue may be a simple one, but it can be a nuisance if faced during your journey. If your vehicle is unable to drive any further due to an empty tank, then you might even get stranded on your way to your destination.

So, plan ahead and fill it up at the right intervals. Do not force your vehicle and risk driving another mile while your car is on reserve. Make sure to fill up the tank whenever you get the chance.

7. No Cellular Connection

While on the road, you might even move through dead zones where there is no cellular connectivity. It can be troublesome if you got into any roadside mishaps. Else, in need of any immediate assistance we have to sweat out hard.

So, if you are in frequent need of communicating with someone, then make sure to have a satellite phone available with you at all times during your journey to avoid unnecessary troubles. You may never know how beneficial this investment could be for you.

8. Starting Your Journey At Rush Hour


Your journey time matters too. If you unknowingly choose a rush hour to start your journey or face one during your journey, then it might irritate you.

Read Also: Healthy Habits for Truck Drivers

Avoid it by planning your trip strategically so you can avoid all such hustle and bustle on the roads. Learn about the traffic density timings in your area to drive with a positive mood.

9. Travel Sick Passengers

It can be troublesome in situations when you accompany a passenger who can quickly get sick of travelling. It can ruin the mood of the whole journey as driving is not seamless in such a situation. To avoid it, make sure that the person takes a pill for keeping his sickness under control.

10. Unpredictable Weather

Poor weather condition during the journey is a pain in the neck. You need to see how the weather is going to be if the roads are not safe enough for harsh climatic conditions.

Make sure to check with the forecast before beginning your journey. If the weather becomes unexpectedly bad during the trip, then do not be afraid to make stops on your way at safe places to avoid mishaps.

11. Travelling Unprepared

Long journeys always accompany by things that disturbs our smooth trip. The reasons can range from shortage of food and water to extreme weather to break-downs.

So, carry adequate stuffs you might’ve required in your vehicles. For example, tinned food, enough water, cloths, emergency kit and medicine.  

It can be pretty helpful in cases when family members and kids are travelling with you.

12. Being Pulled Over By Cops


Cops can be trouble in situations where your car is not maintained properly. Ensure that all the necessary parts of your vehicle are working correctly so that the law enforcers do not end up giving you a ticket. Also, ensure that your vehicle’s number plate is visible to all.

13. Not Enough Documents To Cross Border

Sometimes your journey may involve crossing borders of states or even countries. Without the necessary documents, you might not get permission to cross the premises. Avoid such a situation by learning about the required papers for crossing the territorial line.

Try to carry all relevant documents with the vehicles. Make sure every document that needs to be renewed is up-to-date. For example, identity documents, vehicle registration papers, permits and certificates.

14. Drowsiness While Driving

Possibly, you did not have had enough rest or sleep a night before your road trip. It can be dangerous if you are the one who has to drive. In such situations, accompany someone who can legally drive so that you can switch places with him or her from time to time.

If you are alone, then you might have to rely on stimulants like coffee or energy drinks. But, avoid that by catching your z’s before starting your journey.   

15. Unfamiliar Vehicle Modes

Driving a new model vehicle many cause little troubles along the way. The operational setting in different vehicles would vary based on the companies design.

Likewise, driving someone else’s vehicle, which you rented or borrowed, could be a risky move if you are completely unaware about the condition of the ride. Make sure to learn all possible operations of the vehicle and get them learned before starting your journey.

16. Theft of Valuables


Your journeys will involve stopping at certain places that might not be that safe. You might even have to leave your car to visit the loo from time to time.

In such situations, your valuables could be carelessly left by you in the vehicle which is prone to be robbed by thieves and crooks in the area.

Read Also: 10 Common Truck Driver Health Issues and Solutions

Avoid this problem by locking or carrying everything safely. Also, keep the valuables with you if it can be carried with you.


The level of enjoyment throughout your road trip is in your hands to some extent. But, sometimes mishaps are unavoidable. It is prudent to stay calm in such situations and focus on the solution so that you can move on with the trip with happy memories.