Tag Archives: Fleet Drivers

Buying Fleet Vehicles – Everything You Need To Know

Groups of vehicles owned/leased by businesses, government agencies, or other organizations are referred to as fleet vehicles. Car rental companies, public utilities, taxicab companies, police departments, and public bus companies operate fleet vehicles.

Many businesses buy/lease fleet vehicles to deliver goods to customers or cater to the travel needs of sales representatives. Fleet vehicles are managed with the help of a fleet or transport manager through fleet management software.

Read Also: 8 Tips for Managing Fleet Vehicles

A fleet management system (FMS) is employed to connect the vehicles to a telematics system for efficient management.

Buying vs Leasing 

A variety of aspects should be taken into consideration to decide whether buying or leasing vehicles is more advantageous in your case.

Further, you find out whether you qualify for fleet leasing programs if you have a requirement for several cars/vans for salespeople or delivering products. It helps you to save a lot of money.

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It has become easier these days to lease a small fleet of minivans, pickups, or cars. If you buy/lease more than 10 vehicles, you qualify as a commercial fleet buyer and you will be provided with a fleet registration number through the dealer.

This makes you eligible for all fleet incentive programs announced by manufacturers and dealers. Some dealers might offer programs designed by them for businesses. They may even obtain a fleet registration number for you even if you have leased less than ten cars.

In order to decide if fleet leasing is the right option for you, you must discuss with your accountant and work out the costs involved, taking into account the monthly lease payments; gas, oil, and maintenance expenses; annual insurance premium, and license fees involved.

Another aspect to be considered is whether you need to appoint a person to manage your fleet or not.

The costs and savings associated with giving an allowance to your employees and getting them to lease their vehicles should also be worked out before deciding to go ahead with fleet leasing.

One important aspect that you must clearly take note of is the penalties involved if you have to terminate a lease before the contract expiry date. This is crucial especially if you are likely to experience cash flow fluctuations every month.

Some of the possible pitfalls that you need to keep in mind prior to signing on the dotted line are as follows:

Insurance Coverage

Some dealers ask you to raise your insurance coverage. This is because they own the vehicles you leased from them. You should shop around a little bit before you decide on your fleet service provider because insurance can be quite high.

You should also find out if you can buy a blanket policy that covers both your fleet and business.

Overextending Your Hard-Earned Money

Seeing many new vehicles parked in your company’s parking area is definitely an ego booster. However, you need to decide as to how many vehicles you really need.

You must take care not to get carried away at the time of ordering a fleet. It is, therefore, highly recommended that you analyze your requirements before placing the order.

Neglecting to ascertain about mileage limits

The expenses involved vary radically and ranges anywhere from 15 cents to 20 cents per each mile driven over the prescribed limit.

So, if you cover, for instance, 50000 miles every year, buying a fleet may be a better option than leasing. Of course, you need to work out the details for your situation before going ahead with one of the options.

Failing to compare buying and leasing costs

Most dealers often have vehicles that they want to sell off as early as possible and they will offer special discounts and deals if you are ready to purchase rather than lease.

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

Discuss with the fleet manager in detail and work out the costs of buying and leasing in order to see as to which option makes more sense in your case. Always get the comparison in writing.

Spending too much

Never allow yourself to be talked into making a down payment that is higher than what is normal.

Typically, the down payment involves the instalment amount and license fees that are payable and a small deposit.

Forgetting state taxes

 Indeed states like Nevada and Texas do not levy any taxes, but some states, for example, California, levy high taxes and registration fees. You have to pay them upfront when you lease vehicles.

Avoiding paperwork

Irrespective of the size of a fleet, you are required to keep track of the mileage and expenses for each vehicle. This is essential to budget your cash flow.

Some Helpful Tips

1. Be clear about the different types of vehicles you need – minivans, pickups, and/or passenger cars

2. Be sure as to what purpose each of the vehicles will be used for

3. Pick the right vehicles and not those that are cheap; If you do not choose the right vehicle, your job will not get done; some of the questions you must answer for selecting the right vehicle are: 

  • What will you haul using the vehicles? 
  • How much space is required? 
  • What should be the payload (weight capacity) of the vehicle you need?
  • How would you organize the payload? Will you need special shelving, ladder racks, or toolboxes? Consider whether the pickups and vans need to be specially equipped
  • How many people would be present in the vehicle at any point in time including the driver?
  • If the vehicle has to pull a trailer, what should be its size and capacity?
  • Whether a four-wheel drive is required for your vehicles? Will the vehicle be driven off-road to justify the additional expenditure of using four-wheel drives?

4. Know clearly the features needed on each vehicle – radios and air conditioning may be required but it is better to avoid fancy features

5. How much cargo space is required for accommodating your product?

6. How many miles do you need to cover in a year? The limit set by most leases is 12,000 to 15,000 miles in a year

7. Leasing a fleet from one dealer is more economical and efficient

8. When visiting dealerships, always discuss with their fleet manager

9. In addition to shopping for vehicles, shop for a lender as well

There are several fleet financing companies out there that are ready to discuss incentive programs, your buying needs, and payment modifications. You can find them by asking your dealer for providing a line of credit.

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

Or else, you can ask the dealer to recommend a leasing company they are already doing business with. Check with other lenders as well before finalizing anything.

You can also ask your bank if they have any fleet leasing programs. Alternatively, you can make use of a buying service for negotiating a deal and setting up financing arrangements.

31 Tips To Hire Best Drivers For Your Fleet

For many large fleet management organizations, hiring competent drivers is as much a challenging job as any other. A successful driver, they believe, represents the face of the company to the public and the customers.

In these modern times, fleet managers face significant issues when hiring drivers including a shortage of talented drivers.

The reasons for this include aging of the drivers, regulated number of driving hours for the drivers, increased freighting demands because of an improved economy, drivers taking up alternate jobs instead of driving, lack of driving experience of younger drivers, long working hours at a stretch, etc., among others.

Read Also: Healthy Habits for Truck Drivers

Given below are the skills, backgrounds, certifications and some other qualities that are required to be kept in mind when hiring drivers for your fleet and overcome the abovementioned shortage.

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Points to keep in mind when hiring drivers for your fleet

#1: Firstly conduct and interview to hire your fleet driver. This is the best way in which you can find out how efficient they are. You can also estimate their trustworthiness.

#2: After the interview, lead the shortlisted drivers on to a second practical driving test. This is the next screening that will help you to filter the better drivers for your fleet. You can practically test their driving skills. This will give you an idea to evaluate their skill, ease and comfort while driving the vehicle.

#3: Perform a background check and as certain that they do not any criminal background. They should also include a gauge of the safety accountability of the driver.

#4: Check the drivers’ licenses and driving certifications thoroughly. This is a very important stage.

#5: Take stock of the driver’s health by conducting a checkup. They should be fit enough to drive for long hours in a day.

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#6: The mechanical skills of the candidate should be in place. They should be able to overcome sudden and unpredictable technical difficulties quickly that the vehicle may experience during a trip.

#7: The driver of today should be a tech savvy person and be able to understand technology. Cars and trucks are equipped with the latest gadgetry including GPS trackers and fleet fuel cards. The candidate should be able to use these fully to manage the journey.

#8: Driving is a challenging job. Every day is a different one for the driver and this job requires the driver to act with grace and tolerance to end the day with satisfaction.

#9: A good driver must be calm and composed. They have to be able to contain their anger under the most stressful conditions.

#10: The drivers’ sense of responsibility in handling the vehicle, money, time and the jobs they are entrusted with is of supreme importance.

#11: Drivers of your fleet vehicles must be most well-behaved with clients, co-workers and the public at large. They should behave responsibly and carefully.

#12: How the driver excels in customer service is a very important aspect of building the image of the company. Hence you should select those drivers who behave in the best manner with your customers.

#13: Any driver would at many instances be required to execute more than one task at a time. This makes it imperative that a driver should be good at multitasking.

#14: The driver is trusted with the vehicle and all the members/goods that it carries. In this context, the driver is obliged to be trustworthy and be morally responsible for the transporting of goods or the people in the fleet.

#15: The driver must be alert at all times. His hearing ability should be top-notch. His hand-eye coordination should be perfect. These qualities ensure that he will be alert enough to be able to handle any unpredictable driving conditions that may arise.

Read Also: 5 Essential Safety Tips For Fleet Drivers

#16: Drivers that you hire should be honest at all times. They have more than just the vehicle on their hands at any point in time. They cannot compromise on their honest even for an instant.

#17: Drivers should be physically strong and have fit bodies. They are likely to meet the strangest individuals during their long-haul trips. They should be capable of overcoming any kind of adverse situation.

#18: The background checks and screening should include checking for moving violations for at least the last 10 years.

#19: It is important not to hire drivers that have DUI convictions. As an employer, you must have zero tolerance towards driving under the influence of alcohol.

#20: In case your company’s routes are across national borders, the driver’s license and background records should comply with the other country’s regulations as well.

#21: For recruiting truck drivers, it is a good idea to look at former service members. They are adept at handling large vehicles and have a way of learning the mechanical systems quickly.

#22: Recruiting middle-aged candidates as drivers brings in maturity and more experience in life skills.

#23: Hiring legal immigrants leaves you with candidates that are fluent in more than one language. This is likely to improve customer service and liaison with the public.

#24: Choosing a candidate with collaborative communication skills with the company and the public improves the service and the company image.

#25: Hiring a candidate with good mathematical skills goes a long way to understand customer documentation and fewer billing/invoice mistakes.

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#26: Being well-groomed and having a friendly demeanour is important for driver recruits as these two factors help to improve customer relationships.

#27: It is advantageous for the recruiter to find out if the candidate has a preferred route or a work-shift. This can help the recruiter to leverage this preference in terms of increased output from the candidate.

#28: It is a good idea to award plum routes and work-schedules to drivers with a lot of experience. This will make way for their improved performance and ensure that they stay on in the job for longer periods.

#29: It is a good idea for the recruiter to invest in advanced training and skills development for deserving drivers. This tells them that you are investing in their expertise and causes them to be more loyal to you.

#30: It is important to recruit candidates with sound knowledge of both verbal and written communication in Arabic (native) and English languages. This will ensure optimum communications and all required documentation to be in place.

#31: More than anything else, the candidate should love driving. Any person that loves his/her job does it well. Driving a truck or a car is good employment for those who do not want to work within the confines of an office.

Read Also: 6 Reasons Truck Driving Is A Dangerous Job [Incl. Safety Tips]

These are some of the best ways in which you can hire drivers for your fleet of vehicles.

31 Ways to Reduce Fleet Maintenance Costs

If you operate a fleet of vehicles for running your business, one of the key performance parameters would be the fleet maintenance costs. You need to reduce the costs involved to improve the bottom line of your business. Read on to know the different ways in which you can cut down the costs associated with fleet maintenance.

Read Also: 8 Tips for Managing Fleet Vehicles

#1:Consider changing your funding methods, especially if your fleet operation was started three-four years ago. The decisions you have taken a few years back might have become obsolete because of the changes in your business operations and other external factors.

#2: Create a new vehicle choice list based on carbon dioxide emission levels (140 gram per kilometer) and mileage considerations (45 miles per gallon). This will help you to realize significant savings in fuel consumption. There is no need to worry, you will have enough options.

#3: You will be able to save big time if you remove vehicle choice and adopt a policy of one management model and job requirement vehicle. This policy may not be popular with drivers, but their concerns can be addressed by offering better vehicles.

#4: Choosing vehicles on the basis of whole-life costs is another way in which you can reduce maintenance costs. Fleet managers often select vehicles based on their price. This does not provide a true picture of the actual cost of operating a vehicle across its lifetime.

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#5: Study the economics related to paying cash allowances instead of providing company cars by working out the costs incurred for each grade of employee. Choose an option based on the savings you can accrue over the life of the vehicle.

#6: You must encourage your employees to be mindful of fuel efficiency all the time. This will enable you to reduce your fuel bills substantially and, in turn, cut down fleet maintenance costs.  You can give the drivers several tips to drive efficiently.

#7: It is a good idea to choose the right fuel card provider. The fuel card provider chosen by you should make it possible for you to track your expenditure online. As the efficiency of the fuels can vary considerably, the use of fuel-saving additives might be helpful.

#8: Find out if free fuel is an attractive perk in terms of taxation point of view. Based on your findings you can decide how you would want to implement your policy so that it is beneficial to both parties.

#9: Another way in which you can achieve your goal of reducing your fleet maintenance costs is by encouraging refueling at appropriate places. Planning their journey in advance and refueling early helps to eliminate the need for filling fuel at expensive places.

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#10: It is important to identify ways in which drivers can help the company save a fortune on fuel costs. However, you need to communicate the same in an effective manner to your drivers and make sure that the momentum is maintained.

#11: Most of the tips provided in this post work for both car and van fleets. However, here are a few tips that are specific to van fleets: Consider using software for route and route and journey planning. Use smaller vans wherever possible. Opt for white vehicles. Odd colors tend to reduce residual value.

#12: Fleet vehicle downtime impacts profitability, disrupts work, increases admin time, and affects your relationship with your customers. A study carried out recently showed that accident rates are 30 percent to 40 percent higher in the case of fleet vehicles when compared to private vehicles.

#13: You should never assume that diesel vehicles are cheaper. Petrol vehicles are expensive in the long run. However, a petrol vehicle is a better option for if the distance covered is less than 10,000 miles in a year.

#14: Optimize daily rental usage by following a policy-driven decision rather than a driver-based decision to realize savings. Consolidating suppliers will help rationalize rates and makes monitoring costs and usage easier.

#15: Try to reduce grey-fleet journeys by putting them in the spotlight. This will encourage your employees to make informed decisions with respect to work-related journeys they always make.

#16: It is important to ensure that the fleet partner you are working with is the right service provider. This is to ensure that the fleet partner delivers cost savings without sacrificing customer service irrespective of whether you have a fleet size 1000 vehicles 40 vehicles.

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

#17: You should make a concerted effort to minimize the charges applicable when a fleet contract comes to an end. The fair amount of wear and tear allowed varies from one leasing company to another. So, it is important to go through the terms of the contract with a toothcomb before signing on the dotted line.

#18: Reducing driving speed helps you to save on fuel costs. Excessive speeding is not only risky but also consumes more fuel. While driving at 70 miles per hour increases fuel consumption by up to 9 percent than driving at 60 miles per hour, it is nearly 15 percent more when compared to driving at 50 miles per hour.

#19: It always pays to seek expert advice from the account manager. There are two aspects to managing a fleet: day-to-day interaction with drivers (it should be manned by employees who understand your vehicle policy) and strategic analysis of data.

#20: Deploying a vehicle tracking system encourages drivers to assume responsibility for their driving and avoid bad habits. When you monitor the behavior, driving speed, and fuel consumption, the drivers exercise care at the time of driving company vehicles.

#21: Reallocation of vehicles is another way in which you can cut your fleet maintenance costs. For many organizations, the cost associated with vehicle fleet maintenance is by far the second largest in terms of overhead expenses. Therefore, drawing out a reallocation policy is very helpful in cutting costs.

#22: You need to have a management information system in place to quickly access data related to your fleet costs. It is not easy to identify the tricky areas in the absence of a powerful tool for reporting fleet operations. This will help your Account Manager to provide you with the required information promptly.

#23: When it comes to avoiding excess mileage, some of the aspects include the following: Aim for the lowest realistic distance possible when signing a new contract.

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Work closely with your leasing company to avoid any surprises at the end of the contract period. Consider returning lease vehicle and utilizing daily rental vehicles if the charges related to excess mileage are too high. Employ telematics systems for capturing accurate mileage readings.

#24: If an online presentation, conference call, or video conference can resolve an issue, avoid using a fleet vehicle to meet a client.

#25: Most companies leave pool car management to those who are not directly involved with the overall fleet usage. When used in the right manner, the pool car fleet becomes one of the most cost-effective options and saves you a lot of money.

#26: To help your drivers understand the benefits of achieving fuel efficiency when driving fleet vehicles, you can arrange formal training programs. However, this initiative will work best when used in conjunction with sending out frequent reminders through other means.

#27: Who doesn’t enjoy independence? However, you must find out whether your team members should always drive in separate vehicles. If your team has to attend a program or an event at the same venue – for example, a client visit, trade exhibition, or conference – make sure that they share a vehicle and travel together.

#28: If you try to do a lot of things in-house, you might end up incurring unnecessary costs as a result of allocating valuable resources to activities that do not contribute to your core business at all. You should consider outsourcing some of your routine fleet tasks to another company. For that company, it is their core activity and they will follow industry best practice to deliver efficiencies and cost savings.

#29: Outsourcing fleet administration is one thing, but you should not overlook the time you invest in management. As time is money, you must consider the time you invest so that you can work smarter and not harder.

#30: Focus on continuously improving efficiencies. This is more of an attitude than an action plan.

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

#31: If you are operating your own vehicles, it is important to manage depreciation and sell a vehicle at a point in its lifecycle when it offers optimum value.

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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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

Theft-of-Valuables-Problems-Faced-By-Drivers-on-a-Trip

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.

Conclusion:

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.

6 Reasons Truck Driving Is A Dangerous Job [Incl. Safety Tips]

The high rate of on-job fatality in trucking industry is what makes truck driving a dangerous job. While job risks are universal, certain sectors have a higher degree of vulnerability compared to other jobs.

Know-your-vehicles-dy-t0-day-stories.

Truck driving is one of such kind which can pose fatal threats. In contrast, a large number of population still enjoy being a truck driver.

Let’s see why truck driving is touted as a dangerous job.

1. Weather Conditions

Weather-Conditions-Truck-Driving-Dangerous-job

Poor or extreme weather conditions are challenging for truck drivers. These not only lead to accidents but also impact the performance of vehicles.

Scorching sunny days, foggy mornings, freezing temperatures and rainy weather are not favorable for drivers and trucks. Such bad weather makes drive-ways vulnerable and driving dangerous.

Unexpected weather patterns always trouble drivers.

Rain: With heavy rain, road visibility reduces significantly. In addition to that, rain water forms a layer of water between tires of the vehicle and the road, resulting in hydroplaning.

Read Also: Healthy Habits for Truck Drivers

Moreover, slippery roads and hidden potholes make driving risky during rain.

Snow: During winter seasons, roads become more troublesome for truck drivers and trucks. Truck tires do not grip ice-covered roads well enough. It takes a lot of skill from drivers to combat such situations.

Wind: Trucks can wade off normal challenges posed by wind, but heavy wind would be hazardous. The massive structure of trailers cannot withstand whirlwinds and causes such vehicles to roll over.

Fog: Drivers cannot see through the road on foggy days. It hinders long-range visibility, increasing chances of bumping into other vehicles and at times even causing vehicles to drive off the road resulting in tragic accidents. In foggy days, it is better to avoid driving altogether.

Safety measures:

  • Park the truck somewhere safe and wait for a favorable climate
  • Practice defensive driving on poor weather condition
  • Limit the speed and use headlights for better visibility
  • Never use jack brake and keep ample distance between vehicles
  • Ensure proper tire pressure and fully functional wiring systems

2. Crowded Seasons

Crowded-Seasons-Truck-Driving

Local events such as carnivals, galas, protests, and rallies always happen by the roadways. People occupy roads to celebrate their regional or national events. Long hauling drivers may not aware about these local events.

Therefore, drivers have to pay attention to the social and political events over the route. During such occasions, people don’t care about vehicles on the road and can act vandalous.

They abruptly cross the road, are careless of the rules and won’t give enough attention to running vehicles. All these factors stand as possible challenges for truck drivers.

Safety measures:

  • Try to stay updated about news related to the route, including events
  • Figure out the crowd-free and fastest route to the destination
  • Slow down or pull off and wait while passing through a lively road
  • Use sound-horn frequently and proper indications while passing

3. Driver Fatigue

Driver-Fatigue-Truck-Driving

The urge to finish the trips as fast as possible forces truck drivers to skip healthy life practices. They may bypass timely food, daily schedules and sleep. Continuous sleepless drives can exhaust even the fittest drivers and cause adverse results.

Read Also: 5 Essential Safety Tips For Fleet Drivers

Most fatal accidents are caused due to driver fatigue. Improper duty schedules and practices are the major cause for making this job risky.

Safety measures:

  • Take appropriate food, breaks and rest on time
  • Prepare and follow a healthy daily schedule
  • Share the duty with a colleague in a timely manner
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol

4. Break Down

Break-Down-Truck-Driving

The life-period of machine parts in vehicles is unpredictable. Heavy machine parts undergo wear and tear over time, and cease functioning.

Especially, parts such as bearing, tubes, nozzles, pipes and moving components cease to perform or burst out. This results in drivers losing control of their vehicles, causing loss of time, life and property.

Safety measures:

  • Carry out thorough, periodical inspection and demand-based vehicle service
  • Carry a toolset for immediate repair requirements
  • Ensure engine oil, coolant and lubrication are enough
  • Check tire pressure and additional tire backup

 5. Poor Training    

Poor-Training-Truck-Driving

Heavy vehicle driving requires good amount of training. Despite the theoretical classes provided for heavy-duty drivers, they require different set of practices. Drivers have to be trained to handle vehicles on different terrains and diverse climatic conditions.

Mostly, poor vehicle controlling capacity and lack of expert knowledge in taking quick decisions make them victims. Drivers with less experience in long hauling trips have to assist such trips before being assigned for the long trip.

The lack of drivers in trucking industry is also a reason for skipping measuring the experience level of drivers.

Safety measures:

  • Get proper heavy vehicle driving training
  • Train until you can handle trucks in all terrains.
  • Practice truck driving over all-weather condition.
  • Gain adequate vehicle engineering knowledge

6. Distracted Driving

Distracted-Driving-Truck-Driving

Almost every road accident is caused by the lack of attention while driving. Multi-tasking during driving is the root source of this menace. Drivers indulging in smartphones usage, drinking & eating, reading, watching video, talking, and cleaning while driving are all factors which contribute to distracted driving.

Unfortunately, most of the case ends up in fatal injuries and hefty loss. Other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorists are the common victims.

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

Safety measures:

  • Never engage in any activities which can distract your attention
  • Take extra caution while driving through crowded roads.
  • Pull off the truck while doing any other activity.

Though a lot of perils are hiding in truck driving job, we can mitigate it significantly. Following the safety measures and exercising the appropriate driving practice can help making truck driving a safe job.

Do You Know The Real Efficiency Of Your Vehicle?


Technically, the term ‘efficiency’ means- the ratio of the useful work performed by a machine. But, economically, it is the expected productivity.

Nevertheless, how the vehicles that are manufactured with the same efficiency, components and care become dissimilar when it comes to performance and productivity on the road?

Read Also: 6 Tips For Effective Fleet Maintenance

The purposes of all vehicles are the same, transportation. But, to ensure a comfortable conveyance, it takes periodic maintenance and proper care. Also, if the vehicle fails to bring a productive outcome, it is not efficient for our business.

Once Mr. Zygmunt Bauman said, Relationships, like cars, should undergo regular services to make sure they are still roadworthy.

Likewise, it’s all depends on the way we take care of the vehicle. Plus, the terrains, driving practice, timely maintenance, and appropriate care involve in determining its efficiency.

What is the efficiency of a vehicle in our business?


The term efficiency comprises a number of meanings. In the automobile sector, the term efficiency is more related to fuel economy and the performance of the engine.

In a business setting, the efficiency of a vehicle can be defined as the influence of the vehicle in increasing productivity continuously.

In short, vehicle efficiency can be defined as the ability of a vehicle to deliver expected performance continually at the best within the compliance.

It largely depends upon the collective ability of engine, fuel, design, drive train, weight, aerodynamics, timely services, proper maintenance, driving behavior, and terrains.

Today, the definition touches the environmental requirements such as carbon emission and type of fuel, and safety standards as well.

How does the efficiency of a vehicle falling and impacts the business?

It was a matter of wonder on the past, not now, to find out, how vehicles are losing their efficiency over time. People confused a lot around the vehicles to figure out the exact problems.

Luckily, we are blessed with advanced technologies as if fleet management systems and software’s to find out those haunting problems.

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

More often, productivity falls down because of poor maintenance and bad driving behavior of vehicles.

The unhealthy driving practices such as abrupt acceleration and deceleration, reckless driving, sudden braking, unnecessary idling, rash gear shifting, improper service, irregular maintenance, rough terrains worsen the efficiency of the vehicle over time.

Know-your-vehicles-dy-t0-day-stories.

Since each part contributes a lot to the productivity of our vehicle. We cannot overlook a single scratch over the vehicle. If the light fails to get dim and bright on time, it may cause critical problems across the way.

Same is the case of every part of a vehicle. So, the ignorance of the driver also plays an important role.

Hence, the loss of each productive moment due to the vehicles inefficiency will amount to a huge loss for the business.

How can we maintain efficiency?


To achieve sustainable efficiency, we need a sustainable way to take care of our vehicles. Moreover, finding out the exact issue is another reason that helps to maintain efficiency.

The clear real-time status of the vehicle and the way it has been handled is the best method that helps us to find out how the efficiency of vehicles is declining. Hence, all we need is a broad eye to monitor and analyze the vehicles and their drivers.

Preventing irresponsible driving behavior, unbearable loads, and unhealthy routes help us to maintain the efficiency of vehicles immensely.

Also, observing the fuel consumption rate on different trips, foreseeing the hurdles on the road, equipping the vehicle for all weather enables us to optimize productivity.

Conclusion

Hence, to yield the real efficiency of our vehicle, it requires all-inclusive vehicle management practice. Starting from monitoring the small parts of the vehicle, we have to maintain and meet every requirement for the uninterrupted and efficient vehicle operation.

Read Also: 5 Essential Safety Tips For Fleet Drivers

Further, if you have fleets of vehicle, you have to give the same attention for every vehicle at the same time.

Analyzing all aspects of the vehicles including maintenance, driver, weather, seasons and the purpose, we have to be an efficient fleet manager all the way.

How Fleet Management Software Helps Oil And Gas Industry?

In the oil and gas industry transportation is an inevitable necessity to transit goods, workforce, products and essentials to and fro.

Working as an embedded industrial line which comprises mining rigs, extraction sites, and heavy machineries, storing facilities, refineries and dump yards, oil and gas industry required an efficient fleet service as well.

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

Hence, it is a tedious task for a manager in the oil industry to handle fleet operation every day.

Therefore, employing a competent fleet management system helps a lot to control risks and optimize all sorts of transportation operations productively.

Let’s look at how fleet management will help the oil and gas industry.

1. Minimize Downtime

Oil and gas industry is too much costly to afford downtime. Possibly, excessive labor and restless operation is the primary cause of downtime in the fleet industry. In addition, the improper driving practices and irregular service schedules hit hard it’s productive functioning.

Furthermore, unexpected terrain conditions and weather also incur downtimes in the oil and gas industry.

To eliminate all the chances of downtime we have to cautious about almost everything accompanying the fleet operations including:

  • Road terrain
  • Weather status
  • Traffic trend
  • Vehicle condition
  • Driver behavior
  • Vehicle efficiency

Hence, by employing fleet management software you can scan across the fleet activities and the external conditions via sensors and GPS tracking systems.

Further, this software enables the fleet driver and managers to get the health condition of vehicles as well as drivers in real-time.

Thereby, fleet management software can minimize downtime by:

  • Update vehicle working condition.
  • Recommend better driving practice.
  • Suggest better route map for trips.
  • Inform traffic trends on the road.
  • Schedule trip chart and duty roster
  • Warn and report hazardous practices.
  • Real-time communication channel.

2. Greater Safety

It is an open fact that the oil and gas industry is a rugged terrain where safety is at stake. The chances of safety hazards are unpredictable. Hence, taking the possible precautions help to ensure a safe working environment.

Fleet management software offers greater safety with zero compromises on efficiency.

Moreover, working hand-in-hand with all essential safety policies and compliance parameters of different vehicles, fleet management system enables to run tense-free fleet operation in the oil and gas industry.

Fleet management software helps you to ensure safety by informing:

  • Optimized route track.
  • Unsafe weather conditions.
  • Location of vehicle.
  • Driver working hours.
  • Vehicle health status.
  • Compliance report.
  • Driving trends and behavior.
  • Activity and efficiency report.
  • Incident report.

Hence, fleet management software leaves no room for any kind of negligence and vulnerable conditions to put the fleet operation at risk.

3. Reduce Fuel Expense

One of the very reason businesses of all sizes are employing Fleet management software is its amazing capability to reduce fuel expense significantly.

This software allows you to find out fuel consumption trends across the trips. Analyzing the roads and the driving trends fleet management system helps in finding the real cause of fuel wastage.

Read Also: Why Is Fleet Maintenance Important For Heavy-Duty Trucks?

Furthermore, the daily activity and expense report give a detailed picture of daily trip expense trends.

Tracing the below factors fleet management software suggests an optimized plan which could eliminate all unnecessary expenses.

  • Trip duration
  • Idling time
  • Number of stops
  • Acceleration rate
  • Off-road rides
  • Driving behavior
  • Road and traffic
  • Location and route

4. Driver Communication

In oil and gas industry the location of the different facilities such as labor camp, material depot, refinery, mines, and rigs would be far.

Hence, the fleets might be sheering over different locations at the same time.

Hence, to avoid any sort of miscommunication and confusions, a proper communication channel that connects every vehicle to the fleet operators is essential.

Fleet management system helps to mitigate these problems by serving as a proactive communication channel across the fleets with the managers.

In addition, it gives proper warning and notifications when necessary to both drivers and fleet managers.

  • Drivers can communicate with fleet managers and other drivers.
  • Managers can communicate with all drivers and control accessibility.
  • Notifications and warning can be sent to both drivers and managers.

5. Preventive Maintenance

Inspecting the hundreds of vehicles dashing across the oil and gas fields every day is an impossible task for fleet managers and operators.

The heavy-duty machines and labor conveyers run long distance each day and travel through different terrain that may weaken them.

However, in oil and gas fields we cannot compromise in safety anyway. Hence the fleet management system is the best resolution to monitor and upkeep the health of vehicles every day.

Fleet management system read the status of reach working component in the vehicles and sends a detailed report to the fleet command center.

Analyzing the report, fleet managers can schedule appropriate service frequencies and follow up the vehicle maintenance activities systematically.

The predictive maintenance system informs the necessary makeovers in the vehicle beforehand and helps to avoid midway hassles.

Conclusion:

Since the purpose and the need for vehicles in the oil and gas industry are diversified and unavoidable, it requires more care for running an uninterrupted work cycle.

Read Also: 5 Essential Safety Tips For Fleet Drivers

Fleet management software comes with every provision that fleet managers are sought after long since to ease out the daily tasks. It has helped enterprises of all size to cut off unnecessary expenses and safety concerns over vehicles and drivers. Thus, employing a fleet management solution for your fleets helps you a lot for sure.