Tag Archives: Fleet Maintenance

25 Tips to Reduce Fleet Fuel Cost

Any strategy to reduce the fuel costs of a fleet of buses/cars/ trucks is welcome. There are different methods used by managers of large fleets to control fuel costs of the vehicles.

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We have attempted to list down some of the most useful tips that you can keep in mind to reduce the fuel costs of large fleets. 

How to Cut Down on Fuel Spend

Many managers witnessed a large fall in fuel costs when drivers were trained appropriately and their mentalities changed over time. 

1: Improve Driver Behaviour

This, according to fleet managers, is the smartest thing to do. How the drivers are taught to act on the road impacts total fuel costs incurred by a company.

Read Also: 31 Ways to Reduce Fleet Maintenance Costs

This is of greater importance to those organizations that own large fleets of vehicles. 

Driving behaviour such as accelerating too fast, speeding the vehicle frequently, time spent on idling the engine, etc., can increase fuel costs. The best way to find out if your fleet drivers are doing all of these is to install telematics.

This provides the data. When data is available, regular training and relevant guidance are provided to the drivers. The drivers can be trained without the telematics data as well. 

It is a good idea to invest in driver safety training. This helps them to identify their driving weaknesses and help them get better in those areas. 

2: Use seasonal driving techniques

It will prove useful to employ seasonal driving techniques as the different times in the year demand: cold weather techniques during the fall and winter and warm weather techniques during spring and summer. 

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Cold weather driving techniques

  • Just warm up the vehicle by idling for about 30s and drive off gently. Engines warm up easily when the vehicle is being driven. Try to keep idling to a minimum just to warm up the vehicle.
  • Seat warmers and defrosters should be used only to a minimum to save fuel.
  • The vehicle’s oil should be suited to cold weather. 

Warm weather driving techniques

  • Keep the air conditioner use to a minimum.
  • Keep the windows of the vehicle open when driving. This keeps the insides cool and renders the vehicle more fuel-efficient. 
  • When driving on the highway at higher speeds keep the windows closed and switch on the air conditioner if necessary. 

3: Route planning helps

Planning better routes gets your drivers to go where they want quickly. They would spend less time driving and idling the vehicles and this means a sure saving of fuel. It is a good idea to plan vehicle routes by investing in GPS trackers and using relevant traffic apps that may be available.

4: Check the tires regularly

Tires have a huge impact on the consumption of fuel. When the summer approaches, ensure that you change the tires by removing the ones that plied during the winter. The extra grip that tires use in the winter means they are using up more gas. 

It is important to check the tire pressure from time to time. Tires that have less inflation than what is required makes the drivers accelerate more than necessary. This means the usage of more gas. Mileage is greatly reduced in such cases. 

5: Save money whenever possible

Fuel prices are always rising and we do not have a control on that. However, it is always possible to choose the right type of fuel for the vehicle. If you choose the lowest grade of the fuel for a specific vehicle every single time, then it means lower prices. It is also worthwhile to find gas suppliers that charge you the least.

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

Quick Tips

6: Fleet managers should work out the possibility of keeping costs down by using smaller vehicles with higher mpg.

7: using vehicles with four-cylinder engines may help to reduce fuel costs.

8: Adding hybrid vehicles to urban fleets may help to cut down costs. 

9: Personal use charges can be increased to recoup fuel spends. 

10: It is also a good idea to eliminate personal use. This will surely result in a reduction of fuel spends. 

11: Monitoring unauthorized use of company vehicles when they are not plying for the company trips (such as when the driver is on a vacation) helps to cut on fuel expenses. 

12: Fleet vehicle drivers have to be trained to switch off the engine if the vehicle engine has to idle for more than 30 seconds. This takes up more gas than when starting the engine. 

13: When more than one driver takes the vehicle along the same route, it is vital to see that they take only one vehicle along that route. The others can be rerouted or assigned different jobs.

14: From time to time it is vital to remove all the low-mpg vehicles and optimize the fleet vehicle performance. This will keep the fuel spends at a low level. 

15: Vehicle assignments can be reworked so that they are closer to the repair network. This will cut down to and fro fuel consumption.

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16: Never overload fleet trucks to more than their capacity. 

17: Modifying the tire and track specifications can help to save on fleet fuel expenses.

18: Modifying the truck gears so that the engines run at less RPM for a given speed means that less fuel would be consumed. 

19: Wind drag can be reduced by making the vehicle as aerodynamic as possible. Keep the windows rolled up most of the times when on the highway. 

20: It is a good idea to remove all extraneous devices from the outside of the vehicles. This serves to reduce fuel consumption.

21: it is worthwhile to change the drivers’ habits. Some ways in which fleet managers can do this are as follows:

  • Send email newsletters to communicate suggestions
  • Sending out DVDs showing fuel economy tips to the drivers

Only constant reminders would help to change the drivers’ attitudes and habits.

22: Drivers should strive to be energy conscious and practice energy conservation habits regularly while driving. 

23: Drivers can use training modules, even online ones, to learn fuel conservation techniques for their vehicles. 

24: Remove all unnecessary items from the vehicles before a trip. 

25: It is always important that drivers adhere to the set speed limits. Driving the vehicle faster tends to use up much more gasoline leading to quicker gas depletion. 

Read Also: 8 Tips for Managing Fleet Vehicles

A few small actions can lead to mighty savings on fuel spends. This is especially true for a fleet of vehicles. 

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.

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.

Top 5 Tips to Increase Efficiency of Your Fleet

The processes of yielding maximum efficiency of vehicles are not magical. It involves a lot of regular responsibilities and duties. Especially, for fleets, there is no short cut to upkeeps its productivity.

The everyday inspection to driver satisfaction matters in the process. Thereby, the degree of efficiency would be the sum result of the care that we put into the fleet. 

Read Also: What is fleet management – All you need to know

However, fortunately, today fleet management technologies have brought the process under a single platform and made fleet management easy and efficient. 

Let’s see a few ways to increase the efficiency of your fleet.

1. Employ Fleet management system

Gone are the days that we need to go after every vehicle and check its welfare every day. Now enterprises are managing their fleets through fleet management systems. , it helps to reduce downtime significantly and guarantees efficiency

Fleet management system engulfs every action determining the efficiency of vehicles. It has overturned the old-school ways of fleet operation and eases out the tasks of fleet managers.

Through employing advanced technologies such as GPS, AI, Machine Learning and Telematics, fleet management software is helping to figure out the real issues across the fleet operation.

Automating the task and schedules with the data, this system helps us to save enormous time and thereby enhance productivity. By tracking the fleet routes and the rate of fuel consumption fleet management system help us to understand the graph of efficiency. 

2. Follow the Inspection Cycle

Periodic inspections have many good traits that contribute to vehicle efficiency. It helps a lot to update the status of vehicles and work-cycle.  Not only it enables us to find out external issues but also let us keep it ride-worthy.

Keeping an inspection cycle make the drivers and additional fleet staff to do their duty on time. Also, by checking up the permits, documents and driver license, we can ensure the compliance of vehicles too.

Further, a stringent inspection practice eliminates the wavy tendency of employees to skip the responsibilities. A regular checkup will also inspire the drivers to engage more with the authorities to maintain a good relationship as well.

3. Offer Training and Rewards Programs

Drivers are the key contributors to productivity. Any negligence from their part impacts the entire efficiency of vehicles adversely. Since the behavior of drivers and associated fleet staffs are different, proper training helps to bring all of them into a standardized practice.

Especially, training for using updated technologies such as fleet management software and incident informing systems will ease out the works and creates an effective

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

Further, by appreciating their contributions to enhancing productivity will inspire them more. Reward programs are another set of encouragement for drivers and staffs for their responsible services.

4. Try Preventive maintenance

Unexpected breakdowns cost a lot for enterprises every day. They are a daunting menace for fleet owners in the business. However, if we can find the issues and working status of vehicles in prior or in an early stage we can prevent it appropriately.

Even though drivers and fleet operators carry out their periodical inspections, they may not able to figure out the exact issues. However, the problems beyond our bare eyes can find out by modern AI enabled fleet management’s software.

Thus it ensures an uninterrupted work cycle that can enlighten vehicle efficiency and thereby productivity.

5. Update Technology Features

Technology has a tremendous role in making businesses efficient. Also, it has been advancing every day to reduce the human effort. Hence, using appropriate technologies help us to boost the efficacy of fleet operation as well.

With the advent of fleet management technology, the modes of fleet operations have been digitalized. Fleet management technologies of today can help fleet owners to optimize all their operations at once.

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

From picking the appropriate routes, scheduling drivers, analyzing routes, measuring the efficiency, tracing the driver behaviors and vehicle condition fleet technologies can help eliminate unproductive practices.

Conclusion

As we know to achieve maximum efficiency consistently we have to keep the focus on a lot of matter.  The way we manage the vehicles, drivers, compliance, schedules, and maintenance determines the efficiency of the fleet. 
Employing all these tips in our fleet operation we can steer our fleets efficiently and productively. 

7 Essential Skills To Become A Successful Fleet Manager

Many of us may think that the role of a fleet manager is quite hilarious as if –a back seat driver. They can drive the fleet crazily all their way from there comfort. In fact, a good fleet manager is not a reckless person who steers their fleets as they wish but handles everything systematically and productively.

As we look at the fleet manager, they are who set the hard and fast rules of the fleets assigned.

Their duties involve selecting the most suitable vehicles, scheduling the routes, assigning the drivers, recommending the service and maintenance, updating the documents and the list of duties and the chart and is endless.

Read Also: 6 Tips For Effective Fleet Maintenance

As the purpose of the fleet and the kind of services changes, the job of the fleet manager varies. Nevertheless, regardless of the challenges, all it needs is proper coordination and better communication.

Since single drivel can turn the business at stake, it is a job of attention and agility.

Today, let’s check what skills can make you a successful fleet manager.

1. Be a pro-multitasker

The best feature in a multitasker would be the ability to act lively on different tasks. Hence, for fleet management no less than a buzzing multitasker can handle this job.

There will be days when you can’t even sit back and take a breath to relax. The wagons and its drivers may screech from nowhere for help.

Also, you have to meet the productive scale on a day-to-day basis. From the procurement of new vehicles to bidding farewell to the decades-old vehicles may come on a single day. So, a fleet manager should be able to tackle any matter arising around the vehicles.

 The fleet manager will be the only contact point for all the troubles coming across the way. Further, the manager should be up-to-date with the changing compliance of all sorts of vehicles and its road rules either.

So be a pro-multitasker all the way to cater to the needs of the fleets and the drivers. Be on the toe all the time. 

2. Be scheduled intact

The fleets can’t make a move until they get a command. Because the bridle is with the fleet manager!

Of the tens of hundreds of tasks, there will be jobs that require different degree of attention. Sorting the productive and unproductive works is more vital for stacking the tasks properly on a daily basis.

Surprisingly, there won’t be many days with fewer schedules. Hence, a simplified schedule will help you to break down the tasks in a handy manner.

Always upkeep the list of vehicles and their working condition. Get updates from the drivers every day. Maintain a day-to-day log that can produce for future reference.

Also, schedule the fleets and its according routes at least a day before. Educate the driver about the productivity index that the company follows.

Plus, the adequacy to meet compliance and discipline on road. And be ready with the action plan for the troubles coming from nowhere.

Hence, a good schedule always enables you to follow up and meet everyday jobs pretty well.

3. Be a vehicle enthusiast          

Like the saying, it takes a thief to catch a thief, and it is no different in the automobile sector. Only an automobile savvy can find out the issues on a vehicle precisely.

Being a fleet manager, it is better to have a clear understanding of the basic working principles of vehicles. Specifically, to scale the value of various issues coming across vehicle management.

Moreover, having a decent knowledge of automobile mechanisms will help to communicate better with the drivers. Further, it enables us to make decisions quite easily at times.

Similarly, always update the technological as well as technical knowledge. Thus, you can upscale and optimize the fleet operation more profitably.

4. Be a tech enthusiast

The wave of technology has reached over the shores of fleet management as well. The modes of managing fleets and its intricate operations are regulated by digital and mobile technology.

Amazingly, these software has cut down the more than half of the workload of the managers all the way.

Today, fleet management software is the lead role that is in control of fleet operations. 

Read Also: What is fleet management – All you need to know

It encircles almost every aspect of fleet such as recommending the best routes, tracking the wheels, reporting to the events, updating the data, scheduling the trips and communication between the drivers on the ride.

If you are familiar with the technologies and software, you can easily educate the drivers to simplify their jobs too. It simply says you cannot be a successful fleet manager while indifferent to emerging technologies. So be a good tech enthusiast especially in the vehicle technologies.

5. Be a good communicator

The very trouble arising amid the employees and the employer is mostly triggered by the lack of effective communication.

The employer cannot understand what the employees have meant and the same process rotates vice-versa across the workflow.  

So, as a person who needed to rattle off with a lot of people, a fleet manager shall communicate quite effectively. Above that, it should be understandable for everyone.

Regardless of the scenario, the fleet manager could mitigate the issue without compromising on the other responsibilities.

Further, be a good listener too. Understand their problems and the worries of drivers. Resolve it in the meantime. Also, if you have the flair to educate the employees proficiently, the half job is done. Hence, just be a good communicator.

6. Be a leader and an analyst

What makes a manager stands out is the ability to lead a team professionally. Hence a fleet manager is supposed to be more of a leader than a manager. The fleet and the drivers are led by the fleet manager alone, so this skill is a must have for every fleet manager.

When a hurdle pops up over the route or an unfortunate event has occurred during a trip, the fleet manager should be capable of dealing and leading the situation to a good resolution.

As a role of numerous responsibilities, a fleet manager is the very point of contact that every fleet sharpens their ears more accurately for making a move. Thus the role demands a conscious analysis of every process happening across the sector as well.

7. Be up-to-date

How annoying it would be when our manager repeats the same old story again and again? Undoubtedly, it sounds mundane and no one gives an ear.

Particularly, in fleet management, a lot of intuitive changes and updates come over time. The legislation, compliance, rules, and regulations have a thrilling tendency to vacillate often. And the changes may often influence by climate, seasons and movements in-laws.

Moreover, the age of the vehicle, maintenance cycle, duty schedules, certificates, and permits, policies also expire and need to renew yearly.

Read Also: 5 Essential Safety Tips For Fleet Drivers

So, it is the duty of a fleet manager to follow up every string that follows the fleets and update it accordingly. Hence, it demands a skill to gather and share up-to-date information.

Conclusion:

However, the attributes are numerous that can up-skill our abilities to become a successful fleet manager. The above list is a few of the important qualities that we have to master.

As a manager, we would be expected to cater to all the requirements for the management as well as the subordinates. Hence it takes all these skills to function our jobs productively.