Tag Archives: Real Efficiency Of Your Vehicle

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.

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.

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.

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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.