Finding The Efficiency Your Fleet Needs
For many businesses, including those that are part of the rapidly growing eCommerce world, a fleet of vehicles can a critical part of your operations.
Your fleet opens up avenues for delivery and logistics that you don’t have otherwise. However, it’s not enough to simply buy the fleet of vehicles and to hire the drivers to man them. You need to manage the fleet to make sure that it’s effective, efficient, and an overall benefit to the business.
Hire with care
As mentioned, there’s more to hiring drivers than making your fleet run well. A big part of it is going to be making sure that you’re hiring the best drivers, with the qualifications and the attitude that can help your logistics run a lot more smoothly. If you have trouble sourcing good drivers in your area, then working with a professional driving recruitment agency might help a lot. Otherwise, you should look more carefully at your requirements. A driving license that meets all the class requirements should be the bare minimum. Additional skills such as time management and effective communication are crucial, as is a clean driving record to make sure that you reduce the risk of hiring anyone that may bring reckless habits into your fleet.
Don’t make policy informal
You might have expectations of how your drivers should behave, as well as loose understandings of the kind of maintenance checks they should make before they take their vehicle out on the road. However, the looser these are, the more likely they are to be treated as recommendations, rather than actual policy. As such, you can look here to see the kind of fleet policy that you should have and make sure that compliance is enforced throughout the company, as strictly as it needs to be with each case. This includes rules on good driving behavior, as well as the channels that your team takes to report any issues or breaks in procedure up the chain of command.
Make sure your purpose is clear
Effective communication is part of what keeps any business fleet running at its very best. Typically this means getting information to drivers as well as those talking to them over the radio about changes in routes, deliveries, and so on. There’s a lot of data that goes into managing a fleet well, and fleet management software is a big help in a lot of ways, but a big part of that is automating many of the processes that run the fleet. Otherwise, your team might be relying on looking through and updating spreadsheets, which just adds a lot of admin that slows down communication, and makes their jobs more stressful.
Track your fleet’s operational costs
One of the other benefits of fleet management software is the precision with which it allows you to grasp the true total cost of ownership for each vehicle. You can all manner of costs, including fuel, maintenance, insurance, and repayments for any loans or leases. It also makes it a lot easier to see where these costs are getting too high for your budget, allowing you to pinpoint where you can stand to spend more efficiently or cut costs. By separating the costs into fixed and variable costs, you can also get a better idea of the bare minimum that you can spend to keep your fleet operational. This is not to say that bare minimum is what you should be spending, but it gives you your lower limit so you understand what you’re going to be paying no matter what and how that fits into your budget.
Strengthen your fuel efficiency approach
Reducing the fuel consumption of your fleet vehicles is, naturally, going to affect your overall operational costs. But there are other advantages, too, such as running a more eco-friendly business. There are a lot of options that can help you reduce fuel consumption in your fleet, such as buying vehicles with better MPG where possible, as well as teaching driving habits that reduce consumption, such as not leaving engines idling and teaching drivers to accelerate and decelerate more gently on the road.
Ensure your vehicles are always at their best
Wear and tear happen all the time on the road. Components are going to get pushed to their limits and beyond. This is especially true of vehicles that are used professionally since they tend to be driven a lot longer and more often than personally owned vehicles. As such, it’s essential that you invest in preventative maintenance, as well as frequent checks on your vehicles to make sure they don’t break down on the road, while always operating as efficiently as possible. You can click here to see examples of the kinds of services that professional semi-trailers rely on. Partnering with the right professionals for your specific kind of vehicle is the best way to make sure they stay good on the road for longer.
The purest pathfinding
Getting your vehicles on the road is one thing. Getting them where they need to go is another. But finding the best route from the former to the latter is going to be where the big savings lie. Finding faster and more efficient routes is about more than choosing the straight road. You can use intelligence gathered from telematics technology to combine with road conditions and traffic reports, giving live feedback to your drivers so that they choose the route that will help them more quickly reach the destinations that they plan on hitting up. This helps you improve your fuel efficiency and complete more trips per day, not to mention helping deliveries get to customers sooner.
Business fleets, even small ones, are pretty costly to maintain. If you fail to take care of them and make sure they are operating as they should be, they can eat a bigger chunk into your profits than you might suspect. The tips above are here to try and ensure that this doesn’t happen.