Every fleet manager wants their fleet of vehicles to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Vehicle maintenance, fuel efficiency, driver safety, vehicle tracking, wear and tear, and environmental impact can all significantly affect the performance of a vehicle. Here are six things every fleet manager should know so they can maintain an efficient fleet.
1. Fleet Tracking
Vehicle tracking is an excellent way to monitor the location and state of vehicles in a fleet. Most fleets choose to use GPS software, but it's also possible to use something like fuel cards or odometer readings. A great option is a GPS tracking dashcam that can save and record footage in case of accidents or disputes. Regularly checking up on a fleet's location can give managers the chance to ensure the vehicles are being handled properly, and make sure they're not wasting resources by traveling long distances at once.
2. Fuel Efficiency
Fuel efficiency can be monitored in several ways, but fleet managers should check driving habits and vehicle maintenance. Driving habits such as brake checking and speed changes can impact fuel economy drastically. Correcting these behaviors can improve fuel economy by up to 10%. Vehicle maintenance is another crucial factor when it comes to fuel efficiency. Cleaning air filters, changing oil, and checking tire pressure are all easy ways to improve fuel efficiency.
3. Vehicle Maintenance
Vehicle maintenance is important for fleets of any size. Black box software can help track the condition of vehicles without requiring constant attention from managers. It's also possible to use odometer readings to check how many miles have been driven on a vehicle. Cleaning and maintaining vehicles help reduce maintenance costs and can extend the life of a vehicle by up to 100,000 miles.
4. Driver Safety
Drivers have a responsibility to keep themselves and others safe when operating a fleet vehicle. Defensive driving courses are a great way for drivers to learn how to be safer on the road. It's also important to make sure the vehicle is in good working order, and drivers should keep an eye on tire pressure and fluid levels.
Driver safety needs to be of top priority because safe driving habits can prevent accidents and save money. Not only is it crucial for the driver's safety, but also the safety of passengers and people in other vehicles, not to mention whatever is being transported will stay intact. There are also financial costs when collisions occur. All in all, it is important to be a safe driver and make sure the vehicle is well taken care of.
Fleet managers need to know that driving conditions are not always ideal or what drivers are used to at home. They need to let their employees know how to adjust. Drivers should familiarize themselves with their vehicles before leaving on long road trips. Making sure the shocks are in good condition will decrease the chances of accidents, keep the tires properly inflated so they do not wear down too quickly, and most importantly ensure there is enough fuel in the tank for both directions of travel, especially if they have never driven anything similar before.
5. Vehicle Wear and Tear
Fleet managers need to pay close attention to any damage or wear that occurs to vehicles in their fleet. Keeping detailed records of damages can help save time when it comes time for maintenance checks. If there are any unauthorized damages like dents or paint, fleet managers may be able to get cashback from an insurance company if they're enrolled in a service like Protect My Car. Making sure vehicles aren't damaged due to improper use is crucial for keeping them maintained and functional in fleets of all sizes. The most important things to assess are tire wear and tire pressure.
6. Environmental Impact
Environmental impact is often overlooked when it comes to fleet management. While it may not be possible for some fleets, some steps can be taken to reduce the environmental impact of a fleet. Using biodiesel and ethanol-based fuels can help decrease carbon dioxide emissions. Properly disposing of waste oil and recycling as much as possible is another good way to cut down on environmental impact.
You should also know that, when it comes to environmental impact, fleet managers should be aware of local and state environmental ordinances. There may be limits on where and how vehicles can idle, so it's important to keep up with these policies when tracking environmental impact.
By following these six things, fleet managers can improve their operations by increasing vehicle performance and keeping costs low at the same time. Fleet managers should check previous drivers' driving records and make sure they're checking up on the location and state of their vehicles regularly to keep their fleet running smoothly and efficiently.