Successful fleet management requires an efficient operation. However, most fleet managers get buried in unending, inefficient, and time-consuming activities, which rarely enhance their productivity and bottom line. Manual administrative tasks, fluctuating fuel prices, vehicle maintenance expenses, communication issues, poor driver management, and asset utilization are some of the productivity challenges your fleet management will likely face.
Managing a fleet spread across a wide geographic area, complications handling fleet data, software that doesn’t easily integrate with existing systems, and unauthorized utilization of fleet assets can also impact productivity. Despite these challenges, you can enhance fleet efficiency for increased profitability. Here are seven ways to improve fleet productivity.
1. Leverage mobile fuel delivery services
With the traditional supply chain problems impacting fuel deliveries across the United States, mobile fuel delivery is an excellent way to improve efficiency and productivity. Leveraging fuel delivery services to fill your tanks wherever you eliminate the need for drivers to look for fuel and wait in long queues at gas stations. Mobile fuel delivery services, especially during downtimes, allow drivers to start their daily activities with fueled trucks and avoid possible hazards linked with contaminated and dirty gasoline pumps.
On-site fuel delivery lets you concentrate more on revenue-generating tasks without dealing with disruptions caused by refueling stops. It also minimizes stops by drivers, helping them keep on schedule. Once a route is done, drivers don’t have to refuel at off-route gas stations, meaning no wasted miles. With a trusted mobile fuel delivery service such as instafuel.com, you can improve your drivers’ productivity while eliminating the traditional fuel supply chain risks, including contamination, fire, theft, and vapor risks.
2. Implement a regular preventive maintenance program
Fleet maintenance is crucial to ensuring your fleet’s profitable and successful operations. It involves maintaining your fleet proactively instead of repairing them after breaking down. Ensuring your fleet is in top-performing condition could be the difference between a failing and a successful business.
Good fleet maintenance helps ensure problems, including tire blowouts and brake failure, are quickly addressed while maintaining fleet safety. If part of your fleet goes out of commission, you’re likely to experience a loss in productivity, goods and equipment damage, and person-hours wasted as your drivers wait for a tow. Proper maintenance ensures fewer mechanical issues, promoting fleet reliability.
Regular fleet maintenance allows you to remain compliant with state, local, and federal laws involving registrations, inspections, FMCSA safety scores, and more. Excellent maintenance results in minimal compliance headaches. Also, preventive maintenance is less costly than reactive repairs, saving money. Mechanical issues can be pretty stressful. With regular preventive care, you can ensure driver satisfaction by avoiding roadside breakdowns and customer happiness by getting to them on time.
3. Invest in fleet management software
Embracing modern fleet management systems and eliminating outdated practices is an excellent way to increase efficiency, communication, and visibility and streamline workflows. Fleet management software mainly gathers, keeps, processes, tracks, and generates reports throughout your fleet’s transport cycle. The software deals with driver communication, performance, and compliance. Fuel, vehicle and driver status, road conditions, and accidents are reported via these platforms. When combined with hardware like cameras, Fleet management systems can record road and driver activity.
Technology provides an excellent chance to promote good driving habits, create driver coaching opportunities, and enhance your drivers’ working conditions, increasing productivity. Fleet management software can also benefit your vehicles by providing fleet health insights, sending service reminders for timely maintenance, and preventing accidents that could destroy vehicles. It also helps your management team maintain precise activity records and accurate incident and driver records.
4. Leverage fleet data
Gaining the right insights into how your drivers use vehicles is crucial to planning and scheduling fleet maintenance. Consider investing in a fleet management system that can track your trucks, giving real-time updates on every auto’s location and other valuable information, including idle time, speeding, and braking. Using a telematics program with easy-to-customize reporting is a great way to collect data.
Fleet data allows you to set clear company fleet policies, which each driver should be aware of, plus violation consequences. Explain and review these policies regularly while ensuring every staff member accessing your fleet vehicles is accountable and informed.
5. Go paperless with Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs)
Post and pre-trip DVIRs enable you to prioritize road safety and increase your fleet’s lifespan by proactively spotting maintenance issues. Mostly, the law requires these reports to keep your vehicles up and running. However, when inspections are done on paper, it results in countless issues, including misplacement risk, time-consuming, hard to keep, and restricted communication and action possibilities.
However, using software for inspections implies that every driver can use their mobile phone or tablet to upload inspections, completing the process in less time than paper. The eDVIRs digital aspect allows fleet admins and managers rapid access via an online dashboard during inspections. This gives your staff more time to focus on other revenue-generating tasks.
6. Promote driver safety
Safe driving is a vital fleet management aspect you can’t afford to ignore because driving performance and patterns impact productivity the most. Enabling your drivers to develop safe driving habits safeguards the drivers and other road users while ensuring vehicles last the longest possible, improving productivity.
Installing dash cams can help you spot unsafe driving habits like distracted driving and support drivers by executing workshops and training programs to help minimize bad driving techniques, identify safe routes, and learn how their driving habits can impact your fleet’s overall lifespan and performance. Offering defensive driving courses can help educate drivers on safe driving practices, reducing accidents.
7. Embrace route optimization
Determining trucking routes manually is time-consuming and inefficient. Route optimization, which involves consistently looking for the most cost-effective and efficient routes at a given time and place, can help solve this issue. It relies on sophisticated technology to consider each factor, including locations, stops, and deliveries.
The driver closest to a specific route, driver breaks, deadlines, available hours, driver qualifications, legal requirements, number of turns and intersections, load capacities, schedules, time delays, and time windows are other aspects to consider when optimizing your routes. Fleet route optimization strategies allow you adaptability and flexibility to changes, such as receiving last-minute orders.
Your fleet’s productivity significantly impacts your trucking business’s bottom line and growth. Use these tips to improve fleet productivity.