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Strategies to Manage Fleets More Effectively

5 Tips for Better Fleet Management

There’s nothing simple about managing a vehicle fleet, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult. With a little organization, determination, and the right software, you can operate a fleet of any size with ease. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or unsure about this, start with the following tips.

  1. Read industry blogs

You can’t go wrong by reading blogs that cover the fleet industry. Many situations and circumstances are unique to fleet management, but if you read enough content, you’ll learn plenty.

Cetaris, a leader in fleet management software, has curated links to five of the best fleet management blogs and this is an excellent place to start. Fleet management blogs contain all kinds of information, including relevant research, benchmarks, and best practices.

The people who run these blogs want to help fleet owners manage and maintain their vehicles and keep their firm’s bottom line healthy. The more you read, the more you’ll learn from people on the inside of the industry that have greater experience.

You’ll also gain insight into situations you may not have been aware of, but that could have an impact on your business.

Whether you run a fleet of semi-trucks, delivery vans, or private hired cars, you’ll benefit from learning other people’s experiences. Some blogs publish infographics and videos, while others stick to plain text.

Either way, the content can be instructive because it covers everything from equipment and operations to regulations and current trends.

  1. Use software to track your maintenance needs

When you buy your vehicles, you’ll get a list of recommended maintenance tasks to perform at periodic intervals according to the manufacturer. Most of us keep these records as we should, but it can be hard to stay on top of all the deadlines without software. Manual methods just don’t work.

To stay organized and on top of each vehicle’s needs, you need a software program that tracks the dates and/or mileage and alerts you when it’s time to take the vehicle in for maintenance. This is especially the case if you have multiple vehicles. You may be able to track one or three, but if you have five, ten, or fifteen vehicles you’re more likely to lose track.

  1. Track your parts inventory

Do your technicians have to track the parts they use? If you aren’t documenting what’s being used on the shop floor, you won’t know which parts to order.

Guessing by stocking random amounts of various items isn’t a good strategy because you’ll inevitably end up with too many of the wrong parts and not enough of the ones you need.

It’s easiest to track your parts inventory with software. Each time a technician uses a part, it should be subtracted from the whole and you can run reports to see what you’re using regularly and which items have been taking up space.

This will help you refine the way you order and you won’t end up with so much capital invested in stock that doesn’t move.

  1. Pursue your warranty reimbursements

Effective management of your fleet means control of the financial aspects of your business. Vehicle repairs can get expensive as they add up, but warranty reimbursements will recover some of your costs.

Technically, you’ve already paid for the services covered by your warranty, since the cost was included in the price of the vehicle. It makes sense to pursue reimbursement and get your money’s worth.

Whether you’re looking at a $100 or $1,000 repair, if it’s covered under your warranty, submit the paperwork to get reimbursed. Every dollar you save will add up.

If you get reimbursed for just $2,000 a year, that’s $20,000 over the course of ten years. You can do a lot with that money like invest it or upgrade some equipment–even put it toward the purchase of a new vehicle.

  1. Go paperless

Your drivers are required to complete Hours of Service (HOS) logbooks in order to maintain compliance. Some fall behind on this because it’s just not at the front of their mind.

You can’t afford to have incomplete or incorrect logbooks that could get you nailed for a compliance violation. The solution is to switch to paperless, electronic logbooks.

With this option, a driver’s hours on the road get recorded automatically along with Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DIVRs). Data can be pulled from a driver’s cell phone along with a photo and uploaded automatically, which makes it very easy for you to schedule required maintenance or order necessary parts.

Organization makes fleet management easier

Your company faces many challenges in the management of a fleet of vehicles. The tips outlined in this article should help you get a handle on your responsibilities and keep your fleet on the move, your drivers safe, and your company in compliance.