Managing a fleet of vehicles is definitely no easy task. When it comes to a fleet of trucks in particular, some challenges will test both your patience and willpower. We have done a little digging to summarize the top five challenges faced by fleet managers and some simple solutions that can help minimize their stress.
1. Rising Fuel Costs
It’s not simply the price of gasoline at the pump that has many fleet managers struggling to stay efficient, there are also other contributors that can directly or indirectly influence the amount of fuel a fleet truck requires to finish its run. 66% of fleet managers surveyed in a recent study said that fuel costs were one of their biggest concerns.
So how can you better track your mileage against fuel consumption while remaining both fuel and time-efficient? You can digitize the fuel economy of your fleet with fuel management systems. These systems will allow you to improve data accuracy, eliminate the misuse (e.g. prolonged idling) and shortage of fuel, and implement actionable solutions that will improve your average mileage between fill-ups.
2. The Abundance of Administrative Tasks
Ever feel like you get to your office in the morning and still have just as much on your to-do list when you leave for the evening? Managers across all industries have similar issues and it can be challenging trying to get ahead of your daily tasks. In the same study as above, managers reported spending more than 2 hours on simple and tedious tasks, including invoicing and paperwork – and, of course, the time spent managing your team can also absorb time.
To solve this issue, you can consider having an automated workflow to communicate better with your drivers and team more frequently. Software such as Samepage, Favro and Good Day provides tools for planning, project and product management, and task organization. Having an automated workflow, your fleet will be more visible and will give you more control over the drivers and vehicles.
3. Increasing Maintenance Costs
Just like fuel, it may seem like these costs are out of your control and are necessary costs for a functioning fleet. However, there are measures you can take to help minimize the cost and time needed for the maintenance itself – time that also takes away from the profit of keeping your entire fleet on the move.
With more strain put on your fleet’s engines, tires, and other systems as mileage goes up, you need a proactive approach to maintenance. Indeed, leaving things for the last minute will most likely result in higher maintenance costs and possibly repair costs.
How can you better control your fleet maintenance costs? Fleet maintenance solutions will help you to keep better track of your maintenance schedules so you don’t accidentally miss out on these routine checks. Solutions such as Fleet Maintenance Pro, Corporate Vehicle and Asset Management Solutions and Fleet Maintenance Software provides fuel tracking, scheduling, reports and vehicle repair tracking. That way, you can mitigate risk and have a precise idea of your fleet’s status at any given time.
4. Monitoring Your Fleet Drivers
Whether you manage a fleet of five or hundreds of vehicles, it can be difficult keeping tabs on your drivers to ensure they’re respecting speed limits and obeying all traffic laws. It can also be a sticky situation when events happen that require investigation and you’re stuck wrestling over your drivers’ word and what other witnesses say happened. Having a dashcam-based Fleet Tracking Solution, you will be able to track and keep data such as location and video footage from the BlackVue dashcam installed in the vehicle. Also, this simple solution allows you to check up on any driver at any time – even in the middle of a run.
5. Communication with Drivers
Although means of communication are abundant, quick and efficient communication is also a challenge for fleet managers. That’s especially true when your drivers are hundreds of miles away. Reaching drivers on their phone may prove tricky and could jeopardize safety unless you can ensure your drivers are constantly using handsfree devices. Using text messages is probably not a better idea so oftentimes, you might rely on radio to communicate your daily requirements. Factoring in possible miscommunication, the time you spend relaying your messages could be hours – hours you could be spending focusing on other important tasks.
Thankfully, there are technological advances waiting to be implemented in many fleets within the industry. Multipurpose GPS connected smart screen for driver assistance can simplify your workflow and communication. They effectively shorten the amount of time sending messages and ensure your drivers have written instructions for their day. For urgent instructions, the two-way voice communication feature of BlackVue Cloud-compatible dashcams will let you talk to your drivers in real-time without them removing their hands from the steering wheel.
Fleet management is no doubt a challenging industry to work within. Each fleet has a unique business and operational demands and requirements. It’s the job of the fleet managers to find ways to cut costs and at the same time, maximize efficiency and profitability. There are countless ways technology can benefit a fleet business. While some technological advancements might seem daunting to adopt at first, others are pretty straightforward. The main takeaway is that there are likely existing solutions that address each pain point you experience. Adopting those solutions could provide your fleet with more efficiencies, better safety, and additional opportunities down the road.