Fleets and fleet maintenance can be costly.
Keeping track of these costs can be overwhelming, especially the incidental costs. The costs associated with purchasing the vehicles will be roughly fixed, although there may be some options to keep costs down in the short term. Other expenses – maintenance, optimization, security, etc. – can be much smoother, but there are several ways to control them.
Retread tires instead of buying new ones
Tires can represent a significant portion of the costs of a fleet. Instead of buying new tires when the old ones wear out, retread the radial casings instead. When you retread, you increase the mileage until you need to purchase a new set of 120,000 mile tires, and the cost of retreading a tire is just over a third the price of. buying a new one. Retreading is a great way to save money on tires without sacrificing the safety of your fleet.
Install vehicle tracking systems to reduce mileage and fuel consumption
While it may seem intimidating to enforce personal use of company vehicles, installing a GPS on your fleet will make enforcement easier. Reduce vehicle mileage in the fleet by combining trips and improving the efficiency of multi-stop vehicles. Most GPS and fleet management software vendors have a route optimization solution to improve driver routes, especially those with multiple stops.
A good route optimization software will not only find the shortest route but also the fastest times, much like Google Maps does (if you have these features enabled). This may include limiting left turns, avoiding high traffic areas and avoiding construction / accidents. Spending too many hours waiting in traffic wastes fuel over the years. This can save money on gallons of fuel across the fleet and reduce emissions.
Adding a GPS tracking system to each of your fleet vehicles will allow you to monitor whether your drivers are accelerating on their routes, and speed control helps reduce the vehicle’s fuel consumption. For example, driving at 70 mph will use up to 15% more fuel than driving at 50 mph. Speeding at 80 mph uses up to 25% more fuel than 70 mph. Vehicle tracking systems can send you a message when a driver is accelerating, so you can correct the action immediately over the radio or phone.
Train drivers in fuel-efficient driving methods
Your drivers are one of the most critical and least expensive steps in rectifying parts of your fleet’s fuel economy. Train every driver in good driving habits that help reduce fuel consumption. Discourage aggressive driving, such as rapid braking, rapid acceleration, speeding and sharp turns. Studies have shown that aggressive driving habits reduce fuel efficiency by up to 40% depending on local traffic compared to road traffic.
When looking at fleet fuel consumption, these driving habits can amount to losing between 25 cents and $ 1 per gallon of fuel. If you multiply that across your fleet, you get an idea of how much money aggressive driving wastes.
At first, the expense of telematics to monitor your fleet may seem overwhelming, but in the longer run, data can help you in so many ways. Real-time communication coupled with a routing application in your vehicle can increase the efficiency of your fleet.
In addition, the use of telematics can improve the safety of your vehicles and reduce operating costs while optimizing vehicle performance. Most fleet management software will include a set of telematics, so you may be able to aggregate the costs.
Keep your fleet up to date
It’s easy to get complacent when your fleet is stable and functioning well. As a trendsetter, you need to stay ahead of the curve by updating your fleet in a timely manner.
All vehicles have a limited life to be the most fuel efficient. If we consider your use of these vehicles, you need to update your fleet before the older ones cost more in fuel and repairs.
You can also consider leasing vehicles to reduce your initial down payment. Many businesses will find a way to amortize the rental costs over the term and, at the end of the lease, buy cheaply and amortize the amortization. Your accounting team should be able to discern which method is best for you.
This will help you in the future and keep your workers satisfied with the best vehicles for their jobs.
Pay attention to guarantees
This goes hand in hand with updating your vehicles. Usually people won’t look at the warranty until something goes wrong, but it may be too late if you haven’t met the requirements for the warranty to be valid (i.e. routine maintenance, length of contract, etc.). This goes beyond vehicles but also auxiliary equipment such as GPS, cameras or any other additional module.
Get better insurance premiums
This one can be tricky because not all insurance companies have the exact requirements and discounts. Bundled insurance usually has better rates, but doesn’t give you as much coverage or discounts. With regular fleet insurance, you may be able to get discounts for having driver programs, for software that shows better driving habits, AI / driver behavior cameras, video cameras protecting your vehicle, and software. fleet management. You will need to see if using a pooled resource will give you better rates, with coverage comparable to that of non-pooled insurance.
Keep track of your KPIs
KPIs are performance measures that demonstrate the effectiveness of your fleet management strategy. Successful Fleet Management KPIs guide you to successful decisions to improve your fleet.
The most common fleet management benchmarks are driver performance, operational efficiency and maintenance.
These three goals can be used as a benchmark for developing your organization’s fleet management KPIs.
First, think about the areas of your fleet that need improvement. You might like to limit downtime or reduce repair costs. These objectives can be used as a reference to define your KPI. Using historical data, you can then define fleet benchmarks to target.
If defining fleet management KPIs is one thing, achieving them is another. To achieve fleet management KPI goals, you must effectively communicate strategies with your team and have full access to real-time fleet data.
Staying connected and tracking every aspect of your fleet can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a comprehensive tool to do it. Many fleet managers are turning to software solutions to achieve KPIs and get a complete and accurate view of fleet performance.
Using the fleet software allows you to collaborate seamlessly with your team and monitor fleet metrics in real time. You can clearly track fleet management KPIs and configure your fleet to be successful with maximum visibility into your assets.
Some of these suggestions (like fleet management software) require some money up front, but will help you save money in the future. You can also consider taking one or two steps at a time to spread the implementation over several years. Not all fleets will be able to take advantage of all of these suggestions depending on size and need, but keep them in mind when looking to reduce your overhead.
Jayesh Mehta is the Marketing Director at Fortress Mobile. He is also the author of “Rogue’s Guide to Acquisition: Principles from the Final Frontier” listed in Bill Gates Recommended Summer Reading 2012. Jayesh has worked in marketing since 2001 and at Fortress Mobile since 2020.