As you already know, fleets and their maintenance can be costly. The costs associated with purchasing the vehicles will be pretty much fixed, although there may be some options to limit the short-term costs. This blog will focus more on the other costs, such as maintenance, optimization, security, and the like. Keeping track of these costs can be harrowing, especially for the incidental costs.
Retread tires instead of buying new ones
Tires can account for a significant portion of your fleet’s costs. Instead of purchasing new tires when the old ones wear out, retread the radial ply casings instead. When you retread, you’ll increase the mileage until you need to purchase a new set of tires by 120,000 miles, and the cost to retread tires comes at just over one-third the price of buying new tires. Retreading is a great way to save money on tires without giving up the safety of your fleet.
Install vehicle tracking systems to reduce mileage and gas consumption
While enforcing personal use of company vehicles may seem daunting, installing GPS on your fleet will make enforcement easier. Cut mileage on fleet vehicles by combining trips and improving the efficiency of multi-stop vehicles. Most GPS and Fleet Management software companies have a route optimization solution that can improve drivers’ routes, especially those with multiple stops.
Good route optimization software will not only look for the shortest route, but the quickest times, kind of like Google maps does (if you have those features turned on). 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 vehicle tracking system to each of your fleet vehicles will let you monitor whether your drivers speed on their routes, and controlling speed helps to reduce the vehicles’ fuel usage. For example, driving at 70 mph will use up to 15% more fuel than traveling at 50 mph. Speeding at 80 mph uses up to 25% more fuel than going at 70 mph. Vehicle tracking systems can send you a message when a driver speeds, so you can correct the action immediately via radio or phone
Train drivers in fuel-efficient driving methods
One of the most critical, and cheapest to rectify, parts of your fleet’s fuel economy are your drivers. Train each driver in proper driving habits that help reduce fuel mileage. Discourage aggressive driving, such as rapid braking, fast acceleration, speeding, and hard turns. Studies have shown that aggressive driving habits reduces fuel efficiency by up to 40% depending on local vs. highway traffic.
When looking at fleet fuel consumption, these driving habits can equat to losing between $0.25 and $1 per gallon of fuel. If you multiply that across your fleet, you get an idea of the amount of money aggressive driving is wasting you.
Initially, the expenditure in telematics to monitor your fleet may feel disconcerting, but in the longer term, the data can help you in many ways. With real-time communication coupled with a routing app in your vehicle can increase the efficiency of your fleet.
Also, using telematics can improve the safety of your vehicles and reduce the operating costs plus optimize your vehicle’s performance. Most Fleet Management software will include a set of telematics, so you may be able to bundle the costs.
Keep your fleet updated
It’s easy to become complacent when your fleet is stable and running smoothly. As a forward thinker, you need to stay ahead by timely updating your fleet.
All the vehicles have a definite lifespan to be the most fuel-efficient. If we consider your usage of those vehicles, you must update your fleet of vehicles before the older ones start to cost more in fuel and repairs.
If will help you in the future and keep your workers satisfied with the best vehicles for their tasks.
Pay attention to warranties
This goes hand in had with keeping your vehicles up to date. Usually people won’t look at the warranty until something goes wrong, but this may be too late if you haven’t kept up with the requirements for the warranty to be valid (i.e. routine maintenance, length of warranty, etc.). This goes beyond just the vehicles, but also the ancillary equipment such as GPS, cameras, or any other add-ons.
Get better insurance premiums
This one can be a little tricky in that not all insurance companies have the same requirements and discounts. Pooled insurance usually have better rates, but do not give you as much coverage or discounts. With regular fleet insurance you may be able to get discounts for having driver programs, for equipment that shows the better driving habits, AI/Driver behavior cameras, video cameras protecting your vehicle, and fleet management software. You will need to see if going into a pooled resource will give you better rates, with comparable coverage as non-pooled insurance.
Keep track of your KPIs
KPIs are performance measurements that demonstrate the effectiveness of your fleet management strategy. Successful fleet management KPIs guide you towards successful decisions to improve your fleet.
The most common fleet management benchmarks are:
• Driver performance
• Operational efficiency
These three objectives can be used as a baseline to develop your organization’s fleet management KPIs. First, consider which area(s) of your fleet need improvement.
Perhaps you’d like to limit downtime or cut repair expenses. These goals can be a baseline to setting your KPI. Using historical data, you can then set fleet benchmarks to target.
While setting fleet management KPIs is one thing, meeting them is another. To meet fleet management KPI targets, you must effectively communicate strategies with your team and have comprehensive access to real-time fleet data.
This can be challenging for fleets who don’t have a way to stay connected with their team and track every aspect of their fleet. To hit KPIs and get a complete, accurate view of fleet performance, many fleet managers are turning to software solutions.
Leveraging fleet software allows you to seamlessly collaborate with your team and monitor fleet metrics in real time. By having maximum visibility into your assets, you can clearly track fleet management KPIs and set your fleet up for success.