Fleet managers are responsible for several areas of fleet operations, making it difficult to know where to begin if you’re new to managing a commercial fleet. Whether you own a large trucking company or a small local delivery business, understanding the fundamentals of vehicle fleet management is critical to the success of your business.
To assist you with your various obligations as a fleet manager, you’ll need a comprehensive guide that can help you optimize your business operations. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about vehicle fleet management, including what the job entails, why it’s essential for your business, and the various benefits it can provide.
What Is Fleet Management?
Organizations that require large numbers of commercial vehicles to function use fleet management. Fleet managers are in charge of various duties, all of which we will discuss more below. Overall, the responsibility of a fleet manager is to keep track of all fleet performance and fleet maintenance to boost productivity and keep a business running smoothly.
So, what exactly does fleet management entail? Essentially, fleet management is the act of supervising a company’s fleet operations. A fleet is usually defined as a collection of five or more vehicles and includes cars, pickup trucks, vans, or a combination of these vehicles.
Whether they realize it or not, many businesses have a fleet of vehicles, and understanding the processes involved in managing a fleet will help your organization reduce costs, stay competitive in the industry, improve customer relations, and increase productivity.
Companies often outsource their fleet management to outsourced fleet management companies to relieve themselves of the pressure of supervising possibly hundreds of vehicles.
What Does a Fleet Manager Do?
Critical components of fleet operations include vehicle acquisition, regulatory compliance, vehicle maintenance, and fuel management. Let’s take a closer look at some of these tasks.
Monitor Driver Safety and Retention
Maintaining driver safety is a crucial area of concern for fleet managers. It includes training drivers in accident prevention, routinely inspecting commercial vehicles to ensure they are in good working condition, and scheduling necessary fleet repairs to improve daily operations.
In addition, fleet managers must also ensure that their drivers do not exceed the number of hours they are supposed to be on the road.
Driver retention is also becoming a problem in the commercial trucking industry, so fleet managers should also look into new and improved ways to retain drivers. These retention strategies can include implementing mentorship programs, enhancing workplace conditions, and building a trustful relationship with all drivers.
Route Planning and Optimization
In addition to ensuring the safety of each of their drivers, fleet managers must also ensure that their drivers are on the quickest, most efficient route possible to ensure that each job is finished on time and reduce the total cost of fuel.
Track Fleet Operations
Another aspect of a fleet manager’s job includes tracking daily fleet operations. While some fleets have a set route each day, others have routes that change from day to day. Fleet managers can utilize real-time information to monitor each vehicle and build effective delivery timetables to guarantee that deliveries are made safely and on time.
Reduce Operating Costs
Fleet managers detect and weed out excess spending to help produce more cost-friendly and effective fleet operations. Whether it’s implementing fuel economy programs and asset tracking or cutting operating costs, the fleet manager’s job is to find cost-cutting solutions and help an organization increase productivity and profitability.
Vehicle Acquisition and Maintenance
A fleet manager must also anticipate how many and what types of vehicles a fleet will require. While it may appear relatively straightforward to acquire new vehicles as the need arises, analyzing and projecting fleet vehicle utilization is critical in this regard.
Vehicle acquisition is a vital component of a fleet manager’s job duties, from monitoring vehicle lifecycles to ensuring each vehicle is licensed and insured.
Additionally, a fleet manager must also monitor when fleet vehicles are due for routine inspection and repairs. Vehicle maintenance includes both preventative and corrective maintenance, such as oil changes, filter replacements, and tire inspections. Companies need to perform maintenance regularly to keep their vehicles performing at their best on the road.
Maintain Regulatory Compliance
To avoid fines and operating disruptions, fleet managers need to follow government regulations and state laws. While the types of vehicles and their driving patterns determine the level of compliance required of a fleet manager, it is the fleet manager’s responsibility to enforce regulatory compliance.
Compliance includes items such as maintaining the record of duty status (RODS), adhering to the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), and equipping vehicles with electronic logging devices (ELDs).
3 Benefits of Fleet Management
A company can profit from effective fleet management in several ways, including increased efficiency and more outstanding customer service. Below, we will examine some of the benefits that effective vehicle fleet management offers your business.
Improve Business Efficiency
Good fleet management improves the overall efficiency of the vehicles and has the potential to save the organization money in the long run.
Improve Customer Service
Customers are happier when goods or services are delivered on time, thanks to a well-managed fleet. With effective fleet management, you can ensure that each delivery is made safely and on time to ensure that each customer is satisfied with your service.
Maintain Regulatory Compliance
Regulatory compliance is vital to ensuring your business operations are not disrupted. Fleet managers who keep track of vehicle maintenance schedules, mileage, fuel consumption, and other data will meet and maintain regulatory compliance.
Improve Your Fleet Operations with TCS Upfitting
When you’re initially starting out, vehicle fleet management might seem difficult. However, we hope this article has helped you gain a clear understanding of the importance of fleet management and given you a head start in managing an effective and successful fleet of commercial vehicles.
To successfully run a vehicle fleet, you need your vehicles to perform to the best of their ability. TCS Upfitting can help you with that. We can outfit your fleet with all kinds of high-quality technology and enhancements to improve driver performance and give your vehicles increased functionality.
If you are interested in the ways we can upfit your fleet of vehicles, give us a call at (316) 333-5341.