The fleet utility can be increased by utilizing suitable vehicles, driver education and training, and implementing fleet technologies.
These components are essential to make fleets the most efficient by minimizing vehicle downtime.
Maintaining maximum fleet uptime requires understanding the components and systems involved in keeping every aspect of your operation running smoothly. Did you know downtime costs a fleet an average of $488 to $760 per day, per vehicle? That’s in addition to towing fees. Bypass the hassle, and let our expert mechanics come to you. Choosing suitable vehicles, implementing driver education resources, and using proven fleet technology are all essential measures managers can use to keep fleets at their most efficient.
The Right Vehicle and Technology
The trucks and trailers that are best suited for your business depend on the services you provide. When choosing proper vehicles for your fleet, consider the following:
Ensure your vehicle choice is designed for the length of haul, whether long-haul or local last-mile hauling. Maximize rout efficiency for each destination with route optimization tools that lessen travel distance and avoid congested traffic. Routing integration systems and apps aid drivers in staying on the most efficient routes and avoid out of route miles. This saves time and fuel expenses.
Choose truck sizes suitable for the jobs and load sizes you plan to transport. Right-sizing the vehicle for the loads maintains regulatory compliance and avoids fines and special assessments that endanger your profit. Avoid fines and delays for being overweight when passing through weigh stations and do not underload your vehicles and waste valuable transport space due to less than full loads.
Vehicle weight capacity limits are very important. You do not want to exceed vehicle limits, and you must weight balance loads.
Planning assists in avoiding underused or overused trucks. Ideally, good time management keeps your fleet vehicles on the road most of the time, earning money by traveling miles.
Fleet utility is heavily impacted by operational availability which requires proper care and preventative maintenance methods to increase average fleet utility.
Optimize fleet performance and provide safe transportation by regularly inspecting for maintenance needs. Run through a standard checklist and address any concerns before dispatching vehicles.
Proactive cleaning and maintenance solutions lessen the likelihood of a truck needing more significant repairs and replacements later on. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for each model to keep it in good running condition.
Plan for continuous fleet efficiency with reliable diagnostics technology that lets you monitor performance and see when a vehicle needs attention.
Make sure back-office staff are informed of renewal dates, international mandates, and state permits. Staying compliant with regulations lets you keep drivers on the road.
Safety training identifies how drivers should check their vehicles to help contribute to your maintenance protocols. For the best results, teach them what to look for during pre-trip and post-trip inspections. Having knowledgeable drivers who know and treat their equipment well will help keep your fleet maintenance and repair costs to a minimum.
During new driver orientation, ensure employees feel comfortable and knowledgeable about every system. From there, track how long their vehicle endures to see if further tips or reminders could improve their performance. Make sure every driver feels supported with the right amount of education to keep trucks running safely.
Teach drivers how they can improve fleet uptime with training and educational resources — equipping employees with preventive care information results in fewer roadside breakdowns. Be sure to identify unit dates and numbers for incidents and note which drivers could benefit from more training.
Use Fleet Technology
Managers can help improve fleet utility and uptime by installing modern technology inside trucks and trailers. Adding in-vehicle technology like the following highlights safety issues and provides your company with cost-effective risk mitigation:
- Rand Platform: The Rand Platform is a single, integrated fleet management system designed to collect and analyze real-time data from vehicles, equipment, and drivers/operators. This allows you to make smarter business decisions, allocate resources more effectively, and respond to unexpected challenges using the latest information available.
- Fleet Vehicle and Resource Tracking: Know the location and status of your vehicles at any time. A fleet vehicle tracking app and device capture a wide range of driver metrics, including idle time, hard braking, fuel consumption, and speeding. These analytics allow you to manage and train a more effective workplace and provide proactive maintenance for greater uptime and overall efficiency.
- Video Telematics: Facilitate driver safety with advanced road-facing detection. A dual-facing camera monitors sudden speed increases, tailgating, unsafe cornering, possible collision, and harsh braking. Dash cams provide real-time insights and keep drivers accountable for safe practices.
Explore Technology Solutions to Improve Your Fleet Uptime
LazrTek recommends compliance, tracking, monitoring, analytics, and productivity solutions to increase the fleet utility and increase fleet uptime. We offer the insights you need to promote safe and efficient driving, lower overall expenses, and maximize uptime. Our staff offers assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a week, providing you with dedicated support whenever you need it.
Adoption of a Fleet Washing Policy
Fleet washing is a necessary part of any responsible fleet owner’s business. Having a fleet wash policy makes cleanliness a culturally accepted concept. It helps keep your company compliant with local laws, improves safety for drivers and passengers, and minimizes the risk of lawsuits. Fleet washing is a simple, cost-effective way to keep your fleet looking clean and professional. It is also vital for business safety because it removes dirt, mud, pollution residue, and grime from the vehicle’s exterior.
Below are some essential facts about fleet washing shared by LazrTek that will help you stay on top of the maintenance of your fleet in the USA.
Reduces Expenses Significantly
Many businesses are looking for ways to reduce their overhead costs. Fleet washing is a simple, affordable way to accomplish that.
Leaving dirt and grime on your fleet can lead to higher expenses in the future. If you fail to return a vehicle’s exterior parts into optimal condition after an accident or collision occurred with another car, you must spend more money during repairs. This will also include replacing damaged components such as bumpers and lights, usually made from custom materials that cost significantly more than standard factory parts. Additionally, not promptly cleaning up mud stains negatively impacts customers, imaging, and fleet utility.
Drivers aren’t cleaners, and they shouldn’t have to be. When your drivers are focused on their primary task – safely transporting goods or people from point A to B – the last thing you want them worrying about is cleaning up a mess in the backseat. By having a professional fleet washing policy to take care of the exterior, you’re freeing up your drivers to do what they do best.
Strengthens Brand Image and Reputation
A well-maintained, clean fleet will give customers the impression that you take your business seriously. Not only does a good image help attract new customers, but it also helps keep the ones you have.
A clean truck shows that you are well-organized and value safety, reliability, and professionalism – all things customers look for when purchasing fleet transportation services.
A clean truck is also more fuel-efficient! Dirt can reduce your vehicle’s aerodynamic factors, which could decrease gas mileage. All in all, keeping exterior surfaces clean will help save money on maintenance costs, so you’ll have extra cash for other essential business expenses.
Protects Expensive Equipment Investment
A regularly washed truck and well-maintained truck will last longer on the road – increasing fleet utility. Neglect can lead to rust, faded paint, and other costly damage down the line. Road debris, oil, and dirt are all contaminants that damage your fleet’s exterior and can eat away at your vehicle’s value.
Investing in regular fleet washing is a small price to pay to protect such valuable assets! Often, truck leasing contracts have regular maintenance and cleanliness requirements that may require regular washing.