Fleet managers are asked to watch over the bottom-line and retain company profits as much as possible. This blog will cover some of our tips and tricks for increasing efficiency without sacrificing FMCSA safety ratings.
When it comes to Increasing Fleet efficiency while keeping up safety and maintenance standards, the driver behind the wheel is often a component of the process that is overlooked when it comes to optimizing. So… How do you make drivers more efficient in their day to day? This is the million dollar question whose answer lies with fleet managers.
No matter the solution, it always goes back to the key items governing the bottom-line which effective managers keep an eye on:
-Vehicle Maintenance Procedures
-Vehicle Up/Down Time
Vehicle Up/Down Time
Proper maintenance is in the best interest of the company. A truck down for one day for scheduled maintenance is better than a truck down for one week while you wait for parts. Not to mention the safety risks of a poorly maintained vehicle. By implementing and sticking to a normal preventative maintenance schedule, your trucks will stay in tip-top shape and operate at maximum performance.
Drivers in most cases hate giving up their trucks because they may find themselves in one they aren’t used to and probably doesn’t smell like home. On the flip side, it’s one more thing the driver has to deal with. This is an issue that you should consider while creating a fleet maintenance schedule. Happy drivers make a happy bottom line.
Your company should already have a dedicated maintenance schedule. Stick to it! Encourage drivers to report all faults on their DVIR even if it’s a small one. Companies that have cracked the code to maximizing efficiency usually have a zero-tolerance policy that can be summed up with “If you don’t prioritize the safety of our company and others on the road, you don’t belong on our team.”
New England Mobile's DVIR solution can alert you to certain faults automatically, without having to depend on the driver. It also helps you plan your maintenance schedule and stick to it by sending notifications when scheduled service is coming due.
New England Mobile's Fleet Management Solution has a tool to Optimize your routes automatically. This tool allows you to easily plan your routes to accommodate for fuel savings and traffic.
A combination of the right tools implemented over a short period of time could allow you to see huge fuel and time savings. Don’t forget to ask for feedback from your drivers as well, often they already know what works and are willing to help.
There are laws that guide us in allowable idle time. However, there are plenty of time’s that trucks can and should be turned off. Make it a habit to remind drivers to shut the truck off when it’s not required to keep it on. The savings from idle time alone add up extremely fast.
To make monitoring idle times extremely easy you should consider a fleet management solution if you don't already have one. You can in real time monitor idling times or look back and see who is idling the most. You can also get automatic email and text alerts sent to you and send automatic alerts through the device out to drivers to remind them to turn off the engine when able. You can set up incentives for drivers who have the lowest idle times as well as reprimand drivers who have neglectful idle times. It's ultimately up to the fleet manager and their style of leading their fleet.
Equipment, Tools, and schedules are always helpful; but the more crucial aspect always lies with allowing your drivers to take part in the process of change.
At your next driver meeting, make a point to bring up the fleet’s efficiency and ask for ideas on how you can improve. Many times driver feedback is very informative and helpful.
Keep an eye out for the most effective ways to conserve fuel and time. New England Mobile has seen so many fleet managers/owners prove that GPS Fleet Management Solutions play a major role in this.
Give prizes or rewards for drivers that go above and beyond to save you money. An extra day off to a driver could mean making it to their kid’s sports game or spending the day with their family. You save money and they’re happy that you took the time to ask what they wanted.
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