In many ways, fleet management has never been more difficult. Booming inflation and gas prices continue to eat away at the bottom line of companies that are fleet reliant. With so many economic pressures on fleet-heavy industries, the time has never been better to reduce operational costs in fleet management.
Reducing fleet operational costs requires a multi-pronged approach. The use of real-time data analytics and notification such as route optimization, fuel usage, predictive maintenance tracking, idle time reports, driver congregation notifications, geofencing for optimized productivity as well as a comprehensive safety driver scorecard combine to ensure your drivers and operators are delivering on your brand promise. Real-time reports and notifications also ensure your fleet is efficient, safer and more productive leading to saved time and money.
If you are a fleet manager looking for ways to trim your costs, while improving the customer experience or simply looking for ways to utilize the vehicles in your fleet better, then consider these 5 ways to cut operating costs in your fleet management.
Optimizing the routing of fleet vehicles to maximize efficiency is a complicated task even for the smallest fleets. When you rely on individual employees to plan routes, it could take hours – or longer – to configure a route schedule.
Utilizing a route planner application can cut planning time down to minutes, not hours. This is particularly the case for fleets that experience changes to routes throughout the day or week. A planner application can re-optimize immediately, on the go, keeping your fleet efficient by ensuring you’re taking the quickest path, reducing waste regardless of how many route changes occur.
Beyond simply optimizing route efficiency, a route planner will make your fleet more nimble and responsive, improving customer service. Improved customer service means fewer delays, complaints or fines. Have you considered sending a customer notification via route planning?
Reducing costs for your fleet begins and ends with a preventative maintenance (PM) plan. Too often fleets will wait until something breaks down to fix it as they need to make the run. Optimizing and tracking your PM Currency ratio(s) are a very important metric to ensuring maximum uptime.
Using a PM plan to ensure problems with your fleet are caught before they balloon into something big can save many thousands of dollars over the year. A PM plan can be as simple as doing pre- and post-safety and mechanical checks to establish annual maintenance goals for your entire fleet. Many software programs track vehicle maintenance scheduling, however it can be imperative to microtarget components that may update from year to year or form model to model, especially with all of the recent emission changes to engines.
Putting your PM plan from paper into software ensures that everyone involved in the fleet, from drivers to management, has the same set of procedures for preventing mechanical issues through the streamlining of safety checklists, service records, inspection reports and more.
The recent surge in fuel prices seems more permanent than ever, which is all the more reason to implement fuel tracking systems into your fleet. Using applications to track fuel consumption in your fleet can inform fleet managers about what sort of changes need to be implemented.
Aggressive driving and idling time are two of the most common culprits when it comes to excessive fuel use in a fleet. Fleet telematics can monitor when a car is on, but not moving for long periods. As idling can use up to a gallon of fuel per hour, cost savings over time could result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. It may also be important to select a telematic provider that can allow for customization of idle time settings, for instance in a car, idle time maybe 3 min, however a heavy commercial vehicle maybe 5min for the idle time rule.
As well, tracking applications can also note the speed and movement of fleet vehicles, allowing you to better understand and curb unnecessary driver habits. A mid-sized vehicle that drives efficiently can save anywhere between $500 to $1500 a year when averaging 15,000 miles a year; now multiply that by your vehicle count
Insurance companies value safety, and safe drivers, so it is in the best interest of fleet managers to ensure drivers are driving safely all the time. According to Driver’s Alert, the average cost of a non-fatal accident was around $16,000. Failure to eliminate these costs could be crippling to a fleet.
Instituting driver safety programs into a fleet can reduce the incidence of collision by nearly 10%. Over a given year for a standard fleet, these cost savings would be in the thousands of dollars.
Combining a safety program with the use of driver tracking applications would further reduce the incidence of accidents, which would in turn reduce insurance premiums, maintenance costs, and fuel consumption.
Fleet productivity is all about making your drivers and fleet managers more productive. The use of fleet telematics is critical to improving efficiencies within your fleet. These applications will track fuel consumption, streamline and improve routing, and safety.
The use of reports provided by telematics applications such as Geotab can ensure your fleet operators are working at peak productivity. While no employee is capable of 100% efficiency all the time, reports can tell you where fixed and variable costs of your fleet can be trimmed.
Custom reports can also provide reports for fleet drivers and maintenance staff. This encourages a ground-up approach to productivity that allows all staff to engage in fleet efficiency, reducing the responsibility of fleet managers to micromanage drivers and other fleet staff.
Telematics are your first choice when reducing your fleet management operational costs. Utilizing this one change can effectively allow you to better manage your fleet’s fuel efficiency, safety, maintenance and overall productivity.
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Save Driver week takes place annually across North America July 10-16. It’s a safe driving awareness and outreach initiative aimed at improving the driving behaviours of passenger vehicle drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers through educational and traffic enforcement. During the week, law enforcement officers will be looking for drivers who show signs of risky driving such as speeding, improper lane change, distraction and tailgating. According to Global Fleet Champions, driver error accounts for 90–95 percent of collisions.
By implementing a driver safety program in their fleets, businesses can find opportunities to save significantly on fuel, collision costs, and even lives. Programs for driver safety can support an organization’s overall fleet safety program and improve driver productivity and personal safety. A good way to concentrate on a particular aspect of the driver safety program is to incorporate a speed reduction campaign, which is the focus of this year’s Safe Driver Week.
Contrary to popular belief, speeding is not a faster or more effective way to get from one place to another. Additionally, speeding is prohibited, and the fines associated with it are very costly for both drivers and their employers. There is no need to speed for the sake of everyone’s safety. The best objective is to arrive at your destination without breaking any laws or getting into an accident.
You should be aware of the costs of speeding and aggressive driving before you or your drivers get behind the wheel, including:
Companies can lessen fleet speeding and aggressive driving by launching a workplace safety campaign. Telematics is a great addition to any fleet safety program because it gives coaches unbiased information about driver performance. It is possible to establish rules, take a baseline of speeding activity, and then monitor goal progress using a telematics platform.
By implementing a driver safety program in their business, employers can find opportunities to save significantly on fuel, collision costs, and even lives. Programs for driver safety can support an organization’s overall fleet safety program and improve driver productivity and safety.
Driver scorecards are a good tool to help with productivity, safety, optimization and compliance. It uses GPS tracking/telematics to report on key fleet metrics such as:
In many businesses, fleet expenses account for a sizable portion of the overall operating budget. A driver safety program offers a new way to cut costs and benefits everyone.
Fleet managers can see who has been speeding and how frequently with a telematics-based speeding report. For instance, Top 5 Speeding Violations report lists the top five drivers by the number of speeding incidents per day, week, or month. This report can assist in determining which drivers in the fleet have the riskiest driving practices and whether the fleet manager wants to improve overall fleet safety because of complaints about speeding drivers.
Vehicle tracking devices assist in gathering information that is later used to identify risky driving. In addition to vehicle road speed, fleet managers should pay attention to vehicle acceleration, and vehicle engine speed. These data points can help improve driving behaviors by generating safety dashboard reports, custom safety alerts, advanced collision systems, trip history and rules setting.
You can keep track of speeding, harsh braking, and sharp turns while monitoring fleet safety in real-time. You can effectively coach the drivers in real-time and discourage distracted driving with the aid of all this information. Give prompt feedback to boost performance.
A telematics system can constantly scan the road and alerts the driver to potential collisions, unintentional lane changes, tailgating, and risks for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Connected Vehicles Fleet management solution is built on a strong foundation of fleet safety. With in-vehicle driver coaching, instant collision notification, and risk and safety reporting, telematics can support a company’s safety program and distracted driving policy.
Create a group of supporters for the initiative. Include staff members on the campaign committee. Plan activities and communications to promote the campaign while distributing safety best practices. Fact-filled and visually appealing posters can be very powerful. To maintain interest and enthusiasm throughout the campaign, you’ll want to communicate frequently.
One of the most common causes of accidents and fatal traffic-related incidents is speeding. Additionally, speeding raises the cost of fuel. It’s important for employers to focus on driver speeding since safe roads are a shared responsibility. Together we can help make the roads safer for everyone.
Explore Connected Vehicles’ fleet safety solutions for more information.
Fleet maintenance is the process of keeping vehicles and assets operating efficiently. The goal is to keep them safe, and reliable and allow them to stay on the road or in use even longer. A preventative maintenance program is a key part of managing a fleet.
Overservicing and under-servicing fleets can have significant financial implications. Maintenance helps businesses reduce operating costs and improve vehicle inspection outcomes.
If you fail to adequately maintain your fleet, you compromise your employees’ safety, risk failing FMCSA inspections, and ultimately pay for costly emergency repairs along with unexpected downtime. The health of your vehicles is an overall indicator of the health of your business.
Having numerous vehicles and various types of equipment, it can be a challenge to stay organized and keep up with maintenance. This is where Connected Vehicles can help. Through Geotab, data analytics is used to help customers improve productivity, optimize fleets, promote driver safety, and achieve compliance with regulations.
Real-time asset monitoring solutions provide improved productivity and utilization with real-time asset tracking and management of trailers, containers, skid steers, forklifts, generators and more.
Being vigilant with preventative maintenance helps you get the most out of your vehicles. Proper maintenance extends the longevity of fleets. For instance, maintaining the proper pressure and rotating tires regularly helps you get more miles out of them.
The vehicle manufacturer’s service schedule is a great starting point or guideline, but remember fleet needs vary. Many factors should be considered when determining the frequency of maintenance. It’s not uncommon to need to deviate from the manufacturers recommendations when it comes to how often your vehicles are serviced.
Fleet tracking automation software programs give managers and business owners the ability to stay on top of maintenance schedules by automatically tracking key metrics. Fleet tracking software can be used to monitor things like mileage, fuel usage, engine hours, battery levels, etc., making it easier than ever to know when every vehicle is due for maintenance.
Being able to plan allows them to factor the expenses in so there are no unexpected surprises. Automation tracking is a valuable tool in helping to preserve the fleets and boost the equipment’s ROI.
Routine maintenance is like a preventative measure. It helps detect any problems before they turn into serious problems. Although getting vehicles serviced constantly is an expense, it’s much less expensive than delaying service until a problem arises. You will certainly pay less for routine oil changes than you’d pay to replace a fleet engine or transmission.
In addition to the repair costs, you’ll also lose money for the time your fleet is off the road. Unplanned downtime results in delayed loads, thus impacting the bottom line. If you have employees on salary or pay them during the downtime, you’re losing wages.
Maintenance features in fleet tracking software provide detailed reports outlining information on the status and condition of every vehicle in your fleet. Managers are alerted of potential problems to address them before they become serious and costly. The maintenance reports know when vehicles are due for maintenance, which can help to cut maintenance costs by 60% or more.
Neglected equipment results in higher fuel costs. With fuel constantly breaking new records, it’s important to do all you can to ensure vehicles are as fuel-efficient as possible. A poorly-maintained engine costs about 50% more fuel. Underinflated tires can also reduce mileage by about 10%.
Following structured maintenance schedules keep vehicles in working condition longer, which in turn helps to increase their resale value. Buyers are willing to pay more for a vehicle they know has been properly maintained. Records of all oil changes, filter replacements, tire pressure adjustments, etc. is wise if you plan to resell your vehicles.
Keeping your vehicles maintained can impact Compliance Safety and Accountability (CSA) scores. Companies with low scores stemming from violations are far less likely to be hired. The damage from lost business can be even more significant than the cost of serious repairs and downtime.
You’ll also want to consider it from a liability perspective. In the event of an accident, there will be an investigation. If any underlying equipment problems are detected, the insurance company or court may rule against you for negligence.
You’ll always be in the know — You will receive reminders when a vehicle is almost due for maintenance
Increase the lifespan of your fleet — Healthier vehicles are more productive
Predictive maintenance scheduling — Early maintenance reminders help you efficiently schedule vehicle downtime to perform maintenance and any potential vehicle repairs
Stay organized — Organize past maintenance events to identify vehicle trends to help in further preventative measures
Connected Vehicles’ unique fleet maintenance reminder platform can track maintenance events for all your vehicles, regardless of the make, model, and size.
The Advanced Reminders Report works along with fleet maintenance reminders. After any maintenance event, you can instantly receive an email version of the report detailing exactly what maintenance was performed. When you do receive a maintenance reminder report, you’ll know it’s almost time for a scheduled maintenance event.
Often when we talk about fleet maintenance, trucks are the first thing that comes to mind, but what about all the other assets in your company? Forklifts, Tow Motors, Skid Steers, Trailers: are they being serviced regularly? Building out a fleet maintenance schedule around Engine Hours can be quote cumbersome – we can help with our fleet maintenance specialists. We can track other asset data such as:
Use the power of strong contextualized commercial connected vehicle data to make operational decisions. Strengthen your assets through fleet maintenance to reduce fuel costs, maximize efficiency, and help with the cost of ownership. The added value of insights through telematics data will provide greater insights into your asset usage, true utilization, dwell time, yard movements and yard entry and exit time enabling you to capture trends on vehicle usage.
Telematics and big data are essential to any business that wants a better bottom line. But just having the data even if it is real time is not useful. That is why we deliver more actionable data to help you realize higher ROI and better fleet performance. Connected Vehicles uses Geotab technology so you can measure what matters. You can automate your back office, mileage, HOS, DVIR and IFTA reporting, etc.
Geotab collects over 900 million points of data each day. Two thirds of these records are related to the engine data. Geotab’s team of of engineers and big data scientists have been working with engine data since 2004.
We share this data with you to improve and transform your business – You operations become safer and more secure and predictable. You will not only know where your vehicle locations and how they and your drivers are performing, you can also see trends such as driving habits, component wear and tear, fuel consumption, etc. This in turn will help you to predict your service and maintenance needs and help you reduce your downtime and lower your costs.
No all telematics services are created equal. You might want to consider asking your telematics provider to answer these questions:
Download this evaluation checklist from our partner Geotab and find out if your current telematics provider have what it takes to get your fleet moving into the future.
Getting actionable data just got easier! –
Here are new custom fleet management reports from Geotab. These report templates were custom-designed by our in-house Geotab Solutions Specialist and are available for free.
Telematics Device Issue Detection Report helps you detect performance issues by device and how to address them,
Watchdog report allows you to monitor communication status minute by minute and shows the devices that might be offline. You can set email notification so the report is sent directlty to you inbox.
Dynamic Vehicle Maintenance Reminder report helps you plan maintenance and better asset utilization. You can set up email reminders of service due, according to set rules for Due Date, Due Distance, or Due Engine Hours.Get the Report
Fuels Savings Customer Reports is here to boost your fleet’s fuel efficiency. You can easily see how driver behavior is impacting the total cost of operation (TCO) of your fleet.
Here is a helpful hint: Idling burns roughly 1 gallon of fuel per hour and vehicles which idle more than 50% of their on time experience higher maintenance costs. Here’s the kicker – Increased maintenance costs are also associated with aggressive driving behavior.
Average Fuel Economy Report n essential fleet management report for those looking to decrease their total fuel costs. Reducing fuel expenses can lead to a more efficient and profitable business operation. This report provides an easy-to-understand visualization of the average fuel economy for your fleet based on either liters per 100km (L/100km), MPG US, MPG IMP, or KML.
CO2 Emissions Report can help decrease your fleet’s carbon footprint and lead to a more efficient and profitable business operation.
Trips and Exceptions Reports can help you save time when it comes to reporting on driver safety trends and exceptions.
Exception Detail with Trips History Report shows customizable list of asset exceptions at a more granular level. Click on a link within the report sheet to directly open the exception’s trips history information.