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.
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.
ELD is now a compliance requirement and your team is likely to have questions. Our guide has a number of tips to optimize your ELD solution, whether you’re deploying an electronic logging device (ELD) for the first time or replacing an existing AOBRD system in your trucks to comply with the ELD rule, the process of researching and evaluating the numerous solutions takes time and onboarding and implementing a new system can come with challenges.
A compliance solution for Hours of Service (HOS), Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR), and driver identification. With a user-friendly dashboard and intuitive workflow, this smart mobile app works with the Geotab Go telematics device to help fleets meet compliance regulations, boost productivity, and driver safety. Geotab’s electronic logging solution is self-certified and registered with FMCSA.
By minimizing violations with our robust alert system, including in-app driver warnings and real-time alerts. Compliance managers can use our platform to easily track driver logs, violations, and hours remaining.
With a complete end to end inspection workflow for Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR), pre-trip and post-trip. Record defects, who identified the defect, and who repaired it.
Fleet idling can be a big drain on your profits. And it has an incremental environmental impact as well. Idling wastes fuel and increase vehicle maintenance costs. Idling is also a bit misunderstood – We tend to over-idle even when most diesel engine manufacturers recommend maximum of three minutes of idling for warm up. Idling longer than the prescribed time can actually cause engine damage.
We also know that you as Fleet Managers are under pressure to drive out unnecessary costs. But, in order to reduce costs, you need to know exactly what is driving the cost. Connected Vehicles offer the necessary information to help you make informed decisions especially when it comes unnecessary idling.
We help identify the fleet idling whether your vehicle is in your own yard, at customer stops, drop off locations. We offer custom reports that show you monthly and weekly trends for idling by drivers, vehicles, and locations, so you can take corrective action.
Connected Vehicles can help reduce your overall fleet costs by reducing unnecessary idling.
You can set up an idling rules in MyGeotab software and then be notified based on exception to those rules. You will be able to easily identify drivers who might be idling for any non-business purpose (e.g. if there is no PTO engaged) or if they idle for longer than five minutes or any other exception you like.
Book your custom report demo or learn more about MyGeotab reporting solutions.
Telematics data, reporting and analysis, and driver coaching all play a role in creating more profitable, sustainable and efficient fleets. We have just added eight new custom fleet management reports from Geotab. These reports provide you with more actionable data to help you make better business decisions.
To reduce the idling occurrences even more, you can use Geotab’s GO TALK in-cab device as an Add-On so you can deliver a spoken text-to-speech message to your drivers. You can now offer immediate feedback and coaching to driver, instead of waiting to look at reports.
Please feel free to share your ideas on how you manage the excessive idling in your fleet.
There is a perception that fleet telematics is just a GPS fleet tracking system. However, it is more than just monitoring the location or movement of a vehicle. Telematics gives you complete, real-time knowledge of your fleet to help improve your operations and lower your costs. You can also view vehicles and engine data and address driver behaviour if needed.
Not all telematics services are created equal!
Most of the current providers face issues around scalability and data accuracy and granularity. Many traditional telematics companies are focused on today and are not prepared to scale quickly to meet the change in volume, technology or even your business needs. The market is full of small telematics providers that promise great functionality at very low prices but fail to deliver on that promise, over the long term. It can be difficult to determine the fit when it comes to picking a telematics partner. It helps if you know your business needs in advance, but it also good to ask questions to ensure you are picking the right partner.
Here are 10 questions to ask your telematics provider to help avoid future problems:
While these questions may seem obvious, you will be surprised how many businesses implement telematics solutions without asking these crucial questions. Doing your due diligence upfront, reduces the financial risk and negative operational impact in the future. That can have a serious impact on your bottom line. There are compelling metrics out there to that support Telematics deployment but it has to be done correctly and with a reliable partner.
What should you look for in Telematics solution?
At Connected Vehicles, we understand that for many of you this might be your first telematics purchase. You might want to ensure that your telematics solution offers:
We understand that raw, disparate bits of data are useless. Connected Vehicles offers intelligent data-driven applications that solve actual business problems. We do this by partnering with the industry-leading organizations like Geotab and Navistar. Connected Vehicles fuses telematics information & technology with our knowledge of the fleets, vehicles and drivers, into smart, data-driven solutions to help you be the best at what you do. We promise to be there with you, every step of the way and then some.
Please call us at 888.963.1364 to book your free no obligation quote or demo.