Whether you’re dealing with trucks, vans, cars or bikes, managing your first fleet can be a daunting task. Done right, it can also be highly rewarding. Effectively overseeing the performance of your vehicles and identifying room for improvements has several benefits. This includes:
- Better productivity
- Time and cost savings
- Enhanced driver wellbeing
- Higher customer satisfaction
Vehicles that are properly maintained consume less fuel, experience less breakdowns and reduce your overall operating expenses. Taking a proactive approach to fleet management also helps you get on top of any problems before they snowball into safety issues. With this in mind, here are 8 tips to keep your first fleet running smoothly.
Appoint an inspector
The first step to maintaining a healthy fleet is to lay out a well-defined inspection routine. Preventative maintenance such as engine cleaning, oil changes and tyre changes should be scheduled on a regular basis. Set reminders on your calendar or better yet, your fleet management system – more on that later.
When the cost or effort required to follow the inspection routine becomes too high, you can consider enlisting the help of a dedicated vehicle maintenance provider. They will take care of everything while you focus on business.
Obtain driver reports
In addition to regular inspections, you should also be staying in touch with your drivers as often as possible. After all, they spend the most time with your vehicles. Ensure that they follow tasks such as checking the tyre pressure and ensuring that the electronics are in working order.
There are different types of software and tools available for automatic reporting. They allow drivers to make inspections digitally and send the data remotely to avoid delay.
Check those tyres
According to a recent AAA study, worn tyres can reduce handling ability by 28% on a light truck. This can mean the difference between braking on time and getting into an expensive collision. It’s important to monitor your tyre pressures not only for safety, but also for fuel economy.
Remember that factors such as road surface, weather and individual driving habits can all impact degradation. It’s therefore a good idea to test pressures before and after each trip to keep track of performance.
Get fleet insurance
Instead of going through the costly effort of insuring each of your vehicles individually, you can save with a fleet insurance policy. This will also reduce the amount of paperwork and admin. There are many different types of cover and specific requirements that you should know about here.
Quote comparison websites like quotezone.co.uk can help you find cheap fleet insurance while providing all of the necessary information needed to get insured correctly. Aside from their in-depth guide, Quotezone will identify the most suitable fleet insurance providers in the UK through a short form on their website. This will make it easier to find the right policy for your needs.
Clean your fleet
You probably wouldn’t meet a client with your shoes covered in mud. Similarly, driving around in dirty vehicles does nothing good for your brand image. The odd wash and polish is worth the time and effort. This is true for numerous reasons, including the following benefits:
- Improves driver satisfaction
- Makes your company look professional
- Helps reveal rust and deterioration early
Consider developing a relationship with a fleet maintenance provider that can keep your vehicles clean. They’ll have the necessary training to spot any issues before they get out of hand.
Train your drivers
It’s wise to spend some time coaching your drivers. Train them how to navigate the road efficiently and maintain their vehicles. Drivers who understand the importance of careful and compliant driving are less likely to get into accidents that may lead to costly repairs or worse, lawsuits.
Taking steps to bolster your fleet’s green strategy has several benefits. Not only does it improve your public image, but it also allows you to take advantage of efficiency improvements that save money. Here are some things you can do to make your fleet more environmentally-friendly:
- Find companies that recycle old tyres and batteries
- Reduce time spent idling
- Invest in aerodynamic components for trucks
- Use biodegradable cleaning products
- Encourage safety to reduce material usage spent on collisions
- Search for local vendors with a greener approach
- Find more efficient routes
Use fleet management software
Investing in telematics tools is a great way to get an edge on the competition. According to one report, fleet management data is capable of increasing your productivity by up to 15% and reducing your spend by 10%. These apps can notify you of potential issues and help you keep track of the whereabouts of your drivers.
Don’t forget to look ahead and plan accordingly. Where do you see yourself in the next few months? What about the next few years? Hopefully, with a bigger fleet and more drivers. Preparing for that growth and learning what you can now is key to the future success of your fleet.