Being a fleet manager is not only difficult, but it’s also time-consuming because you never run out of tasks to accomplish. That’s why you should take advantage of the opportunity to make your job easier when it presents itself, such as with these four maintenance tips:
1. Use Fleet Management Software
Managing a fleet of trucks can be difficult because you’ll be in charge of multiple vehicles. That means you have to ensure that every vehicle is kept in tiptop condition and that your drivers are sticking to their assigned routes or schedules to make their deliveries on time. Plus, there’s also the challenge of tracking all the ins and outs of resources.
If you were to create separate spreadsheets for these, it would take you so much time and effort to regularly update all of them. However, if you use comprehensive fleet management software that automatically collects all necessary information regarding your trucks, you won’t have to worry about being overwhelmed with backlogs.
Of course, you would have to integrate most of your processes into the software for this to work, but once you’ve implemented the technology, managing your fleet will be a lot easier. So, consider investing in fleet management software to reduce your miscellaneous costs and increase your savings.
2. Do Preventive Maintenance
Prevention will always be better than cure, even in terms of fleet management. You won’t be able to make your deliveries or pick-ups on time if your trucks are broken, which means it will affect your entire operations for the day. And there’s no guarantee that you can accomplish all the repairs in one day.
Don’t risk losing potential profits due to downtime simply because you couldn’t be bothered to keep your trucks in check. Aside from routine maintenance, you should also start taking preventive measures to ensure that you can address any problems with your fleet before they become even worse.
For instance, your Detroit Diesel engines malfunctioned because of eventual wear and tear, which you failed to notice immediately. To ensure that you’re not going to cause any more damage, you’ll need to use a DD15 overhaul kit and specific aftermarket parts made for the type of engine you have.
3. Consider Using a Fuel Card Service
Providing every driver with a controlled cash allowance for refueling can be hard to keep track of, even more so if you’re doing it manually. And you won’t have proof that they’re using it to refuel their trucks instead of for their personal expenses. Even when there’s no reason to doubt your drivers, it might be better for your business if you used a fuel card service.
This way, you can eliminate the need for your drivers to carry around cash and safely keep their receipts for auditing. With a fuel card, you can easily manage the fuel purchases because all the transactions can be accessed through the service’s online portal. Plus, you may even receive discounts and loyalty points for using fleet fuel cards.
The fuel cards can also help you control your spending better than manually tracking your expenses ever can. Because every card will only contain the necessary amount to refuel a truck throughout the day, you can avoid having to deal with fuel fraud and irresponsible drivers.
4. Provide Proper Training for Drivers
It’s not enough for your drivers to just know how to drive; they need to follow your company’s rules and policies. They have to be compliant with road traffic rules and regulations to minimize the possibility of being involved in roadside accidents. Besides, you won’t want to face potential lawsuits due to reckless and impudent driving.
That’s why you have to take the time to train and coach your drivers properly before allowing them to head out to the roads. Make them understand the importance of safe driving and regular maintenance, not only for their own safety, but also for the safety of the other motorists, passengers, or pedestrians.
You can’t blame them for not following the protocols if you don’t invest time in training them in the first place. So, to reduce the expensive repairs, time-consuming lawsuits, and costly downtime that you’re going to face in the future, don’t forget to train your drivers—both new and existing—regularly.
There’s no such thing as a perfect way to manage your fleet, but you could at least exert some effort into trying to make things easier for you and your drivers. Don’t be afraid to look into innovative solutions and industry best practices that you can adapt if only to further improve your company’s bottom line.