Running a fleet is no easy task. To your drivers it may seem like you just bark orders from behind a desk, but in reality, you have to set their routes, oversee their route progress, get repairs done quickly, and communicate with vendors — all while staying within the company budget.
So that raises the question. What are the best ways to save money for your fleet?
Well, it depends on what kind of fleet you have. A fleet of mining dump trucks have much different issues than a school district’s fleet of buses, so each vehicle group would require different ways to save money.
With that in mind, here are some of the best ways to save money on fleet operating costs:
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Use a Vehicle Fleet Tracking Service
Vehicle fleet tracking lets you know where vehicles are at all times. Many services give managers real-time access to location data, fuel usage, route progress, and estimated arrival times. Here is fuel card comparison.
Basically, vehicle fleet tracking is GPS tracking devices that are hooked up inside the vehicle and linked to the fleet tracking server by a gateway device or a smartphone app. Managers can check on vehicle status from the back office or their phone once it is all set up.
That’s great and all, but how does it save money for fleets?
For one, it always lets you know where a vehicle is so it does not get lost. Losing vehicles is more common among businesses working in remote areas, such as mining, oil and gas, logging, wildlife management, and farming. Drivers sometimes leave
Instead of wasting time and resources scouring the environment for that lost logging truck, use vehicle fleet tracking to identify where it is right away. That way, the vehicle is back in action quickly and money is not spent searching for it.
It is also a good way to mitigate theft hurting your business. If a company vehicle gets snatched without fleet tracking you can hope the authorities track it down but otherwise it is probably a lost cause. But with fleet tracking you can just use your phone to find the vehicle and pick it up in a snap.
Lastly, fleet tracking can help with insurance fraud because you constantly have proof of the vehicle’s location. If someone tries to falsely claim a company truck cut them off on the freeway, the past vehicle data can show the driver was in the right.
By providing updated and detailed information, fleet tracking devices give you important geographical knowledge on vehicles so you are not ignorant to what’s happening to them.
Change Up Your Main Routes
Revisiting your fleet’s route map could be a way to save some coin. It is easy to use the same routes over and over again, but if those routes are long and take up more gas then it might be a good idea to look at other options.
Gas is very pricy these days and shaving off any bit of duration from a route would save the company money in the long term. It may not seem like much of a difference at each fill-up but it could be noticeable on the balance sheet.
Limit Excess Material in Vehicles
Another way of saving a little bit of gas is making sure work vehicles are not carrying extra stuff on a regular basis. Every random thing sitting in the back of a truck adds up to weigh more and cost your business more at the pump.
That does not mean trucks should be completely empty because many necessary items and specialty equipment are in there for a reason. Even still, there is probably a bunch of clutter that can be removed to keep the fleet organized and lighten the load.
Paper pre- and post-trip inspection forms, paper fuel receipts or other paper documents have long been the standard methods for recording vehicle data. Those days are coming to an end because of how costly and inconvenient paper forms are.
Paper forms are ridiculously easy to misplace, and when they do inevitably get lost then your company loses important information. And even if the forms don’t get lost, processing paper forms can take a ton of time because someone has to manually inspect each form to make sure it’s filled out right.
Switch your pre-trip inspection reporting to a digital solution to keep track of everything better and save money.
Spend Less on Maintenance
Does your company’s home office really need to be cleaned every day? The answer is no, so if your main office uses a daily cleaning service then maybe switch it up to a weekly service. Most of your employees are on the road anyway so the handful that remain in the office should be able to stay reasonably clean.
Now when it comes to vehicle maintenance you should spare no expense. After all, your fleet should be in the best shape possible.