If you’re starting a business that utilizes commercial vehicles to any capacity, or if you’ve just started working for one, you’ve probably heard the term fleet management a few times. You might be confused about what it is or have a vague sense, but it’s crucial that you understand it. Here’s our guide on everything you need to know about fleet management.
What It Is
In short, it’s about managing a fleet of vehicles. If your company has commercial vehicles, they’re already engaging in fleet management. However, there are more and less effective ways of doing it. Fleet management includes overseeing all the vehicles and their operation, including fuel consumption and costs, route planning, and driver management. This can technically be done manually, but it’s made a lot more effective and requires less effort if you utilize a software instead. Proper management will increase fleet efficiency and reduce operational costs.
Why You Need It
The short answer, you just do. To some extent, your fleet is always being managed. Doing this efficiently has a lot of benefits, though. It can increase the safety of drivers by monitoring their driving behavior and ensuring that it’s safe, giving them pointers to slow down or take a rest as needed, and it can help find problematic behaviors that you can address in training.
It’s also important for making it easier to assign cars and jobs to available drivers, planning routes, and knowing when your vehicles need servicing. All of these things can contribute to lowering operational costs, as they can reduce fuel consumption, required maintenance for vehicles and the hours of manpower needed for the logistics of your operations. Lastly, it can help you comply with regulations and requirements and avoid penalties for breaking them. This is achieved by making sure your drivers’ diaries are accurate and breaks are taken as needed, and all vehicles are up to code in terms of service and maintenance. The ELD mandate also requires you to use an electronic logging service, and not doing so is likely to result in hefty fines.
How It’s Done
Fleet management can be done manually, but it’s not the most efficient way of doing it. It takes time and effort and leaves a lot of room for mistakes due to human error. Most companies utilize a software for fleet management. In fact, gathering vehicle data electronically is important to stay compliant with the ELD mandate, operators of commercial vehicles must use electronic logging services. These kinds of logging services and software are telematics systems. Telematics involves the gathering of vehicle locations and activity, driver behavior, and engine diagnostics.
It basically involves all the data related to your vehicles. To further understand telematics, you can review a more thorough guide on what it is. This doesn’t mean you have to use it for fleet management, however, but when you already have the data, why not? A good software can analyze and plan according to this data and report it to you, letting you make more informed decisions about everything to do with the operation and management of your fleet of vehicles.