The global vehicle fleet management industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.41%, reaching a market size of $55.10 billion in 2030.
While the future looks lucrative, companies are facing several challenges with motor vehicle fleet management. These problems stem from investment requirements, rising demands, compliance obligations, and vehicle management.
By implementing best practices for vehicle fleet management, organisations can improve safety, reduce costs, and optimise vehicle efficiency. With these best practices, companies can get the most use out of each vehicle. This allows them to serve more customers without investing in additional resources.
Pick the Right Vehicles
The vehicles in your fleet can be the basis of growth or problems in the future. Instead of looking at the best options in the market, you should first understand the needs of your organisation. You can create a checklist for ideal vehicles based on the following criteria:
- Cargo size
- Delivery type
- Delivery locations
- Number of delivery locations
- Maintenance budgets
- Engine & Fuel capacity
- Fuel type
- Transmission requirements
- Body type
- Travel distance
- Safety requirements
- Legal compliance
- Environmental compliance
- Technological integrations
You need to consider both present and future requirements when building your motor vehicle fleet. For instance, If you are planning to use a vehicle fleet management system. Then you need to choose a vehicle that is compatible with your technical requirements.
Then you need to check for options that fit these requirements. This checklist will also help you identify the number of vehicles you will need in your fleet.
For example, if you are fulfilling eCommerce orders, then a fleet of small vehicles is more useful than large trucks. On the other hand, if you're supplying goods to a retail outlet, a large truck perfectly fits the bill.
Conduct Regular Vehicle Maintenance
As with all things mechanical, motor vehicles need regular maintenance. It is necessary to ensure that your vehicles can perform reliably for a long time. It also saves you money on repair costs and ensures the safety of your drivers while the vehicle is in use.
Each of these strategies can help you with vehicle fleet management in different ways. Routine maintenance has a set format. It addresses general wear and tear issues.
With planned maintenance, you schedule period inspections for the motor vehicle fleet. Then you design a maintenance schedule based on the inspection report. In this format, you first identify problem areas and then address them with maintenance, repair, or replacement.
Corrective maintenance is quite similar to routine maintenance. But this maintenance is scheduled based on the expected lifespan of different parts of the vehicle. Here each maintenance session would focus on different parts of the vehicle.
In predictive maintenance, you use data to identify potential problems. You can use the historical records and data from a vehicle’s sensors for this analysis. Based on this information, you can schedule maintenance sessions. In this format, each session focuses on a particular problem that may occur in the future.
You can use one or all of these strategies to maintain your vehicles. These vehicle fleet management best practices pay dividends in the long run. You will avoid high repair costs and unexpected breakdowns. It will also help you increase the lifetime value of the vehicle.
Monitor Fuel Usage
Monitoring fuel usage is crucial for vehicle fleet management to identify opportunities to improve fuel efficiency, reduce costs, and optimise vehicle performance.
You can monitor fuel usage by installing fuel monitoring systems in vehicles, analysing fuel consumption data, and comparing actual fuel consumption with expected consumption based on vehicle specifications.
You can also encourage drivers to adopt fuel-efficient driving habits and implement a fuel management program to track fuel consumption and expenses. By monitoring fuel usage, fleet managers can identify opportunities to improve fuel efficiency, reduce costs, and make data-driven decisions to optimise fleet operations.
Use GPS Tracking
Vehicle fleet management tracking system grants visibility on the drivers’ and vehicles' activity. This gives you control over an otherwise remote operation. It is also a tool to enforce compliance on the drivers.
Advantages of vehicle fleet management tracking system:
- Get real-time status
- Remote monitoring
- Ensure route compliance
- Identify route deviations
- Recognise unauthorised use
- Collect performance data
In the long run, a vehicle fleet management tracking system can help reduce the distance travelled per delivery. This ultimately reduces wear and tear as well as fuel consumption. According to vehicle fleet trends report, GPS navigation can cut down fuel costs by 7% to 20%.
GPS tracking can also help with scheduling and dispatching vehicles, reducing downtime and improving customer service. Additionally, GPS tracking can improve driver safety by monitoring speeding and harsh driving behaviour. By utilising GPS tracking, fleet managers can make data-driven decisions, improve operations, and save costs.
Conduct Regular Training Sessions
Driver training is also crucial for motor vehicle fleet management to ensure safety, reduce accidents, and promote efficient driving habits. Fleet managers can train drivers by providing regular safety training and education, promoting defensive driving techniques, and encouraging fuel-efficient driving habits.
The training sessions should also bridge the gap between different operations. For instance, fleet management is intricately linked with warehouse management in eCommerce order fulfilment. Inefficiency in part of the operation can cause a disturbance in the other. Hence, it is necessary to conduct joint training sessions to ensure that the entire operation runs like clockwork.
Training can include classroom instruction, hands-on driving exercises, and simulator training. Fleet managers can also utilise technology such as driver scorecards and telematics to monitor and improve driver behaviour. By training drivers, fleet managers can reduce accidents, improve efficiency, and promote a culture of safety.
Set Performance Metrics
Performance metrics are essential for vehicle fleet management to measure and evaluate the performance of vehicles, drivers, and operations. They serve as benchmarks for operations.
Some of the most important metrics for motor vehicle fleet management include:
- Fuel Consumption
- Number of Completed Tasks (e.g. deliveries)
- Number of Incomplete Tasks (e.g. missed/delayed deliveries)
- Vehicle Uptime
- Maintenance Cost per Year
- Hours of Service
- Distance Covered
- Customer Satisfaction
- The Total Cost of Ownership
- Total Return on Investment per Vehicle
These metrics help you understand the performance of your motor vehicle fleet. It can also help you track the performance of individual drivers and vehicles. It also helps you identify areas that are causing problems and the ones that yield the best results.
Based on this data, you can decide regarding maintenance, training sessions, and technological requirements. These metrics can also guide your decisions for staff management and vehicle purchases.
Leverage Technology to Optimise Vehicle Fleet Management
Technology plays a vital role in vehicle fleet management by improving efficiency, increasing safety, and reducing costs. Fleet managers can use technology in various ways to optimise fleet operations, such as:
Fleet Management Software:
Vehicle fleet management software helps manage various aspects of fleet operations, including maintenance, fuel management, driver management, dispatch management, and vehicle tracking. This software can also serve as a communication channel between the fleet manager and the driver.
Telematics devices can be installed in vehicles to track their location, monitor driving behaviour, and collect data on vehicle performance. According to the Telematic Benchmark Report, fleet managers use telematics to prevent speeding and driver fatigue. They also use it to monitor drivers’ performance and hours of service.
Fuel Monitoring Systems:
Fuel monitoring systems can be installed in vehicles to track fuel consumption and identify opportunities to improve fuel efficiency.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs):
ELDs track driver hours of service and ensure compliance with regulations, improving safety and reducing liability.
By utilising technology, fleet managers can optimise fleet operations, reduce costs, improve safety, and make data-driven decisions.
Vehicle fleet management is a complex task that requires navigating a lot of different operations. These best practices help you design standard operating procedures for managing your motor vehicle fleet. They can also guide your decisions to invest in technology or new vehicles. Use these vehicle management best practices to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and generate the best possible ROI from each vehicle.