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Fleet Management Best Practices to Improve Operations and Efficiency Brian Dziuk | May 17, 2021 11:00:00 AM

Rastrac knows we don’t have to tell you that your job as a fleet manager involves a diverse set of tasks and responsibilities. From ensuring driver safety to monitoring fuel efficiency, and everything in between, your role is critical for delivering on your promises to customers. This skill set of navigating between facets and features of your company, internally and externally, is robust, but could be further optimized. A modern and agile GPS fleet management system can help you make your efforts more effective and efficient!

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What are Fleet Management Solutions?

There are a variety of fleet management solutions available, including GPS tracking, software that automates tasks, and more. 

GPS tracking for fleet management is a powerful tool that enables you to monitor and track vehicles — far beyond just knowing their locations. A GPS fleet management system can provide an overview of exactly how each vehicle is used, track driving patterns like sharp braking, monitor vehicle performance, automate maintenance reminders, and more. 

Fleet Management

Why Efficient Fleet Management Matters

An automated fleet management system reduces the stress that is involved with managing an entire vehicle fleet. Businesses across numerous industries worldwide use GPS tracking software and devices to save money, improve their fleet management operations, and make more informed financial and operational decisions. Understanding how your fleet vehicles operate and exist in the world ultimately correlates to your fleet’s impact on your company’s bottom line.

Nobody wants unnecessary expenses, wasted resources, or dangerous drivers to represent their company. GPS tracking provides a comprehensive solution to building an awareness of your fleet’s operational efficiency - you can use this information to best support your fleet and the future of your business.

Fleet Management Best Practices 

1. Focus on the Big Picture with a Fleet Management System

It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane activities of fleet management. However, it’s important to stay focused on your long-term strategic and business initiatives as well. For example, utilizing a fleet management system to monitor vehicle use rates, as well as maintenance and repair costs, ensures you’ve set aside enough funding to replace vehicles and plan for other future expenses.

2. Use GPS Tracking to Monitor Vehicle Usage and Performance

As a fleet manager, it’s critical to know not only where your vehicles are driven but how they are performing. GPS tracking software can monitor vehicle performance data from the comfort of your home or office with remote vehicle monitoring. With commercial vehicle tracking devices and software, you can monitor a variety of engine and vehicle performance data.

For example, if you have a fleet of refrigerated trucks, known as “reefer” trucks, is the cargo section of each truck maintaining an appropriate temperature range? You can set notifications to inform you when the temperature is off. This means that when an unusual temperature is registered on a particular vehicle, it will inform you and you can immediately call the driver to ask them to check their hold because a door may be open or the refrigeration unit may be malfunctioning. This saves you not only the cost of a spoiled cargo load, but also the driver’s time by not having to pull over periodically to manually check the assets.

3. Perform Regular Vehicle Maintenance to Reduce Repairs

Automobiles of any size are pieces of machinery, and as such, they need to be regularly maintained to ensure they are operating with the greatest efficiency. This means performing regular preventative maintenance on your vehicles. The financial and operational benefits of doing so include:

  • Boosting the efficiency of each fleet vehicle, thus consuming less fuel
  • Making fleet vehicles safer for your drivers to operate
  • Reducing the number of expensive repairs that could have been avoided with routine, preventative maintenance

    Vehicle Maintenance

4. Use Fleet Management Software Data to Make Informed Decisions

If you have all of this information available, you might as well get the most out of it, right? Fleet management data is only helpful if you put it to use. You can receive automated reports about critical factors that affect the efficiency of your fleet and your organization’s bottom line to make better and more informed decisions. Some of the types of information you can monitor with GPS tracking software include:

  • Vehicle and engine performance
  • Vehicle route adherence
  • Vehicle hours of usage and by whom
  • Specific driver behaviors, such as hard braking or sharp acceleration
  • Fuel usage
  • Vehicle maintenance and life cycles

5. Reduce insurance costs while protecting your assets

Many insurance providers offer discounts to fleet management companies that install anti-theft technologies on their vehicles or other large equipment assets. This will help you to reduce your insurance bill and save your company money in the short-term and long-term. Plus, it gives you peace of mind knowing you will always know exactly where your property and assets are located.

6. Receive real-time alerts about your fleet’s location

By using GPS tracking software and devices, you can monitor the location of your vehicles that are in the field anytime from the comfort of your home or office. Additionally, you can set up small or large geofences around virtually any areas you designate so you can receive automatic notifications if your assets leave those specific areas.

Geofencing

7. Trust Your Employees, But Don’t Be Afraid to Also Verify

While it’s true that every fleet manager wants to be able to trust that their employees are doing the right thing, a wise fleet manager knows that they need to not only trust but verify, as well. For example, if your organization has a policy to return vehicles to the company parking lot or garage after hours, you’ll be able to know whether that is happening or if employees are driving company vehicles home or using them to run “errands” on your dime.

Some bad employee behaviors can cost you significant money in other ways should they get into accidents. According to the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA):

“Motor vehicle crashes cost employers $60 billion annually in medical care, legal expenses, property damage, and lost productivity. They drive up the cost of benefits such as workers' compensation, Social Security, and private health and disability insurance. In addition, they increase the company overhead involved in administering these programs.”

But, how would you know whether your employees are acting accordingly and are abiding by your organization’s policies without a GPS fleet management system? You likely wouldn’t — after all, you can’t know what you don’t know! 

This means that those employees’ practices would then be able to continue unchecked, costing your business money in fuel usage, unnecessary vehicle wear and tear, and medical costs, and vehicle repair or replacement expenses. GPS tracking for fleet management helps you to ensure that your employees are abiding by company policies and rules and helps you to hold them accountable.

Reach Out to Rastrac for All Your Fleet Management Needs

Rastrac is a global GPS fleet management leader who helps businesses get the most productivity out of their fleets for less money. Fleet managers worldwide trust Rastrac for their GPS tracking and asset tracking needs, and we are responsible for tracking more than $1.5 billion in assets.

To learn more about how a GPS fleet management system can make your fleet more efficient, check out our guide by clicking on the link below. Or, if you’d like to schedule a demo or get a quote, contact us today!

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