6 Ways To Improve Efficiency with Your Fleet
The success of any fleet largely depends on its efficiency; the ability to achieve an end goal with little to no waste, effort, or energy. All processes are optimized by putting the resources you have to use in the best way possible. Being efficient increases your bottom line. Fleet efficiency is calculated based on factors like fuel consumption, routes, emissions, productivity, operating costs, and driver safety. The whole operation suffers when a fleet isn’t managed with continued and efficient oversight. It trickles down from management to drivers and even customers. Managing a fleet is challenging, however, there are ways to improve efficiency with your fleet.
1. Schedule Preventative Maintenance
Poor fleet maintenance practices result in downtime, ultimately impacting efficiency. Unexpected vehicle breakdowns are costly and disrupt the flow of goods and services. When vehicles are serviced on a regular schedule, it extends the life of the vehicle and helps avoid unexpected breakdowns. It starts with creating a preventative maintenance schedule. Depending on the size of your fleet, you could do this the old-fashioned way with a notebook and a pencil. However, it’s a good idea to invest in fleet management software. It simplifies the process and helps you stay on track with your preventative maintenance schedule. Reminders can be set based on the vehicle’s hours on the road or odometer readings eliminating the guesswork on which vehicle needs maintenance and when.
2. Track the Service History of Each Fleet Vehicle
Not keeping track of the service history of your fleet puts you at a disadvantage and can be costly. Past service records provide more than just actual repairs to each vehicle. Keeping detailed service records helps develop a picture of each vehicle’s performance and the issues it has had in the past, giving you insight into which vehicles are prone to service issues. Most vehicle warranties require certain maintenance to be done at specific intervals. If you don’t have service records, you could break the warranty. A detailed service history is also helpful if you sell a vehicle from your fleet. Potential buyers can make an informed decision on the possible purchase.
3. Develop a Vehicle Replacement Cycle
Vehicle replacement is a necessary component of your fleet management. As vehicles age, they don’t run as efficiently, even with regular preventative maintenance. New technologies are being added to new vehicles that make logistics so much easier, and their eco-friendliness helps fleets maintain compliance with Government regulations. When considering appropriate guidelines on vehicle replacement, it’s important to take into consideration how much the vehicle has been used, operating costs, and depreciation. When you are constantly managing the vehicle’s data, you can replace it before it gets to the point where a large mechanical repair or unexpected breakdown can bring operations to a halt. This impedes the efficiency of the whole fleet.
4. Provide Open and Direct Communication
When everyone is on the same page with open and direct communication, it helps enable the fleet to run efficiently. This includes internal staff, drivers, and fleet managers. When communication flows organically, in a structured, safe, and clearly defined way, any problems that might arise will be managed with less stress. Less friction and misunderstanding increase the overall efficiency of the whole organization. Problems can be resolved quickly or even cut off at the pass. Improving internal communication will have a domino effect on motivation and productivity, regardless of your fleet size or the type of service you provide.
5. Give Regular Feedback on Driver Behavior
This is crucial for drivers to be able to do their jobs more efficiently. When drivers know there is a problem, they can correct the behavior with driver education. Unaddressed dangerous driving habits lead to vehicle breakdowns, accelerated wear and tear, and serious accidents. Feedback on good driver behavior also helps morale. Happy drivers perform better overall, and that behavior increases efficiency. Happy drivers make the hiring process easier for fleet managers because people want to work where the company culture is positive. We’ve all heard stories about the delivery driver caught on camera aggressively throwing a package. No one wants to work where drivers are that stressed.
6. Manage Fuel Efficiency
Managing the fuel efficiency of each vehicle in your fleet is critical to improving the efficiency of your fleet. This can be accomplished through idle reduction, customizable speed limiters, and adjusting automatic transmission parameters.
- Idling reduction reduces fuel burn and carbon emissions by lowering the standing idle rate on vehicles without impacting performance.
- Customizable speed limiters improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Higher vehicle speeds increase fuel burn and produce more carbon emissions.
- Eco adjustment smooths out vehicle shifting patterns to reduce excess fuel burn and help lower your fleet’s carbon footprint and meet compliance regulations.
Added Benefit: Improving Fleet Efficiency Promotes Sustainability
With the push for businesses to increase their environmental performance, Governments are cracking down. The transportation industry plays a significant role in the environmental impacts of carbon emissions. Fleet managers must explore innovative strategies to reduce carbon emissions. The key to becoming a ‘greener’ company is fleet efficiency.
Fleet management is a challenging endeavor. Fleet managers have a lot on their plate dealing with the vehicles and their drivers. Derive VQ Efficiency can make their job so much easier and improve the efficiency of their fleet. Contact us to learn more about improving the efficiency of your fleet.