The 6 Biggest Fleet Management Challenges in 2022 (And How to Overcome Them)
Fleet management is rapidly evolving. And while there are a lot of opportunities, there are also new challenges popping up all the time. A big part of effective fleet management is anticipating obstacles and proactively developing solutions. For this post, we’ll look at six of the biggest fleet management challenges in 2022 and offer actionable solutions to help you stay on top of your industry.
1. Rising Fuel Costs
Fuel has been and will continue to be one of the top expenses for fleets. Fuel ranks as the number two overall most significant cost for fleets on average — second only to vehicle depreciation. And unfortunately, fuel costs are on the rise.
“The national average for a gallon of gas is $3.41 (as of November 2021), which is $1.29 more than it was a year ago,” writes The New York Times. “Even after a recent price dip in crude oil, gasoline remains 7 cents more per gallon than it was a month ago.” This graph from AAA shows just how much higher gas prices were in 2021 compared to the previous three years.
And given the current trajectory, getting a grip on fuel consumption is one of the top fleet management challenges in 2022. But how do you do that?
Using smart engine software like VQ Efficiency is a great start. This features cutting-edge technology that only takes 30 minutes to install and features idle reduction, an eco adjustment, and a speed governor, which help lower fuel consumption dramatically. Fleets that use VQ Efficiency decrease their fuel budget by 6-10% each month. If you’re looking for a viable solution that doesn’t require a massive overhaul of your fleet operations, this is something to consider.Fleets that use VQ Efficiency decrease their fuel budget by 6-10% each month Click To Tweet
2. Growing Vehicle Maintenance Costs
Besides higher fuel costs, fleets can also get hit with higher vehicle maintenance costs in 2022. This is primarily due to the broader supply chain issues from COVID. In addition, there’s been a sharp rise in part prices, which doesn’t appear to be stopping soon. When you combine this with many mechanics losing money throughout the pandemic, vehicle maintenance costs will climb even higher in 2022.
This challenge only reaffirms the importance of taking a proactive approach to maintenance. Although vehicle repairs are inevitable and unavoidable, you can often minimize costly major repairs by sticking to a consistent maintenance schedule. Also, using telematics can supply you with near real-time data to detect minor problems before they escalate into something more significant. That way, you can lower the chances of severe breakdowns and extended vehicle downtime.
3. Increased Environmental Regulations
Environmental concerns like ozone depletion and climate change have spurred new clean air standards, which have already impacted fleet managers throughout much of the 21st century. That doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon. As extreme climate events become more common, we’re only going to see an increase in environmental regulations in 2022.
That’s why it’s so essential for fleet managers to have a strategic game plan in place to reduce emissions and become more environmentally friendly. Addressing this issue overlaps with the first challenge we mentioned of lowering fuel consumption. Using fleet management software can minimize vehicle idle rate, burn less fuel, and your carbon footprint.
A key feature of VQ Efficiency, for example, is an eco adjustment that adjusts the automatic transmission parameters to reduce fuel usage. It’s a straightforward modification, but one that results in significantly fewer emissions while at the same time creating a smoother driving experience.
4. Driver Shortages
Another major fleet management challenge is a lack of drivers. “The driver shortage has been among the top concerns for fleet managers in the past decade,” Reliable Plant explains. “But as the demands for freight transport increase and the number of new driver applicants continues to stagnate, experts predict the shortage of delivery drivers may approach 250,000 by 2022.”
Admittedly, this isn’t an issue with a neat, tidy solution. That said, a good starting point is to make a conscious effort to improve your company culture
- Set clear expectations with drivers
- Maintain open communication
- Ensure you’re willing to hear driver feedback and suggestions for improvements
- Offer career advancement opportunities
- Strive to offer a healthy work-life balance
Besides that, it’s smart to be on the lookout for ways to improve your onboarding. The more prepared drivers are, the better their odds are of long-term success, which should increase your retention rate. Finally, you may want to consider upping the driver’s salary, which is almost always effective for attracting quality drivers.
5. Driver Safety
This isn’t anything new, per se, but we felt it deserves mentioning because fleet drivers have a much higher exposure to crash risks than non-fleet drivers. To quantify, the annual accident rate for commercial fleets hovers around 20%, which means safety is always a top concern. Fortunately, there are some practical ways to significantly lower the chances of accidents occurring without the need for driver behavior modification.
One is to use Distracted Driving Prevention Cell Blocking, which syncs a driver’s phone with the vehicle to lock the phone based on vibration sensors and speed. This restricts fleet drivers from using their phones when they shouldn’t. And given the inherent danger of texting or talking while driving (it led to 3,142 fatalities in 2019), this is a simple yet effective way to prevent distracted driving.
Another innovative solution is a speed governor, which we touched on earlier. This device limits a driver’s maximum speed to whatever you set in your fleet’s policy, so they’re unable to endanger themselves or others on the road. Rather than waiting for speeding to occur and then correcting it, this ensures it’s never a problem, to begin with for maximum peace of mind.
6. Data Overload
There’s no lack of data for fleet managers these days. And that’s a good thing. Comprehensive data provides them with detailed insights on all aspects of fleet operations and facilitates more intelligent decision-making. That said, we’re now at the point where the sheer volume of generated data can become overwhelming if not properly managed. This is especially true for larger fleets that generate data for hundreds or even thousands of vehicles.
So how can you prevent data overload?
Here are two suggestions. First, choose an intuitive, user-friendly fleet management software that provides easy-to-read reports with a strong visual focus. This makes digesting large amounts of data more palatable. Derive VQ, for instance, offers a straightforward dashboard that gives you all the critical information you need at a glance.
Our other suggestion is to ensure you filter through the data only to get the information you truly need. This will likely take trial and error, but trimming back the non-essentials will result in less bulky reports and keep your findings hyper-relevant. Also, be mindful of how many alerts you receive and try to boil those down to the essentials.
Overcoming Fleet Management Challenges in 2022
Fleet management is one of the most dynamic industries with new trends continually unfolding. As we’ve just discussed, 2022 is shaping up to be a challenging year, and fleet managers will have a lot on their plate. ach problem has a corresponding solution, and fleet management software, can helpf overcome many of these challenges.