11 Tips To More Effective Fleet Management Procedures

Understanding fleet management procedures is a part of being the fleet manager at a company. There are endless amounts of forms, documents, and procedures to follow. Keeping track of them all can lead to mistakes- which could cost your company both time and money. 

Fleet management procedures include organizing, analyzing, and maintaining records pertaining to fleet maintenance, break-downs, driver training, insurance claims, accidents, and logistics. Keeping track of the various aspects of fleet management becomes exponentially more difficult the more the size of the fleet increases. 

Keeping organized fleet management processes in place is critical for fleet managers today. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of tips to aid you in your fleet management. Here are some of our favorite and practical fleet management tips that every fleet manager should follow for a more efficient workflow.

11 Tips To More Effective Fleet Management Procedures

Make Sure You Always Have The Most Up To Date Fleet Information At Hand

By having an easy way of tracking your fleet, such as through a mobile app, fleet managers increase their chances of spotting issues with vehicles before they become problems. Problems can range from unneeded mileage to poor fuel economy and even severe damage to the vehicle- all of which fleet managers can spot by utilizing data concerning their fleet. 

It’s easier than ever for fleet managers to keep track of vehicle data and usage when it comes in real-time form; no longer will they need to sort through piles of reports or logs to gather relevant statistics.

Keep Thorough Fleet Records

When fleet managers keep detailed fleet records, they have a better chance of spotting patterns in their fleet, pointing to underlying problems or issues with specific vehicles. By spotting patterns, fleet managers are better able to implement policies and procedures that improve the fleet as a whole. 

For example, suppose a fleet manager notices that all of the trucks from 2013 have been driven over 80,000 miles but have not often received proper maintenance. In that case, there may be an issue with maintenance for this particular manufacturer’s vehicles. It will allow fleet managers to develop a policy of regular vehicle inspections for any vehicle on the road past 80,000 miles/one year old.

There is another excellent benefit to maintaining good records of your fleet. When a fleet vehicle reaches its retirement, the better records kept of its maintenance, the higher the price you will achieve when selling the vehicle. Think about it – no one wants to buy a poorly (or mysteriously) maintained vehicle. But, if you have all of the records of maintenance showing your due diligence, you are much more likely to obtain your asking price.

Use Tracking Fleet Management Apps To Be Efficient Fleet Managers

One of the essential fleet management processes is fleet route planning. Fleet managers can save time by using a fleet tracking fleet management app because all relevant information about each vehicle is in one location- rather than spread out across different documents or other fleet manager’s reports. 

Not only does this make fleet managers more efficient by saving their time, but it also allows them to see where certain vehicles are at any given time (which can sometimes be necessary for safety reasons).

Fleet drivers tend to be more productive when fleet managers use real-time fleet tracking fleet management apps; this allows fleet managers to ensure that their vehicles find use in the most effective way possible. 

It means that fleet managers like you can determine which fleet vehicles should be assigned to different routes because fleet managers will know where each fleet vehicle has been and how much time it takes for each fleet vehicle to reach its destination.

Make Sure That Every Vehicle Has A Profile Id/ Name

Trying to track down specific vehicles during an emergency can be extremely difficult if fleet managers do not know what each vehicle looks like

 or memorize their license plates.

Fleet managers can input a Profile ID or name for each vehicle with fleet tracking fleet management apps. It allows fleet managers to make sure that they can easily spot the right vehicle during an emergency, reducing the risk of injury and saving time.

Utilizing a numbering system (like the one you can see in the above image) allows you to maintain clean and organized fleet records by designating the exact vehicle without the need of pulling the VIN. It’s an easy and effective way of tracking vehicles and quickly identifying them when parked in your lot.

Use Field Maintenance Reports To Maintain Fleet Safety Standards

When fleet managers put together field maintenance reports through a fleet tracking fleet management app or manually, fleet managers have a better understanding of how their company is performing to maintain fleet safety standards. 

This way, if any repairs are required, fleet managers can prioritize them according to severity level and ensure that it gets done quickly. Fleet managers can increase fleet safety by having these up-to-date records on hand and a good fleet vehicle maintenance program.

Having a digital solution for tracking fleet maintenance is one way that fleet managers are better suited to analyze their current fleet report metrics. Using an app like 1st Reporting allows managers to generate reports based on reporting frequency and other factors. This insight will enable you to make prioritized and educated decisions about your fleet by revealing trends in the fleet reports.

You know the importance of understanding trends in your fleet data. With fatality data consistently revealing that motor-vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths, it is vital that you understand just how important monitoring your fleet safety really is. (source)

Keep Track Of Distance Traveled Per Month By Each Vehicle

By having access to records concerning how many miles each fleet vehicle travels every month, fleet managers can determine how hard the vehicles are driven and if protocols need to be modified accordingly. It allows fleet managers to prioritize fleet vehicle maintenance and fleet safety and ensure that fleet managers listen to fleet drivers and vice versa.

Knowing the odometer readings of your fleet is crucial to projecting further repair and maintenance costs, as well as establishing a baseline for maintenance and inspection frequency.

Establish Vehicle-Replacement Cycles

Having a fleet-vehicle replacement cycle in place will allow fleet managers to replace fleet vehicles with high mileage and no longer adequate for fleet safety. It saves fleet managers money because they can get rid of expensive fleet vehicle part replacements. It subsequently aids in reducing the risk of accidents due to faulty fleet vehicle parts. 

These types of goals allow fleet managers to make fleet vehicle safety a priority and improve fleet productivity. As mentioned earlier, maintaining records is crucial to the most cost-effective vehicle retirement solutions, so ensure you’re keeping top-notch records of your fleet.

Encourage Good Driving Behavior

It is easy for fleet managers to forget that fleet drivers are human beings, not machines. Therefore, fleet managers should encourage good driving behavior from fleet drivers by facilitating them to report unsafe situations and take breaks when needed to avoid fleet accidents. 

It allows fleet managers to make sure that fleet drivers feel fresh and alert when they are on the road, improving fleet safety. Fleet managers can make sure fleet drivers are focusing 100% of their attention on the task at hand simply by checking in with them during appointments.

In 2019 there were 4,119 deaths in the United States from heavy truck crashes. That’s a lot of preventable deaths and nearly all of them are involved with fleet operations. Encouraging good driving behavior is one way we can work at eliminating this unnecessary loss of life. (source)

Give Fleet Drivers A List Of Best Routes

By giving fleet drivers a list of fleet routes deemed the safest, fleet drivers can be encouraged to use those fleet routes instead of finding their fleet vehicle routes, resulting in increased fleet safety. 

It encourages fleet drivers to communicate with fleet managers regularly. If they find themselves on a new fleet route, fleet drivers will want to report it so that future fleet drivers will not accidentally take the fleet route. It saves fleet managers money because fleet drivers will not be going off on expensive fleet routes, improving overall fleet safety awareness.

Use Driver Checklists

Sometimes drivers forget some procedures regarding the care and maintenance of fleet vehicles, or even daily operational checks can be overlooked. To avoid fleet vehicle maintenance mistakes, fleet managers should put together checklists that will provide fleet drivers with the most common fleet driver tasks, so they do not forget them during their shifts. It allows fleet managers to ensure that fleet vehicles are being taken care of, improving fleet safety.

Use A Digital Reporting App For All Your Drivers And Fleet

If there is one thing that is similar to all the tips we’ve provided so far, it is that each requires a certain level of documentation. As soon as you include documentation for drivers, you’ll notice that some drivers hand in dirty paperwork, some have messy writing, some will forget to complete the paperwork altogether. Okay, yes, providing your drivers with a checklist to follow so they don’t forget procedures is a great idea, but how do you solve the issues with dirty or illegible paperwork? 

Incorporating a digital reporting solution, such as the 1st Reporting app, is one-way fleet managers make their jobs easier and more efficient. Not only that, but a mobile form automation solution will also eliminate:

  • Dirty or soiled paperwork
  • Lost paperwork
  • Illegible writing
  • Searching for documents (retrieval)

Imagine you could use an app that works on Android or iPhone devices. An app that also works on a laptop, desktop, or tablet could enhance your entire team’s ability to complete documents like vehicle walk-around safety inspections, vehicle repair request forms, and more.

Consider also that a driver may submit their vehicle inspection form from anywhere that provides them with a data connection. And you can set up instant notifications so that you or another manager can receive a notification the moment your driver has submitted a report.

For example, you could have a driver dropping off a load in Calgary, Alberta, and retrieve their vehicle inspection form within seconds, even if your office is in Miami. The point is that with a cloud-based reporting solution, you can keep track of your fleet reports from anywhere, in real-time. Now that’s a solution worth checking out!

Fleet Management Procedures Summary

If you have fleet vehicles, it is essential that fleet managers effectively maintain fleet maintenance and fleet safety. Hence, they stay on the road for more extended periods. The best way fleet managers can do this is by being proactive about fleet management to know what fleet drivers are doing at all times.

Utilizing a digital reporting platform like the 1st Reporting app is one-way fleet managers are advancing their management abilities, freeing up time, and making the entire data capture process more efficient and effective.

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