Managing a fleet effectively is no easy task, as many operations need to go smoothly for the business to be successful. One of the most important management practices is to implement preventative maintenance methods, which can save you a lot of money in the long run. In this post, we will detail a couple of important fleet management practices that you should implement to ensure your trucks are always running smoothly.
Rely On Regular Reports From Drivers
Communication between management and the drivers is something that often lacks but can be incredibly valuable when it comes to making your business more efficient. When you do not communicate with your drivers, it’s harder to determine when trucks need to go for extra maintenance or to identify potential problems that require early intervention before they turn into major and costly faults.
This is why it is important to implement driver reports as part of your fleet management practices. Make sure to check in regularly with your drivers and ask them to provide an inspection report. It’s a good idea to request these reports every week. Remember that your drivers spend the most time in the trucks that are part of your fleet, so they will be able to identify problems with a truck. You can then use these reports to schedule maintenance for the trucks and book any repairs when needed.
You should also consider using a digital system that can easily check up on oil levels and the functionality of various parts in the truck. The drivers can then use these systems to generate a report and send it to you.
Keep Track Of Driver Performance
Understanding how your drivers are using the trucks to transport goods is important. This can provide you with valuable data when it comes to an understanding of why fuel usage is high or when speeding tickets start flooding into the office. While you don’t want to invade the privacy of your drivers, it’s still important to ensure you understand their behavior on the road - remember that their driving represents your business.
GPS trackers can be very helpful. They would allow you to easily know where trucks in your fleet are at any given point. This can help you ensure your drivers always stay on track and do not waste diesel by taking longer roads than what you have planned out. Some GPS trackers can also indicate the speed at which the trucks are going, which ensures you can identify truck drivers that are speeding. Going faster than the speed the current road allows can become a hazard for both the truck driver and other people on the road.
Take Advantage of Fleet Management Software
As your business expands, more trucks become part of the fleet you have to manage. This can become overwhelming, and the rate of errors may start to increase too. When it comes to effectively managing your entire fleet, you should consider using fleet management software. There are several options that you can choose from, and many of the modern solutions come with cloud technology, which ensures you can check up on your fleet and perform various administrative tasks remotely.
Choose software that allows you to easily and effectively communicate with drivers. The software may allow drivers to submit their regular reports directly to you through a mobile app, for example. This type of system can make things much easier when it comes to managing your fleet, ensuring trucks are properly maintained, and getting your drivers to comply with road rules and any particular regulations you have set in place.
Choose A Trusted Maintenance Provider
Many repair shops work with heavy-duty trucks, but moving from one shop to another every time you need repair services or maintenance is tedious. It’s generally a good idea to contact a couple of repair shops in your local area - particularly close to the region where the trucks are generally parked when they are not in use. You can also choose to visit each of these repair shops to see what they have at their disposal when working on heavy-duty trucks.
Finding one particular repair shop that you can trust with all of your requirements is generally a better way to ensure your trucks are always running smoothly on the road. You start to learn more about the mechanics that work on your trucks, and oftentimes, when repair shops notice that you are using them exclusively, they may be willing to give you better prices on the services they offer.
Many of these providers also offer convenient services like roadside assistance, which can be incredibly useful if you have a truck that breaks down on the road.
Driver Coaching And Education
Your drivers need to have a thorough understanding of what you expect from them and how they should drive effectively. It’s important to ensure you send your drivers for coaching as needed. When you notice one of your drivers has a truck that requires more frequent repairs, the issue can sometimes be related to how the driver uses the truck. Certain methods can help to improve the maintenance of trucks.
For example, make sure your drivers know the importance of regularly checking the tire pressure, understanding how to tell when there is too much tread wear, making sure the truck does not run out of oil, and doing other inspections. If the driver knows how and at what frequency to perform these inspections, they can also notify you if there are problems with the truck. Efficient driving can also significantly reduce the risk of road accidents.
When it comes to managing your fleet, it’s crucial to ensure you regularly send your trucks in for maintenance. At National Fleet Management, we understand how important it is to keep your fleet running smoothly. We have years of experience and provide professional heavy-duty truck repair and maintenance services in Statesville, Durham, Greensboro, and Charlotte. Speak to one of our fleet experts to find out how we can help with your fleet management.