Consider Rental Agreements Versus Purchasing Vehicles
Building your fleet from the ground up takes a lot of work, especially for fleets because their biggest asset is pretty expensive. Trying to purchase your vehicles while growing your fleet requires a lot of financial investment. As a small business, you don’t get a steady stream of work from clients yet. This means a lot of idle time for owned vehicles on some days and extremely busy schedules on other days.
For people who are just starting, the option of vehicle rental is very viable. Rent more vehicles on days when you need them, and you don’t need to incur costs on days where you don’t need a lot of vehicles on your fleet. Rental agreements can be disadvantageous, though, so make sure to read your contract carefully before entering a rental agreement with another company.
Another option is to hire independent contractors. If you don’t have money to purchase your own vehicles for your fleet, you can hire independent drivers who will then drive their own cars when they work for you. The downside is that since the vehicle is theirs, you don’t have much control over them. Contractors enjoy more freedom than regular employees, which may mean frequent idle times, personal errands during work hours, and other behaviors that you may not agree with as a fleet manager.
Fleet Manager Duties Made Simple
When you first start, fleet management is simple, and overseeing the entire fleet can be done by a single person. Most managers think that as your fleet grows, you will need more personnel to keep tabs on employees and all the necessary paperwork involved. However, suppose your company invests in a fleet management system. In that case, you can automate all the important tasks related to managing a fleet without requiring a few extra hands.
For example, with Fleetr’s fleet management system, you simply purchase a tracking device for each car your company owns. The device will regularly send out information, which can be turned into reports that can help the company establish better routes, lower fuel costs, increase driver safety, and schedule maintenance, all in one place. The fleet manager can oversee all the organization’s major areas from the comfort of their PC, laptop, or mobile, so you do not need an entire team of people to manage your fleet. The system automates most of the process, so neither the manager nor the drivers need to spend so much time with paperwork.
Keep Your Fleet Connected Through A Fleet Management App
Not only does it make a fleet manager’s job easier, but a fleet management system can also help keep your entire fleet connected at all times. You can label each tracker to reflect the make and model of the vehicle, plus information on its driver. This will help you keep tabs on your entire team and all the vehicles you own, so nobody goes off the grid during important times.
Theft Protection and Accident Response
This connection also plays an important role when emergencies happen. Suppose your drivers get stranded somewhere or get into an accident while on the road. You can immediately offer support because of real-time video tracking. If your vehicles or equipment are stolen, the tracking device can help law enforcement locate their exact location so the vehicles or equipment can be returned to the company and the perpetrators arrested.
Lower Fuel Costs
Small businesses always need to find ways to save money, and with fleet management software, you can now lower fuel costs and save more money in the long run. While on the road, drivers take breaks, and there’s always some waiting time between tasks when the delivery gets unloaded or new cargo gets loaded into the vehicle. Most drivers leave the engine running even during long waiting times, which wastes a lot of fuel.
Another common fuel inefficiency is going through routes with traffic. If your driver is stuck in traffic, the vehicle is running. However, it is not moving, thereby consuming a lot of fuel. With fleet management technology, you can pinpoint which drivers have unusually long idle times while the engine is running. You can also pick better routes that don’t run into traffic jams. With this data, the fleet manager can educate drivers with long idle times and find routes for the relatively free fleet from traffic.
Vehicle Maintenance and Care
For a small business, each vehicle purchase is considered a risky investment. Since vehicles cost a lot, losing one or damaging one is a huge loss to the company. This is why preventive maintenance and vehicle care are important for smaller businesses. With fleet management software, you can now schedule your vehicles for maintenance. The app will send you notifications when a vehicle is due for maintenance, so you don’t neglect this important part of fleet management.
The data gathered from the vehicles can also help the company make important decisions regarding its business fleet. If a vehicle keeps requiring maintenance frequently, what are the reasons? Is the vehicle simply overused, or are its parts inferior? With this data, you may solve your problems by either purchasing more vehicles to balance the workload, bringing in the vehicle for parts replacement, or simply deciding that this particular make and model are not compatible with your organization’s needs.
Fleet Management Systems Help Keep Your Business Compliant
As a small business, the last thing you need is to get in trouble with the law and get bogged down by fines and penalties. The most common one is making sure that you follow the rules and regulations mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA. To stay compliant with FMCSA regulations, you need to ensure that your work environment is safe for drivers.
This means that drivers should only work the mandatory number of hours set by the FMCSA. Logging work hours is made easy thanks to fleet management solutions. Because everything is automated, it is difficult for drivers to doctor their work hours to get more work. Fleet management also monitors driving behavior and alerts fleet managers for signs of risky driving behavior. Low driver safety scorecards are a red flag for the FMCSA, so fleet managers can count on fleet tracking to warn them of drivers who often exhibit unsafe driving patterns to be re-trained and given proper feedback.
You also need to abide by regulations that require commercial vehicles to be roadworthy before use. As stated before, you can automate your maintenance schedule using fleet management software, so nothing gets missed in terms of vehicle maintenance. This ensures that your vehicles are all roadworthy, and you will pass any inspections from government agencies.
As the fleet manager, implementing a fleet management app may seem like something that is way out of your league right now. However, fleet management solutions are tailored depending on your fleet’s needs. You can start from the most basic solutions and then just add features as your company expands.
Your fleet tracking system can grow together with your company. You don’t have to spend unnecessarily on features that you don’t need right now. Contact Fleetr today, and we can hook you up on customized solutions that are the right fit for your small business.