What Makes Successful Vehicle Fleet Management?
There is a wide range of different aspects to successfully managing a vehicle fleet and ensuring that operations are carried out efficiently and cost-effectively. Some of the key steps include route planning, regular vehicle maintenance and vehicle tracking. Implementing a clear plan for fleet management is crucial to reducing the risk of issues such as costly breakdowns and repairs, inefficient routes and increased operating costs.
Companies offering fleet management services can help implement a plan to ensure that a fleet’s operations are carried out efficiently and cost-effectively in compliance with all relevant legislation. From planned maintenance to vehicle planning, a comprehensive fleet management approach can provide the data and efficiency necessary to navigate the logistics challenges in operating a commercial vehicle fleet.
One clear benefit of working with a fleet management service is in ensuring compliance with regulations. Working closely with fleet management specialists who can help ensure vehicles within a fleet are maintained in good condition can provide peace of mind to focus on other aspects of successfully running a vehicle fleet.
Read more below for some further information on the necessary steps to successfully managing a vehicle fleet.
Fleet Management Providers
One of the initial steps that can be taken in creating a comprehensive plan for fleet management is consulting with an experienced fleet management provider. Some of the key factors to consider when choosing a fleet management provider are specific vehicle expertise, breakdown coverage, DVSA-authorisation in testing facilities and experience with fleets of the relevant size.
Working alongside a fleet management provider is a crucial step in effectively managing larger fleets. Whilst your company may choose to manage a range of aspects of a vehicle fleet and employ a fleet management provider for specialist services it can often be beneficial to discuss the key challenges with specialists in order to identify the range of options available.
An effective fleet management provider offering on-site servicing and repairs can be invaluable to ensuring that any commercial vehicle fleet issues are mitigated. Whilst some issues leading to HGV breakdowns may require attention at a repair centre there is a range of common issues that can be addressed by roadside technicians ensuring that your vehicle can be up and running without significant delays caused.
Successful fleet management begins with putting together a clear and comprehensive plan. A key part of any successful fleet management plan is being able to rely on clear data in order to evaluate the success of operations and identify areas for improvement. Some of the key pieces of data that are beneficial are journey time, fuel usage and efficiency, driver performance and vehicle maintenance requirements. This data can help inform decisions that are made and be used to guide improvements in efficiency.
A component of an efficient approach to fleet management is ensuring that clear policies are implemented to help optimise outcomes across a fleet. These policies could relate to requirements for regular maintenance for vehicles within a fleet. There is also a clear benefit in implementing company policies on the criteria that are followed in purchasing new vehicles for the fleet. This helps ensure that there is clarity on the requirements in these areas and leads to savings in reducing maintenance and repair costs.
Maintenance And Servicing
A core component of any vehicle fleet management plan is regular servicing and maintenance. Ensuring that vehicles are regularly checked helps to make sure that any issues are identified and resolved cost-effectively before they become more complex and costly to fix. Some of the key aspects of a heavy goods vehicle that are checked in regular servicing include tyres, oil levels, lights, brakes and axles ensuring that the vehicle is operating safely and efficiently similarly to a typical car service.
There are also components specifically required in commercial vehicle fleets that will need to be regularly checked. One of these components is the tachograph. This provides data about factors such as driving distance, speed and driving time. The information recorded by a tachograph is relevant to the regulatory limits on these factors and is a legal requirement for commercial vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonnes in weight.
In addition to improving safety outcomes for a vehicle fleet, regular servicing can help to reduce fuel consumption by ensuring that all vehicles’ engines are operating efficiently. Often safe function and efficient performance go hand in hand with issues such as tyre pressure and axle alignment impacting both safety and performance. The servicing schedule of a vehicle will depend on the frequency of use and the load carried with older vehicles also requiring more regular maintenance.
DVSA Testing Stations
Booking a test at a DVSA-authorised facility can be a helpful step in ensuring that a vehicle within your fleet is operating safely and fuel efficiently. There is a number of regulatory requirements for commercial vehicles. One of these requirements is that each vehicle has a properly calibrated, functioning tachograph to accurately track vehicle usage. LEZ testing can also be a beneficial step to identify whether a vehicle can qualify for a Low Emissions certificate. This can reduce costs where a vehicle fleet is required to drive through city centres frequently.
As will all other road vehicles, it is also a requirement for heavy goods vehicles to receive an annual MOT. Regular maintenance and checks throughout the year are a key step to ensuring that a vehicle is operating safely and efficiently meeting the criteria to pass the MOT each year. For vehicles fitted with a tail lift, a LOLER check is also required to ensure that this component is meeting regulatory requirements. Carrying out tail lift servicing or combi truck servicing will help ensure that your vehicle’s tail lift continues to operate effectively and is compliant with the regulations.
A crucial step in successfully managing a fleet is contingency planning. Whilst regular maintenance and servicing can be helpful in identifying and resolving issues it is important to have a clear plan in place in the event of a breakdown. Working with a fleet management provider offering emergency repairs can help avoid costly delays when breakdowns occur. With a number of common roadside issues, ensuring that these can be resolved by specialist technicians will avoid the most common causes of delays due to maintenance issues.
One of the focuses of fleet management is in ensuring that the most efficient routes are being taken to transport goods. This can involve researching routes in order to avoid difficult-to-navigate roads, low bridges or bridges with weight limits exceeded by HGVs. Taking these obstacles into account when planning routes helps avoid delays in needing to replan routes if these obstacles are encountered by drivers out on the road. This also helps to ensure fuel is used efficiently throughout
There is a wide range of apps and GPS tools that can be used for trucks in planning routes which are suitable for a vehicle’s weight and dimensions whilst avoiding traffic and delays from roadworks. Exploring the best options for user-friendly truck-specific navigation apps and services can make a big difference to the overall operating efficiency of a vehicle fleet by ensuring that a route planning process can be carried out by each driver quickly and effectively. Exploring the range of software and technologies available can be helpful in taking the next step in fleet management.
Get In Touch For An Expert Fleet Management Provider With A Full Vehicle Testing Facility
With sites in Alfreton and Ilkeston, our specialist team at Transcare provide an experienced fleet management service throughout the East Midlands, Staffordshire and Yorkshire. Working with an experienced provider of fleet management services can help ensure that every opportunity is taken to improve safe, efficient and cost-effective outcomes for your commercial vehicle fleet.
Our range of specialist services includes servicing and maintenance support for truck trailers, servicing and repairs onsite for breakdowns, full fleet maintenance and comprehensive testing at our DVSA authorised facility. For more information on the wide range of fleet management services we can provide, contact our team today by calling 01773 832697 or emailing email@example.com.