Heading into the new year offers a moment for fleet managers to start fresh and reset their goals.
For those looking at ways to improve their fleet management and also see how other fleet managers throughout the country are handling their operations, check out these top trends for light- and medium-duty fleets.
Monitoring and Limiting Fuel Spend
As usual, the fuel spend is the largest component for operating costs.
Fleet companies are always looking for a way to increase fuel economy and reduce spend. Because of this, many fleets are adopting multiple fuel management strategies to find the best tactic.
These include such methods as fuel programs, revising vehicle specifications, fuel efficient OEMs, modifying driver behavior, using smart phones apps to locate lower prices, reducing idle time.
The past year saw a rise in truck maintenance costs as fleet companies migrated to new engine motor oils for increased fuel efficiency and engine protection. The increased maintenance was also met with higher costs for lube, oil, filters, other tools and labor.
Because of the higher costs, many fleets have begun adopting a more predictive and proactive maintenance model in order to avoid the vehicle downtime associated with breakdowns.
Keeping with the predictive maintenance model, fleets and manufacturers are also investing more in larger tires in order to boost fuel economy, which, in turn, is costing more once replacements are required.
Using Alternative Fuel Sources
Many fleet companies are turning their attention to alternative fuel sources as a means to reduce fuel spend and become more environmentally friendly.
While a growing number for fleets would like to make the switch, there are still many questions about which option is the best long-term. This leaves many stuck in a research phase with hopes that a leader will emerge.
Telematics and Smartphone Applications
There has been an increasing number of fleet companies implementing telematics applications in order to tackle many issues at once.
Through the use of telematics fleet applications, managers are able to monitor safety, fuel management, maintenance, driver habits and many other items. These devices enable a fleet to capture diagnostics data, vehicle performance, reduce idle time, increase fuel economy and even provide better delivery routes to save countless man hours.