Managing a More Efficient Fleet
As technology continues to advance, managers of light- and medium truck fleets must stay ahead of the curve by identifying important trends in their industry in order to increase overall fleet efficiency.
Whether it’s an alteration to an existing vehicle, the need for a whole new line of trucks, or simply improving the way the fleet operates, there are always methods that will improve vehicle efficiency. It’s just a matter of selecting which ones will help the short and long term goals of your fleet.
The cost of maintenance continues to increase on an annual basis and has left industry experts looking for ways to lower the amount spent on preserving vehicle heath. One of the biggest trends to accomplish this has been a switch from preventative maintenance to a more predictive or proactive approach. This allows a fleet to leverage its existing data to replace parts before they fail.
Fleet companies are also switching to new engine motor oils that improve fuel efficiency and engine protection. While this switch has helped with fuel costs in the short term, the long term costs are adding up quickly because more skilled mechanics are required to maintain these engines.
Lowering Overall Fuel Spend
Always the largest factor in operating costs, the reduction of fuel spend and implementable strategies continues to trend upward. Fleet managers are always looking for the next competitive edge in improving fuel efficiency and there are plenty of ideas to consider such as modifying driver behavior, using smart phones apps to locate the lowest cost for fuel, and even revising vehicle specifications to reduce the fleet’s need for fuel.
Possibility of Alternative Fuels
While alternative fuels haven’t been adopted on a national scale, there has been a growing trend of its use. Many companies have adopted compressed natural gas as an alternative fuel, but there is still hesitation from many companies. The necessary cost of converting an entire fleet to a new fuel source is too big of an investment for a majority of fleets and managers are unsure of which alternative fuel source to back.
Despite the initial uneasiness, it appears as though fleets will continue to slowly move toward using more alternative fuels once they identify which option will best meet their particular needs.
Switching to Recaps
Constantly purchasing new tires for an entire fleet continues to wear out fleet managers. That’s why many companies are switching to recaps for their tire replacement needs.
Retreading tires has proven to save fleets an average of 30 percent per tire over purchasing a new one. And the increased safety and reliability of newer recaps has made them a viable option for trucks.
Using Fleet Telematics
There are so many ways that telematics can improve the efficiency of an entire fleet that it’s a surprise not every company has adopted its use. Managers can monitor fuel usage, reduce and eliminate idle time, track vehicle locations and so much more.
The use of fleet telematics is becoming more widespread as companies are able to see these benefits. From capturing diagnostic data and observing vehicle performance, to being able to route vehicles in real time and establishing more efficient delivery methods, fleet managers have noticed a marketable improvement in their overall operating by implementing fleet telematics.