Your employees are your greatest investment and asset. When you put them first, everything improves, including your bottom line. As we all know, happy employees are more productive employees and this same logic follows when it comes to your fleet. Safe and happy drivers better maintain a safe and happy fleet.
Over the decades we have amassed a library of resources, both internal and external, which help our team and our partners do their jobs with skill and confidence. Peruse these pages for current trends and thought leadership, our newsletters, and tips that we have found helpful over the years. And if you have any questions for us, we’re always here for you.
Planning well ahead for vehicle replacements and additions to your fleet can mean getting the right vehicles you need, on time, plus potential cost savings, so it’s definitely an exercise worth doing. Because manufacturers’ production schedules vary across models, it’s pretty much the consensus that the earlier you start planning, the better. From the selection of new vehicles to replacement analysis, effective fleet planning requires prioritizing the needs of different stakeholders.
Timing is everything
It’s important to work with your fleet management partner early in the planning process to ensure that you are ordering the right vehicles at the right price and they will be delivered when you need them. Working backwards is the best way to figure out the right amount of lead time that is required:
- By what date are the vehicles needed?
- How much lead time does the manufacturer need?
- If upfitting is required, how much time is required?
- What is the estimated shipping time for the vehicles?
Statistically, the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are some of the most dangerous for drivers in the United States. This is due to more teen drivers, motorcycles and bicycles being on the road, more people taking family road trips and, of course, construction. Summer weather also contributes to the number of fatal accidents. We’re well into summer now, but in retrospect, we almost always remember the weather as being hot and sunny. We tend to forget or block out the potentially dangerous thunderstorms and other extreme weather conditions that can be prevalent during this season.
With in-car technology on the rise and now widely embraced, we are literally not far off from having a car like the fictional one that was imagined back in 1982 on the hit TV show Knight Rider. Autonomous cars now exist in real life, have collision avoidance technology, and they can talk to you (except the name is probably Siri, not K.I.T.T.)!
While in-car technology is still in the early stages, and early adopters are not too common, not everyone can benefit from these features from manufacturers. So in the meantime, those who don’t yet have “smart cars” can still use the technology built for drivers in the form of mobile apps.
It’s a basic principle of physics that if something weighs more, it needs more energy to move it. How this affects your fleet is mainly in its fuel economy (or lack thereof). Think about this:
In parts of the country, some of the first signs of spring and summer are construction jobs ramping up everywhere you look. The main goal for fleet managers in the construction industry is to track the use of each truck and piece of equipment, including monitoring costs associated with operating each piece, making sure to stay within the company’s fleet budget. They also look for ways to cut vehicle and equipment costs.
The most common mistake we see when in the process of planning a fleet is to think about cost first, then function later. Purchasing a cheaper vehicle that is not suited for its job may lower the price point up front, but it will end up costing you more down the line.The ideal process for purchasing new vehicles is to work with managers and drivers to identify how the vehicle will be used, what its operational requirements are, and any specifications the driver needs to perform his or her job.
In the past 30 years that I’ve been attending NAFA I&E, I’ve seen an evolution in the industry. In the old days, it was very much about the vehicles themselves and the newest features or maintenance best practices. Today, the focus is on data and analytics, but also on people and work/life balance.
You’ve come to the realization that your business needs a fleet – now what? The next step is deciding if you should lease through a dealership or use a fleet management service. But how to decide? We’ve compiled a list of the benefits of using a fleet management company to help make that decision just a little easier.
Since a substantial portion of your overall fleet expenditures goes towards fuel, you might think that with lower fuel prices, your fleet fuel spending would go down. But really, a large part of this expense is controlled by your drivers. Up to about 30% of a vehicle’s fuel efficiency is influenced by driver behavior. So any fuel savings from lower fuel prices can easily be undone by drivers’ bad habits. An ongoing awareness program for your drivers, focused on safety and sustainability, should result in better driving habits that net lower fuel consumption and costs.