It doesn’t matter what kind of fleet you manage: if you want to boost profits and increase the lifespan of your vehicles, there are certain boxes you need to check. While most of these tips are one-time decisions or adjustments, most of them are overt and should be incorporated into your daily approach to driving and fleet management.
Pay Attention to Fuel Efficiency
As the owner of a fleet, you know how much gas prices affect your bottom line. A 25-cent bump, while seemingly insignificant, adds up when you do the math, especially if you aren’t using a fuel alternative. That’s why it’s imperative to make sure that your vehicles and drivers are operating as efficiently as possible.
While finding the cheapest gas station is a great first step, the price you pay at the pump doesn’t necessarily equate to fuel efficiency. It’s the little things, like keeping your tires inflated, being careful when you break or accelerate, and remembering to initiate cruise control when appropriate, that will keep your vehicles operating at maximum efficiency.
Encourage your drivers to get in the habit of checking tire pressure every few weeks. Some say you only need to adjust your tire pressure every few months, but that applies specifically to people who don’t drive for a living. It’s a cheap and often free way of keeping your vehicles running smoothly.
Drivers who are brake-happy have to accelerate more. That sounds like a painfully obvious statement, but it’s not something that most people think about when they’re behind the wheel. Affordable brake upgrades can also help save your vehicle from collisions, which are incredibly costly.
Cruise control, a feature that most people ignore, can save you a lot of money on the highway. It regulates your speed, and while the human foot is prone to accelerating and decelerating at random, cruise control is a helpful innovation that will carefully maintain whatever speed the driver has set.
Advances in technology not only make it easier to keep track of your fleet, but they can help avoid collisions, provide electronic witnesses in the case of theft or hit-and-runs, and improve the overall safety of your vehicles.
Theft is always a major threat for fleet owners. If you invest in a dashcam for every vehicle, you are adding a level of security that is both dynamic and self-operating. You don’t need to train your drivers to learn a new skill. From the driver’s window, dashcams can capture crooks trying to break into your vehicles and can provide visual testimony in the case of an accident or a mishap on the road. It’s hard to hold someone liable when they have video evidence on their side.
If you’re looking to add to your fleet or replace existing vehicles, don’t simply go to the most convenient dealership. Do yourself a favor and research your options, which will hopefully allow you to hone in on locations with smart leasing options.
Anyone who has leased before knows how important it is to read the fine print. Enter the negotiation with an understanding of how many miles you expect your vehicles to drive and what kind of performance guarantees you need. The same goes with insurance; cheap is not always best. Accidents happen, and safety is always worth the extra cost.
A large percentage of fines administered to fleet vehicles in the last few years have been the result of maintenance violations. For the sake of your profit margins, invest in regular tune-ups that keep your vehicles on the right side of regulations.
While it may be difficult to keep tabs on every single vehicle you own, especially if your fleet is sizable, fleet management software can do all of the work for you. When you input the details about specific vehicles, they update regularly and offer alerts when they believe a trip to the mechanic is overdue.
By making these small adjustments to your fleet management approach—addressing fuel efficiency, being careful when you lease, taking your vehicles in for tune-ups, and embracing developments in tech—you will undoubtedly maximize your profits. Investing in the well-being of your vehicles and drivers is the best way to ensure your company’s longevity, as well as your continued competitiveness in a saturated market.