Simple Ways for Businesses and Truckers to Manage Their Vehicles
Managing a fleet of commercial vehicles can be a challenge at the best of times. Add to these external factors that are not uncontrollable like legislation changes, fuel prices, weather conditions, increasing costs, etc. and the entire situation becomes a little more difficult to manage.
Fleet management is the most important aspect of running a successful business in the logistics business. It is an administrative function that allows businesses to organize and coordinate fleet vehicles. Effective vehicle fleet management allows you to reduce costs, maximize profits, comply with statutory regulations and as a whole improve efficiency.
Investing in building these capabilities for your business by either hiring experienced fleet managers or training personnel is an investment worth making. Some of the key benefits of effective vehicle fleet management include:
Fleet Management Benefits
Manage Operational Costs
Maintaining a fleet of vehicles is expensive. Fixed costs like fuel and maintenance are always going to be there but the solution is to minimize these costs. Fuel costs are challenging but filling the tank full only when its almost zero is not the most efficient way to go about this. Factors that affect fuel consumption rates include distance, speed, braking habits, duration of the trip, etc. If planned effectively, these can be reduced.
Maintenance work on vehicles seems to pop up at the worst times and a vehicle that is not on the road is a vehicle not making money. An important aspect of vehicle fleet management is scheduling vehicle maintenance. This needs to be done proactively to ensure no vehicle suffers any avoidable mechanical issues but also the entire fleet is running efficiently.
Drivers are the functional core of every fleet and their safety is a business’s most important responsibility. Vehicle fleet management begins with having well trained and well equipped drivers. Some important aspects of driver administration to manage include Hours of Service (HOS), IFTA fuel consumption records and driving behavior.
Having the right telematics in place, you can effectively communicate with the driver as to the condition of the road, accident status, etc. Tracking weather conditions and communicating any adverse changes to drivers allows you to make safer decisions for your driver like taking an overnight hiatus.
Better Customer Service
Businesses in the servicing industry can leverage fleet location data to cut costs and explore new opportunities. Customers that are waiting for a delivery of their products can get real time updates on the location of their delivery trucks.
In a servicing request from a customer, if an assigned truck cannot make it to the customer’s location, businesses can swiftly analyze real time vehicle locations and assign the customer to a new vehicle efficiently.
In the trucking industry, more and more truck drivers are installing multi-facing (road-facing and driver-facing dash cams) because of the numerous benefits they offer. The ability to rewind and analyze a high speed critical safety event is probably the biggest benefit for truckers. A few other ways where a trucker dash cam can be a beneficial investment:
Lower Insurance Rates
Installing a dash cam is a sure fire way to give the impression that you are a safe driver to the vehicle insurance provider. They generally offer some discount on the insurance premiums if they see a dash cam installed. They may, however, like to leverage this technology to access the dash cam data (location, miles driven, etc.) for their own research.
Dash cams are likely to keep you more focused on the road and discourage you from doing unlawful activities like checking your phone since you know there is evidence of this if something were to go wrong. This will promote a safer pattern of behavior which beneficial for you.
Reducing False Claims
According to a study, passenger vehicles are at fault for the majority of road accidents. Still, in the case of an accident, truckers are also required to be in court and legal fees for them as well as time away from work is financially draining.
Dash cams allow you to rewatch any accidents and debunk false claims. Having cold hard evidence could be the difference between being exonerated or paying upwards of half a million dollars in fines and punishment.
Speed Up Insurance Claims
Dash cams have the potential to change the way insurance companies deal with insurance claims in the trucking industry. With more evidence, insurance companies will better understand the context and settle claims faster.
For example, if all truckers as a practice begin using dash cams actively, in case of an accident the insurance companies will have two points of view before the accident. This will help them understand the context better and find out that it was actually a traffic light malfunction and not the driver’s fault.
Truck drivers who take on multi-day deliveries often need to stop over a resting spot after driving their permissible Hour of Service for the day or a night’s sleep. While they may choose to sleep in a motel room, drivers are under constant fear about the well being of their truck. They are constantly fearful of someone breaking into the cab or its cargo hold.
Dash cams that function even when the engine is off can send live video footage to the driver’s phone. Some drivers set up a dash cam in the cargo hold too to make sure no one is breaking in and stealing valuable equipment.