Fleet managers have a lot on their hands. They have to ensure all of their companies’ vehicles are in safe operating condition and that maintenance is being performed on schedule, purchase new vehicles when they’re needed and dispose of old ones, and ensure that all relevant laws and regulations are being followed. That’s a lot to keep track of for employees or business owners who are new to fleet management.
Adequate planning can make many of the tasks ascribed to fleet managers a lot less stressful. Read on to find out about a few industry best practices that can make the process easier.
Keep Accurate Data
It’s a good idea to set up a data management system that can track, analyze, and provide reports on all essential vehicle data. This helps fleet managers keep track of inventory, maintenance schedules, and vehicle replacement cycles. It can also come in very handy when it comes time to create regulatory compliance reports.
Establish an Appropriate Vehicle Replacement Cycle
Maintaining aging vehicles often costs more than it’s worth, whereas replacing these older trucks with newer models can lead to decreased fuel consumption while minimizing the need for repairs. Consider factors such as vehicle depreciation and resale value, driver safety, and emissions compliance in addition to fuel efficiency and repair costs when establishing a vehicle replacement cycle.
Keep Fluids on Hand
Those who are managing fleets of commercial diesel trucks should keep a supply of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and other essential fluids on hand. DEF can be stored safely in bulk containers for some time, although it should be noted that these storage containers must be placed in cool, dry, and well-ventilated areas. Storing DEF on-site makes it easier for fleet managers to keep the company’s vehicles topped off.
Focus on Long-Term Goals
Fleet managers need to keep the company’s long-term goals in mind as they decide when to replace vehicles and what kinds of maintenance to provide. If the company has plans to expand in the near future, for example, managers will have to plan ahead by ensuring that its new employees will have access to needed vehicles. In this case, it might make sense to wait to replace older vehicles until the money spent on hiring new employees and purchasing new trucks has been replaced.