Fleet management is a core practice of overseeing, organizing, and managing the assets of a fleet. Any organization that incorporates more than ten vehicles falls under the fleet category and essentially needs a fleet manager to overlook the different aspects of the fleet’s operation.
Being a fleet manager is an overwhelming task. A fleet manager has to perform several duties to improve the fleet’s efficiency and contribute to the business’s growth. It includes managing the budget to acquire, manage, and dispose of the assets.
Fleet management is a broad concept. And learning it from the basics can be a time-consuming task. Why? Firstly, because you cannot easily find everything about it in one place, and secondly, you cannot spend hours on learning it as time is money in the fleet industry.
But don’t worry. We will give you a basic walkthrough of Fastest Way To Learn Complete Fleet Management- A Beginners Guide? It will help you learn everything you need to know as a fleet manager. And also what are the responsibilities related to it.
In this article, we will discuss Fastest Way To Learn Complete Fleet Management- A Beginners Guide. Also, you can find fleet management and related concepts. So stay with us till the end. Whether you are new or a seasoned fleet manager, you need to check out this article by YourBestFleet
But first, let us understand what commercial fleet management is.
Commercial Fleet Management
Any organization that needs commercial vehicles to operate needs some form of fleet management.
Fleet management is a process of overseeing, managing, and streamlining different fleet operations to increase productivity. It includes vehicle maintenance, managing assets, optimizing budget, overseeing fuel consumption, driver management, etc.
The responsibility of managing the fleet efficiently falls on the shoulders of the fleet managers. Now to perform your duties readily, you need to know them. Therefore, let us see some of the functionalities of a fleet manager.
Primary Responsibilities Of A Fleet Manager
The first step toward fleet management is determining your job role. A fleet manager has to perform several duties for the benefit of the fleet. In this section, we will enlist all of them.
Fleet managers are responsible to perform several duties, but we can divide them into five major categories:
- Cost management
- Asset Management
- Driver Or Employee Management
- Vehicle Safety and Compliance Management
- Operational Efficiency
The primary responsibility of a fleet manager is to manage the budget. They have to keep a close check on it and ensure that expenses never exceed revenue. For example, they have to take various steps to minimize fuel consumption, which is the second-largest expense of a fleet.
In a broader sense, the other primary duties of a fleet manager are asset management, driver management, vehicle safety & compliance management, and operational efficiency. However, a fleet manager is also required to:
- They have to store and harness the power of data to make effective decisions for their fleet. For example, a fleet manager checks the detailed record of the fuel consumed by a vehicle in a month, and they find that it is consuming more than what it ought to be. They can send it to the repair shop.
- Secondly, they should take preventive measures to protect their fleet from unnecessary liabilities. For example, they undertake several training programs to help the drivers cope with their bad driving habits.
- Lastly, they should be good decision-makers. The road is full of unexpected events. Even if you outlined everything in detail, sometimes mishaps happen. In such an urgent crisis, you have to suggest an alternative plan to keep the business running.
For example, there is traffic on the predetermined route. But you have to deliver the shipment on time. So you have to identify an alternative route or way to ensure customer satisfaction.
Determining The Fleet’s Size And Needs
The commercial fleet shares a considerable amount of different businesses in the USA. You can find hundreds and thousands of fleet vehicles running on the roads.
It can belong to a large national operating company or a small delivery business. For better fleet management, you need to identify the size and needs of your fleet.
Try to answer the following questions:
- What is the size of your company? Is it a big firm or a small one? Or a medium-sized company?
According to the US Small Business Association, a small transport business has $27.5 million or less for truck transportation and $15 million or less for transit transportation annual receipts.
Here are a few examples of small businesses:
- Cleaning service company
- Utility Company
- Food Delivery business
- Local merchandise delivery business
A large business often has more than 500 employees or more than 200 vehicles at its dispense.
Some examples of large businesses are:
- Rental vehicle company
- Taxi company
- Delivery companies
- Long haul companies
You can also ask yourself these questions-
- What is the industry or field of interest of the company you work for?
- How many vehicles do you need to operate smoothly?
- What type of vehicles do you need?
Vehicles are the backbone of any fleet company. And therefore, you have to be particular while acquiring them.
You have to consider these things while acquiring them.
Size of the fleet
You have to consider the size and nature of your company while selecting a vehicle for it.
For example, if your company is a cleaning service provider, it will not need heavy-duty trucks. Minivans or sedans can do the job well.
Primary acquisition options
A company can acquire a vehicle for their fleet with the following two options:
- Vehicle purchase
- Vehicle lease
Company vehicle purchase
As the name suggests in this type of acquisition, the company purchases vehicles. The organization becomes the owner of it and thus, becomes free to use logos or branding.
Company vehicle lease
A company can use this option to lease vehicles that require heavy investment. It will sign an agreement with the renting organization.
The agreement will cover all the terms such as monthly payments, maintenance requirements, mileage stipulations, etc.
The company has to follow each term of the agreement with diligence.
Recruiting and Training Drivers
Drivers are a significant part of a fleet. You have to consider some qualifications and characteristics before hiring any employee in your fleet.
- First and foremost, you have to ensure that an applicant has a valid license with the appropriate class requirement.
- Another thing you should ensure about the applicant is their physical and mental capacity to drive the vehicle. For this, you can check their DoT medical card.
- You also have to ensure that the applicant is not involved in any drug or alcohol habit.
- You can also take a background check about the applicant to ensure their experience and driving record.
- It will also help you determine if the applicant was involved in an accident in their past employment.
- You can also ask for references from previous employees to check the behavior and ethics of an applicant.
As a responsible fleet manager, you should always try to sponsor several training programs to update your employees and help them improve.
Even if your company has experienced lead drivers, they may need a training program at a certain point the level. So never let that affect you while organizing a session.
A GPS tracker can provide complete transparency of your fleet operations. It can give excessive control over your remotely working drivers and helps you manage your resources effortlessly.
You can choose a fleet management system from any reputed provider. The main motive is to provide you with complete visibility into different operations and record data to help you make better and informed decisions for the benefit of the fleet.
A fleet management software can help you optimize operation, improve safety and protect your assets.
Safety and Risk Management
As a fleet manager, you are responsible for asset management. After spending hours and money on recruitment and vehicle acquisition, you need to take deliberate actions to protect them from any risk.
For employees, the best way to protect them from the association is by providing comprehensive and regular safety training programs.
You can also refer to the detailed driver report from the fleet management system to identify drivers struggling or involved in reckless driving behaviors. For them, you can organize individual counseling sessions.
For the safety and longevity of the assets, you have to be regular and keen with the maintenance and inspection schedules.
It can be broken into three types:-
- Preventive maintenance
- Routine maintenance
- Emergency maintenance
Lastly, you should have proper fleet insurance. It can cover all of your vehicles under one policy, and you do not have to spend time buying an individual for each of them. As you already know, misfortunes are unavoidable.
The road is full of surprises and events. And therefore, even after several preventive measures, there is a high possibility that one of your vehicles can engage in an accident. Fleet insurance can act as a risk absorber and protect your fleet from loss.
Fleet management may seem like a complex process at first glance, but once you know what to do and have the proper tools at your resort, you can master it in no time.
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