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Best Fleet Management Practices for Small Fleets

Posted by Wilmar, Inc.

Best Fleet Management Practices

Managing a fleet requires a clear-cut guide to outline the responsibilities of the fleet manager. You'll have to work harder, but a precise guideline will optimize your role. According to recent data from Qualified Carriers, the growth of micro fleets has outpaced the development of larger fleets in recent years. 

Small fleets in this context are fleets with up to 100 vehicles.  Managing a small fleet can be challenging without effective technology and systems similar to your larger fleet counterparts. Effective fleet management encompasses everything regarding your fleet's operations regardless of size.  

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One way fleet managers can manage their small fleet effectively is by relying on technology-driven fleet management platforms. This post reveals the top three innovative practices that will score big wins for your small fleet.

1.      Rely On Smart Maintenance

It is common to face unexpected or unplanned downtime when operating fleets. This often led to the loss of productivity, revenue, and out-of-pocket repair costs. The American Trucking Associations' Technology & Maintenance Council reports that unplanned roadside repair was $407 per incident in 2019, a 24% increase from 2018. The costs are even higher when combined with tire replacements and jack-up costs.

When a vehicle in your small fleet is damaged and has to be sidelined, your company may be losing anywhere from $400 to $700 daily. The company can further make losses from missed deliveries, customer trust issues, and missed opportunities. With a small fleet, every vehicle is important and losing one could be catastrophic to the business's bottom line.

Effective preventive maintenance can help you maintain your fleet at a gold standard. You can integrate telematics to identify the vehicles that need repair and follow the manufacturer's tailor-fit service manual based on the mileage and other region metrics you need to ensure your vehicles are working optimally.

2.      Ensure a High Level of Fuel Economy

As a small fleet manager, it is best to keep your eye on the fuel expenses to manage costs effectively. In 2022, fuel prices continue to rise, making it almost impossible to determine operational costs.   

You can take measures to achieve maximum fuel efficiency when they are out of control. It is essential is save every drop as much as possible. Studies show that you can raise your fuel efficiency by up to 30% by improving driver behavior.

The major fuel-wasting driving behaviors you can correct with telematics are idling and aggressive driving. A  U.S. Department of Energy report shows that heavy-duty trucks use up to 0.8 gallons of fuel during idling, and long-haul vehicles will waste up to 1,500 gallons of diesel annually.

On the other hand, aggressive driving can adversely affect fuel efficiency by   10% to 40% when rushing in stop-and-go traffic or 15% to 30% for light-duty vehicles driven at highway speeds.

With telematics, it is possible to manage small fleets using a three-pronged approach to boost fuel economy:

  • Monitor your drivers and identify anyone who exhibits inefficient driving behaviors
  • Tracking your vehicles fuel consumption and improvements after corrective action has been taken
  • Correcting any bad driving behavior with real-time coaching and training

With these fuel-saving benefits, it makes great financial sense to invest in telematics for your fleet management.

3.      Maintain ELD Compliance

Keeping up with government regulations is a considerable challenge to most small fleet managers. One essential government rule that small fleet must follow is the FMCSA's, ELD Rule.

With technology, you can ensure your fleet follows FMCSA's ELD requirements through automation. By automating and tapping into your fleet's ECM data, you can seamlessly capture data like engine power, vehicle motion status, and the number of miles driven, which are requirements of the FMCSA. Automation also enables real-time diver updates drivers when they cross borders where compliance rules differ.

Manage Your Small Fleet to Maximize Profits

Small fleet managers deal with many challenges, including high operation costs, safety issues, vehicle performance, and legal compliance. At WIlmar, Inc., we offer a fleet solution that fits. You can use our Micro Fleet services to achieve higher performance in your small fleet. Contact us today to find out more.

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Topics: Fleet Management, Telematics, Fleet Tracking


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