Fleet overhead costs are something that every fleet manager must grapple with over time. You want to stay in budget, and even have some leftover for overtime pay and the occasional pizza party for your drivers, but operational costs are always your first priority. Fortunately, not all bills are absolute. With a few smart upgrades to your fleet management approach, you can reduce your overhead and save on fleet costs.
Secure Better Insurance Plans
Vehicle insurance is one of the major expenses in a commercial fleet. Securing a more affordable yet equally complete insurance plan can save you thousands every year in reduced premiums and more favorable coverage.
Shop for a Favorable Fleet Plan
Start by shopping around for better fleet-specific plans. Look for coverage that encompasses all the vehicles in your fleet and the safety terms that you rely on, such as roadside assistance and routine maintenance.
Get Safety & Maintenance Discounts
Upgrading your fleet technology also has the potential to decrease your insurance payments. Dash cams, GPS tracking, and telematics that display safe driving are all factors that a bank might consider when determining your premium. These factors reduce the risk of a claim, so could reduce the amount you have to pay.
Reduce Your Fuel Use
Fuel is another significant expense for any fleet manager. There are many different systems that can help to streamline the way you provide fuel to your fleet, but you can also use techniques that reduce the total amount of fuel that you need.
Cut Idle Time with Telematics
When a vehicle is idling, it can spend up to a half-gallon of gas with every hour. For delivery trucks that often wait for room on the client's loading dock, idling is a real risk. You can use a combination of telematics and GPS to identify when and where your vehicles idle the most. From there, you can try out new policies that help your drivers know when to turn off their engines and when to idle for short periods of time.
Plan More Efficient Routes with GPS
The shorter and more smooth-driving your routes are, the less fuel they will need. Highways are preferred because there is less stopping and starting, but sometimes, the right surface streets offer a more efficient and smoother route with less rapid speed changes. With GPS, you can track your fleet's movements, and tracking data shows you existing patterns so you can more easily see alternate routes that may be more fuel-efficient and pleasant to drive.
Plan Gas Stops at the Best Priced Stations
You can even help your drivers fuel up at the tanks with the best prices. Build your service routes with the best-priced gas stations as planned stops.
Reduce Maintenance Costs
Lastly, you can reduce the total amount that you play in vehicle maintenance by getting ahead of the game. Causing less damage and replacing things before they become a critical maintenance problem.
Teach Smooth Driving Techniques
Run your drivers through a low-fuel driving course. Even drivers who have been fleet driving for years. Soft acceleration and deceleration are key.
Keep Up with Preventative Maintenance
Finally, keep a close eye on your fleet. Inspect the tires and engine regularly. Make sure the AC is working properly and ask your drivers to immediately report any unusual or concerning behavior.
Reduce Your fleet Overhead and Improve Your Fleet Management Skills
As a professional fleet manager, you have a lot to gain reducing the amount of budget your department takes to keep vehicles on the road. WIth a little left over from your savings, treat yourself and your drivers. To learn more advanced fleet management tips and tricks, contact us today.