31 Oct How to Make Truck Fleet Management Easier for You
Truck fleet management can be a huge task, particularly if you have a growing fleet. Major issues can start to arise when you start to fall behind on your management duties. Before you know it, the fleet will have taken on a life of its own. This can be interesting to observe but it’s not the most effective way to work.
You’ll have more missed deadlines, late deliveries, and issues in this manner. That’s why you need to focus on streamlining your management process. Luckily, it is not too difficult to whip your fleet into shape but to help you out; we’re going to be sharing some tips with you.
The following are some tips that you can use to effectively streamline truck fleet management:
1. Go Paperless
What’s the most annoying part about managing the fleet? All of the paperwork that is involved for managers and even truck drivers. There can be tons and tons of paperwork to manage, get signed, store and keep records off. Getting individual paperwork from the fleet drivers can also be difficult for them to manage. Late submissions, forgotten or incomplete forms might be a common occurrence.
Additionally, storing all that paper can be a hassle too. All that paper lying around in your office can be susceptible to damage. In case there is an emergency like a fire or a flood, it’s all going to be lost. It’s time to update your database and go paperless.
Adopt HOS logbooks and Electronic Logging Devices (ELD). These can be automated to track driver progress and update files accordingly. These rely on cloud storage which can ensure that all the data is safe, secure and accessible from almost anywhere.
2. Embrace Built-in Telematics
Tired of spending more just to get a truck and then have it fitted with a GPS? Then take a look at some of the new trucks available in the market. Mack and Volvo trucks now come fitted with all the necessary hardware you need. There are even pre-wire options for Freightliner trucks.
This allows compatibility with many different GPS systems. With these, all you need to do is sign into your account and your truck can be added to your fleet immediately. By opting for these trucks, you get to reduce downtime and ensure that you get a vehicle that doesn’t require a major upheaval to integrate it in your fleet.
You will end up saving time, money and improve the performance of your fleet. The new vehicles will also be younger than other trucks in your fleet which means that you’ll get more usage out of them.
3. Develop Specific Routes for Trucks
Navigation software is a must for all trucks since they need to pick the best routes. Additionally, some routes just might not accommodate the kind of vehicle your fleet has. You might think that it’s a safe, short route but the driver is the one who has to deal with the stress of maneuvering an 80,000 or more truck to the destination safely.
That’s why you should work with them to develop specific routes for delivery, based on the kind of truck that they are using. You will also need a navigation device that accommodates the truck road safety requirements. Certain trucks might not be able to go on routes with low bridges or that weight limits or there are road closures. Figuring out an effective route first is a huge part of truck fleet management.
4. Use Tracking Systems and Door Opening
To stay updated regarding the status of your shipment delivery and more, you need to rely on the use of GPS trackers. Stop bothering the drivers for updates and use strong GPS trackers which will give you real-time updates. They will inform you about where the truck is, when it has been opened and when it is heading back.
This not only allows you to stay updated but ensures maximum security. This also ensures that when there are special sudden orders, you can find the nearest truck and assign the work to them. It will make your system more effective and you will be able to always be aware of where your fleet is when they leave for their deliveries.
5. Have an ETA Notification System
One of the most time-consuming areas can be the delivery, unloading, and loading of the trucks. Some truck drivers might also complain about how the warehouse is never ready for them or wasn’t expecting them as yet. This is why; it’s a good idea to use an ETA notification system.
An ETA notification might seem unnecessary but it can help to serve three major functions:
- Informs the drivers know that the delivery location is near
- Let’s you know the delivery is about to be made
- Allows the warehouse to know that the truck is about to come in
This makes deliveries more streamlined and avoids any unnecessary delays. Your trucks can be unloaded and loaded more effectively because the warehouse is ready for them. It’s also a great way for you to mark your performance and figure out if there are any issues on your end which are causing delays.
6. Enable BYOD – Bring Your Own Device
Did you know that there are plenty of GPS apps, time management apps and more which can make routes and delivery times easier to manage? That’s why you should allow them to bring in their smartphones or tablets. This is an option that has plenty of benefits, even lowering your costs for IT, hardware and more.
The best part is that GPS navigation software is also available in the app form. Then, all your drivers need to do is download the app on their phone and they’re good to go. It’s one of the best ways to test out navigation systems and route adjustments before you invest in some high-quality software or make any drastic changes.
With the help of these tips, you can improve truck fleet management and streamline your fleet effectively. These are just the tip of the iceberg. Once you start, you will start to discover more about which areas your fleet is lacking in and how you can improve it.