08 Nov The Importance of Auto Fleet Management Systems
In response to recent governmental regulations regarding the trucking industry, more companies in that industry have installed auto fleet management systems in their vehicles, so that better monitoring of drivers and vehicles can be obtained. A renewed focus on vehicle safety and driver safety is being undertaken throughout the trucking industry, as a result of many accidents which have occurred, and which were deemed preventable.
Apart from complying with these regulations, there are some benefits which trucking firms are realizing from having fleet management devices installed in their vehicles, and these are described below:
Contrary to popular belief, the vehicles which comprise a company’s fleet are not its most important assets – the drivers of those vehicles are. This being the case, it just makes good sense to protect those drivers to the greatest extent possible, and to ensure that they are abiding by safe practices as well as government regulations.
The tracking device installed in any truck will record information about the route a driver takes, the speed they’re moving at, whether they make fast starts or stops, and a number of other driving behaviors. All this information can be extremely valuable to a company in assessing how well a driver is performing on the job. Drivers also realize that they are being evaluated by this monitoring device, and that tends to encourage them to drive safely and according to best practices, rather than engaging in poor roadway habits.
Time-saving and efficiency
After having installed the fleet management system, it’s very easy for any company to obtain information relative to routine service schedules at any time. By simply entering in some basic information, the system will arrange a specific time for maintenance, so that these won’t be overlooked or forgotten. This is just one aspect of reporting that can be simplified and streamlined by having an auto fleet management system in place.
When you consider all the other reports that would normally be required for your fleet of vehicles, it’s easy to see how the time-saving mounts up very quickly. This is a great way to achieve greater efficiency in managing your fleet, and your company will doubtless find other areas where more efficiency can be achieved.
Improved customer satisfaction
One of the things that any trucking company is measured by in terms of customer satisfaction is how well it makes delivery times as scheduled. Any company that consistently misses delivery times is probably in danger of being replaced by a more efficient provider. In years past, when all deliveries were managed by hand, it was extremely difficult to successfully meet delivery times, primarily due to the fact that a dispatcher was never really sure where the vehicle was at a given time.
With modern auto fleet management systems, all vehicles in your fleet will appear on a mapping grid, so that you can tell where all trucks are at a glance. This makes it much easier to inform customers about how long it will be before any delivery will be made. The more frequently you make deliveries on time, the more satisfied your customers will be, and the more your services will be in demand.
All vehicles in your fleet can be monitored in real-time when you have an auto fleet management system installed. You’ll have a wealth of information at your fingertips which is extremely valuable for decision-making, and for reacting to situations on the road. You’ll know exactly which customers have had deliveries made to them, and which are still waiting. You’ll also know whether your driver is in transit, or is waiting at a stop somewhere, for whatever reason.
Because you have so much information available to you, you will be able to manage your entire fleet much more effectively, and you’ll be able to keep your customers happier. If there are any problems which have developed for drivers on the road, you’ll be able to get help to them much more quickly, so they’re not stranded. For any kind of situation which might arise, you’ll simply be in a much better position to react to it and make sure that both driver and vehicle remain safe until help can be provided.
Reduced fuel costs
As a trucking company, one of your biggest expenses will be fuel costs. In the days before fleet management software had been developed, it was necessary to simply trust your drivers concerning how much money was being spent on fuel. The unfortunate truth is that in those days, many drivers saw a chance to make extra money by claiming greater fuel costs. They could also claim to have driven further than they actually did, thus requiring even more fuel.
With the advent of auto fleet management systems, all that is a thing of the past, and both driving distances and fuel costs are managed in detail by vehicle fleet software. Fuel consumption is closely monitored by onboard computers so that the precise amount of money spent on fuel will always be known. In effect, that will serve to reduce fuel costs and to ensure that there is a great deal more accuracy involved in distances driven and money spent on fuel.
Compliance with regulations
The Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued guidelines relative to the number of hours a driver can work in any given week, as well as the number of hours that he/she can drive on any specific day. After a 10-hour off period, a driver can be ‘on duty’ for 14 hours, but can only drive for 11 of those hours.
In a 7-day work week, a driver can be on duty no more than 60 hours, and several other restrictions govern how long a driver can be working, and when a break from driving must be taken. Auto fleet management tracking systems can ensure that these hours-of-service regulations are complied with by drivers and companies so that the driver does not become a danger to himself or to others on the road.