Commercial Auto

Fleet Management Basics for Small Business

The A-B-Cs of Fleet Management

Over the years, fleet management has evolved to more than just dots on the map. Seeing where your vehicles are or have been is only scratching the surface. Nowadays, fleet management technology is an irreplaceable tool for running your fleet and encompasses more of your fleet operations.

Catch up on your knowledge of the benefits of telematics. Below are the ABCs of fleet management that help keep your fleet safe, compliant and profitable.

ACCOUNTABILITY: Running personal errands on company-billed time, or keeping the truck idling while at a parking lot may not seem like big impacts on the company’s bottom line. But little things like this add up and cause unnecessary expenses. Fleet management solutions help put a number on how much speeding, idling, personal errands and frequent vehicle breakdowns are costing the business. They add transparency into how each member of the team is accountable in the running of a successful and profitable fleet.

BEHAVIOR and BRAND IMAGE: Drivers are company and brand representatives on the road. If a driver is driving erratically or unsafe, it reflects poorly on the brand image and could end up costing in violation fines or collisions. Having insight into driver behavior, fleet risk analysis and that of individual drivers helps fleet managers address aggressive driving, reward exemplary driving records and manage reputable brand image on the road.

CONNECTED FLEET: Ability to charge customers with mobile payments and produce paperwork with portable printers turns your vehicles into ‘mobile offices’ that require network connectivity. Many car manufacturers today offer internet connectivity service in new vehicles. Fleet Complete’s integration with General Motors vehicles allows companies to connect their trucks to high-speed internet through the OnStar service and benefit from the fleet-tracking platform at the same time. You do not need any hardware – all services are activated through OnStar and require no installation!

DTC or DIAGNOSTIC TROUBLE CODES: When connected to the vehicle’s OBD, CANBUS or J1939 9 Pin onboard computer, Fleet Tracker collects over 20 data points from the vehicle’s onboard computer, along with Diagnostic Trouble Codes. It notifies the fleet manager of minor or major defects before critical breakage occurs, helping minimize downtime and prolong vehicle health.

EFFICIENCY: No matter the size of your business, the ability to do more jobs in a day without increasing your head-count can make a big difference to your bottom line. Managing your fleet with platforms like Fleet Complete can help you identify which of your assets are sitting idle and not earning their keep, and which of them are being stretched too thin and working overtime. Being efficient with work distribution helps keep all your assets productive and your overtime bills low.

FUEL MANAGEMENT and integration with FLEETIO FUEL CARD MANAGEMENT: See your fleet’s consumption of fuel per trip, per engine hours worked, and per time spent idling. Together with the Fleet Complete fuel economy tracking and the Fleetio Fuel Card Management system, you will be able to better report on and manage fuel usage and expenses.

GPS LOCATION: Time and GPS-stamped records of your vehicle’s position throughout the day is key to managing your fleet. Knowing when and where your vehicles have been, managers can make decisions on who to send to the next job, how to improve routes and where to address aggressive driving behavior.

HOURS OF SERVICE: A critical tool in the commercial long-haul industry, Fleet Complete’s BigRoad ELD will keep your drivers compliant with the ELD requirements and automate hours of service logging and reporting.

IN-CAB DRIVER TOOLBOX: Fleet management is beneficial to both managers and drivers. With solutions that allow drivers to manage their tasks for the day faster and error-free, you gain an efficient crew in the field and a quicker job turn-around. The in-cab toolbox will simplify ELD compliance and roadside inspections, pre- and post-trip DVIRs, and help improve safer driving with ADAS technology like Fleet Complete Vision. Equip your drivers to be successful at their jobs and maintain company’s reputable image.

JOBSITE PRESENCE: A report showing the exact time each asset and worker arrived and left the job site makes it much easier on the accounting team to bill the customer and provide proof of hours present onsite. Together with the report that shows how long each asset’s engine was on and the fuel consumed per hours worked, managers get more accurate with project estimates and invoicing.

KPIs or KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS: You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Increasing visibility into how fleets are performing when it comes to key factors like safety, productivity, fuel efficiency, compliance and running costs helps business owners identify what is working, what is not working well, and uncover opportunities to run leaner and more profitable operations.

LTE and LTE-M NETWORKS: North America’s largest cellular providers are actively switching their network towers to LTE service, which means faster cellular data transmission and better coverage. The advantage of LTE-M network is minimal demand on the device’s power consumption for a much longer battery life and smaller-size trackers. Adding the LTE-M network and compatible GPS-tracking devices opens doors for solutions like Asset Tracker AT1 to make your equipment and asset management much more affordable and sustainable.

MAINTENANCE: Maintaining your vehicles properly and regularly keeps your fuel consumption at an optimum and ensures your assets are on the road earning business, instead of sitting in a service shop costing you in downtime. Fleet Complete’s Maintenance Module allows managers to set up alerts for vehicles that are approaching service thresholds, based on their mileage, engine hours and DTC, or MIL alerts from the engine.

NEAREST VEHICLE: Sending the nearest driver to the job location saves you unnecessary miles driven, less fuel burned and quicker response times to your customer’s needs. Right clicking on the tracking map in the Fleet Complete app enables you to locate the closest available crew member to the location you have indicated.

OVERVIEW DASHBOARDS: Managing a fleet is a busy job. The larger it is, the more room there is for oversight and potential mistakes. A dashboard overview gives managers past and present status of fleet, risk analysis, miles driven, aggressive driving incidents, trips completed, underperforming and overworked assets, and more.

PERSONAL TRACKER: Some remote jobs require a worker to venture out on their own, with little help available in case of an emergency. Ability to track their status and get immediate alerts, if the person is experiencing a medical emergency and is unresponsive, adds an extra layer of safety to lone workers. Personal Tracker adds the assurance of help being dispatched without delay when needed. Learn more about the Personal Tracker solution >

QUALITY: The quality of your service, and ultimately returning customers, depend on how quickly your team responds to a call, how timely your ETAs are, and how accurate your billing is. Fleet Complete system is designed to help automate and optimize day-to-day fleet operations, so that your managers and drivers can focus on providing exceptional customer service.

ROUTING: With Breadcrumb Trail and Trip Replay reports, managers can see which routes their drivers are taking. Whether they are taking private or public roads or the best possible route to the job. Optimizing routes can result in more jobs being completed in a day, less delay between jobs, and less time spent in traffic. Reports on mileage completed on public vs private roads also helps streamline your IFTA reporting.

SAFETY: Safer fleets are more profitable fleets. Speeding tickets, traffic violations, DVIR non-compliance and road collisions are all costing your business not only in fines, but also in delays, negative brand attention and higher driver turnover. A system that allows both managers and drivers operate their fleet safely helps improve performance, job satisfaction, and qualified worker retention.

TRIP REPLAY: Fleet Complete’s Trip Replay allows fleet managers to review all trips taken by a particular vehicle during a certain period. The trips can be classified as Private or Business and provide insight into the manner in which the trip was completed, the time and location of start and finish, and fuel consumption during the trip. All aggressive driving instances are color coded on the map and, with Fleet Complete Vision in place, you’re provided with a video event recording of the incidents taking place.

ULTIMATE PLATFORM: The ultimate telematics platform, the Holy Grail of Fleet Management, this system allows you to monitor all your assets on the same tracking map. Get in touch with your workers via the Push-to-talk, manage work schedules and time cards, report on asset profitability, capture engine health and vehicle status, track and address driving behavior, review and plan routes, manage points of interest, have video capture of driver behavior, dispatch tasks, and more – all from a single platform. Not many vendors today offer one system to manage all aspects of your fleet operations. Fleet Complete is a multi-purpose, integrated platform that takes into account the needs of fleet managers, owners and drivers, and offers an array of solutions that help optimize all aspects of your fleet operations.

VIDEO TELEMATICS is a solution that identifies and video-records incidents of potentially unsafe driving, such as lane drifting, speeding, tailgating, rolling STOPs and more. This type of data provides valuable insight to managers at the head-office, helps coach drivers on the road, and can be especially useful in situations when false claims are being made against company drivers. Learn more about Fleet Complete Vision >

WORKFORCE: Managing and tracking the activity of your mobile workers is just as important as monitoring their vehicles. Helping your workers better manage their daily tasks can help them do more in a day. Solutions like Task Tracker allow managers to send tasks to workers’ smartphones, from where each driver can either accept or reject the task, depending on their workload for the day. The app automatically arranges the tasks based on the job’s urgency, location from the previous job, and travel time.

eXONERATE: Skilled drivers are businesses’ most important assets. At a time when shortage of drivers is a national concern, retaining your drivers is key to running your business. At times, drivers are faced with claims of wrongful road activity or causing crashes that may negatively affect the driver’s record even if they are not at fault. Fleet management platforms that capture timestamped speed, behavior and location of the vehicle in question can provide the needed proof to clear your driver’s name.

YELLOW IRON: Construction equipment and heavy-machinery that are generally stationary or moving within an allocated jobsite can benefit from GPS-tracking solutions as much as a vehicle fleet. Equipment theft is a daily concern for construction sites that are not always securely protected or guarded. Many business owners face the reality of stolen equipment more often than once a year. Replacement costs and project delays are the result and can be avoided if the equipment is recovered quickly. With Fleet Complete’s asset-tracking solutions that send alerts when an asset leaves the assigned jobsite outside of authorized hours, recovery of stolen assets can be made fast.

ZONING or GEOFENCES are specifically defined web-map areas that are virtually drawn over jobsites, parking lots of a particular building, or over a specific route, helping monitor the times company vehicles cross over the virtual boundaries. This helps managers track the coming and going of workers to and from jobsites, monitor when stationary equipment leaves the area, or if a vehicle has deviated from a pre-determined route.

Fleet Complete

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