To manage a fleet in the world of transportation means to carry out a horde of responsibilities flawlessly. These responsibilities can be classified under the three musketeers – safety, efficiency and compliance. It is indeed very important to have consistency and harmony to attain a successful fleet. However, it is more important to understand the responsibilities of a fleet manager in order to achieve the same. So what are these responsibilities? Are they easily attainable? Let’s have a look.
A fleet manager has a list of responsibilities that are a little intricate as they have a line of trucks and drivers to manage. Their tasks often get challenging and demanding, as they have to manage several risks. However, an external hand of help can sure go a long way.
Safety Guidelines for Fleet Manager
Here are a few guidelines that will give you an insight to the many responsibilities concealed under the simple terms of safety, efficiency and compliance, which indeed form the baseline of an unblemished fleet.
Marking itself as a priority, safety is no rocket science to understand. Amateur or veteran, safety is always a foremost concern for both, the man behind the wheel as well as the esteemed firm. Nevertheless, it is vital to ensure that your safety measures are up to the mark. While a couple of questions pop up in your mind, wondering if you are in par with these measures, you may be happy to know that a few simple preventative steps can give you a safe and sound fleet.
Rough incidents are those unpleasant happenings that occur abruptly. For example a sudden start with extra acceleration or a force stop can lead to heavy claims due to damage and maintenance.
This can however be prevented by hiring good truck drivers and thoroughly checking the driving history and records before hiring the driver. A fleet manager should also periodically recheck the records of the drivers and invest a handsome amount of time in the driver’s training process.
Installing a device that would monitor and alarm the driver spontaneously, in case of harsh driving should also be considered as an option for safety measure. Voice coaching devices could also count as a quick fix to such problems thus keeping them at bay.
Needless to say, speeding drivers are obviously irresponsible and often rash. The number of fatalities due to mishaps and irresponsible driving by especially truck drivers has always been on high. Unfortunately, it is difficult to tell about the drivers speed unless you follow the many trucks in your fleet. As impossible as this may sound, a device that could track the speed of the trucks could definitely be used as a wise option. This would not only give you an understanding of your drivers speed but also save a lot of hazardous collisions on the road thus saving you from heavy claims, unexpected consequences and unnecessary damage.
Are you well connected with your driver? Is he comfortable with narrating the unfortunate incidents he faces to you? The fleet manager needs to insure the driver’s health and safety. Reporting of an incident is also extremely important. If the driver is unwilling to tell, this can be done using a tracking or monitoring device.
Efficiency is the key to a successful business. It is indeed vital to possess an efficient fleet for the smooth running of a business. However, efficiency is not gained easily. There are many factors that are required to be met in order to have efficiency at its best. Idling time tops this list. Let’s take a deeper look into preventing this issue.
Idling time is basically fraudulently leaving the truck in ignition when it actually is at rest. This is of course a waste of fuel and undue strain to the vehicle engine. In order to keep this menace in check, installing a device with engine idling alerts is very important. You can choose the vehicles to be monitored and track their idling time as well.
A preventative maintenance plan would serve as a boon as it cuts down additional expenses of greater vehicle problems. You could set a preventative maintenance plan on the basis of engine running hours or mileage and get an auto notification if faced with an engine fault or failure. This would also intermediate the best time for vehicle servicing and ensure that the vehicle being used is completely safe and has a sound engine, thus avoiding unnecessary mishaps or vehicle breakdowns. It is however important that the driver has the right tools available in case of a breakdown which would be time saving.
Compliance majorly influences the fleet industry with the necessity of keeping an account of the hours of service and keeping a check over ELD rule violations.
Hours of service (HOS)
It is the responsibility of a fleet manager to assign work to the drivers within their hours of work, to avoid overtime. This means the fleet manager needs to assign routes available during the work time of the driver only. With innumerous drivers to track, this factor may demand a little skill and way too much time and attention. Nevertheless a simple device that indicates the number of working hours available for a given driver can make this tricky bit as easy as slicing cake. Once the fleet manager is aware of the available hours of the driver, assigning routes accordingly becomes easier without violating hours of service.
ELD Rule Violations
The company compliance policy is a constant task of the fleet manager. And with the interference of the many stakeholders, it becomes pretty challenging a task too. The fleet manager has to ensure that the compliance policy is approved by the HR department and is legal as well. So what makes this possible?
In this case an easy solution would be a means to keep everyone in the loop. A house of service violations report can be sent across to the concerned people so they can keep a tab of crucial information on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. On the other hand, customers can have easy access to real time reports with the help of the device that indicates the working hours of the driver.
Tracking devices come handy to solve an array of issues that are faced by fleet managers. They ensure flawless running of fleet operations thus minimizing unnecessary errors and fraud attempts by dishonest drivers. Fleet management could never have been easier, more systematic and recorded without these tracking devices.