How to Cut Fleet Costs
Updated: Dec 9, 2021
The day-to-day costs of running a fleet can add up quickly if you are not monitoring them.
Some fleet-related costs can go unnoticed — you can’t monitor what you can’t see. Lack of visibility into fleet management costs can really put a dent in your bottom line. There are several areas where fleet costs may be adding up unknowingly:
•Miscalculating payroll or overpaying on overtime
•Unauthorized vehicle usage
•Fuel used by each driver
•Not tracking maintenance schedules
Accurately calculate payroll:
Do you still rely on an honor system to have your employees clock in and out? What if your driver/employee came in late on Monday and left early on Thursday, but on their time sheet they put in a normal 40 hour week that shows normal start and end times for both days —even just by small increments—you are simply giving away money that could be invested back into your business.
Unauthorized vehicle usage:
Do your employees take company vehicles home at night and on the weekends? Do your drivers use your company vehicle—and fuel—to run personal errands after hours? This could be adding wear and tear to your vehicles as well as adding to your fuel bill. As a business owner, fuel can be an enormous and ever fluctuating cost, and one that is hard to control or predict.
Monitor fuel consumption:
Does your driver idle in place uncontrollably. Is the truck always running even if you have an APU or heater. Investigate and fix these maters so that you are not burning fuel. Coach drivers to stop unwanted driving habits. Something to think about: Your company vehicle is parked at the truck stop, during your driver’s break, they sit in the company vehicle and eat lunch with the engine running and the radio blasting, along with the air conditioning. Your fuel is being wasted on unnecessary idling. Other driver behaviors, such as harsh braking and hard cornering, not only waste fuel, they can increase accident risk.
Do you know when your vehicles are due for maintenance? If not, it could be costing you more than you think. If you’re in the dark about when vehicles are due for a service, critical maintenance can easily be overlooked. This might result in a costly breakdown that could have been prevented. The benefit of regular service and maintenance reminders (based on date, mileage or even hours of use) could help you save time and money.
Cut Manual Processes:
You could be losing a lot of time and money because of legacy methods that don’t take advantage of new technology that can improve accuracy and automation. As well as being inefficient and frustrating, manual processes can mean more mistakes. Even a small error in calculating a drivers’ hours may lead to overpaying. Check how you are running your business and determine if you can eliminate any manual process with an automated approach you will be saving time and money.
Track Start and Finish Times:
Do you know when your driver checked in and out from his last job? Are you billing your customers for the correct hours that your employee was on site? Have you shortchanged your bottom line because you don’t have insight into accurate start and finish times for each job? Because drivers are often busy, their time sheets may be inaccurate or incomplete. When it comes to billing your customers, you are relying on the times your drivers have reported— or sometimes not reported at all. Have a process in place where you can monitor in and out times in order to be able to accurately bill.
Time is money:
If you save time, you save money. No matter your role in the company, your time is precious. How much time do you running the same reports, building the same graphs or creating the same charts on a regular basis? It’s important to look for ways to streamline and simplify everyday activities like these that cost more time than they’re worth.
Create an optimized route for better performance. Are your drivers taking the shortest routes from job to job, to help minimize fuel usage? When it comes to getting from A to B, you want your drivers on the quickest route or do you want them to avoid TOLLS? Or do you preffer to not run your equipment to heavy on mountain terrain? If you provide your driver with a route to use, this can save your driver time, your business money and can lead to better response times. To understand if your fleet is operating as efficiently as possible, a reliable GPS vehicle tracking solution can add enormous value. It can help you identify the most optimal route—the one that requires the least amount of fuel— and then coach drivers to use that route. You’ll also be able to provide your customers with more accurate information regarding arrival and delivery times for specific jobs.