How to Improve Fleet Uptime
Maintaining maximum fleet uptime requires understanding the components and systems involved in keeping every aspect of your operation running smoothly. Choosing suitable vehicles, implementing driver education resources, and using proven fleet technology are all essential measures managers can use to keep fleets at their most efficient.
Choose the Right Vehicles and Technology
Which trucks and trailers are best for your business depends on the services you provide. When choosing your vehicles, consider these factors to maximize fleet uptime:
- Size: Transport loads safely by selecting truck sizes suitable for your jobs. Using the right-sized vehicle ensures you are in compliance with regulations and protects your company's profits from fines. Your drivers can complete trips more efficiently and cost-effectively when you match the size of the load to that of the vehicle.
- Distance: Whether you're hauling locally or on long trips, ensure your vehicle was designed for that application for peak savings. You can also maximize route efficiency for each destination with route optimization that lets you lessen travel distance and save money on fuel. GPS navigation apps and routing integration systems help your drivers stay on the correct route and avoid out-of-route miles.
- Time: Seasonal planning coordinates vehicle use so you don't have too many underused or overused trucks at any time. Ideally, you'll keep vehicles in operation most of the time and have a few backups available as needed.
- Weight: Weight is one of the most critical considerations for any shipment, so your vehicle limits must be able to accommodate your loads. Coordinate balanced trailers and proper loading methods to ensure safe transportation.
Vehicles can remain consistently operational and available for jobs with the proper care. Implementing these preventive maintenance methods is one of the best ways to increase fleet uptime:
- Pre-Departure Checks: Optimize fleet performance and provide safe transportation by regularly inspecting for maintenance needs. Run through a standard checklist and address any concerns before dispatching vehicles.
- Regular Servicing: Proactive cleaning and maintenance solutions lessen the likelihood of a truck needing more significant repairs and replacements later on. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for each model to keep it in good running condition.
- Up-To-Date Monitoring: Plan for continuous fleet efficiency with reliable diagnostics technology that lets you monitor performance and see when a vehicle needs attention.
- Compliance Scheduling: Make sure back-office staff are informed of renewal dates, international mandates, and state permits. Staying compliant with regulations lets you keep drivers on the road.
Teach drivers how they can improve fleet uptime with training and educational resources — equipping employees with preventive care information results in fewer roadside breakdowns. Be sure to identify unit dates and numbers for incidents and note which drivers could benefit from more training.
Safety training identifies how drivers should check their vehicles to help contribute to your maintenance protocols. For the best results, teach them what to look for during pre-trip and post-trip inspections. Having knowledgeable drivers who know and treat their equipment well will help keep your fleet maintenance and repair costs to a minimum.
During new driver orientation, ensure employees feel comfortable and knowledgeable about every system. From there, track how long their vehicle endures to see if further tips or reminders could improve their performance. Make sure every driver feels supported with the right amount of education to keep trucks running safely.
Use Fleet Technology
Managers can help improve fleet uptime by installing modern technology inside trucks and trailers. Adding in-vehicle technology like the following highlights safety issues and provides your company with cost-effective risk mitigation:
- Rand Platform: The Rand Platform is a single, integrated fleet management system designed to collect and analyze real-time data from vehicles, equipment, and drivers/operators. This allows you to make smarter business decisions, allocate resources more effectively, and respond to unexpected challenges using the latest information available.
- Fleet Vehicle and Resource Tracking: Know the location and status of your vehicles at any time. A fleet vehicle tracking app and device capture a wide range of driver metrics, including idle time, hard braking, fuel consumption, and speeding. These analytics allow you to manage and train a more effective workplace and provide proactive maintenance for greater uptime and overall efficiency.
- Video Telematics: Facilitate driver safety with advanced road-facing detection. A dual-facing camera monitors sudden speed increases, tailgating, unsafe cornering, possible collision, and harsh braking. Dash cams provide real-time insights and keep drivers accountable for safe practices.
Explore Technology Solutions to Improve Your Fleet Uptime
Rand McNally Fleet offers compliance, tracking, monitoring, analytics, and productivity solutions. We offer the insights you need to promote safe and efficient driving, lower overall expenses, and maximize uptime. Our staff offers assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a week, providing you with dedicated support whenever you need it.
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