There many factors to consider when managing a fleet of vehicles. Everything from the status of your inventory to the skill level of your drivers affects the overall success of your operation.

The bigger your fleet, the more complicated managing all your logistics becomes, and often key aspects of your business can slip through the cracks.  This can end up costing you money, time, and frustration. Learn about the 5 most common mistakes fleet managers make and how to avoid them in your everyday business.

1.     Poor Route Planning

Inefficient routes can throw your entire schedule off track.  It can cause drivers to be late, creating further delays for later travel.  This can increase not only the total travel time but also the likelihood of getting caught in construction or traffic.

Properly planning your route is important to the overall success of your fleet operation.  This not only saves you money in reduced fuel costs but also allows drivers to cover more ground and conduct more business.  Common mistakes fleet managers run into is working off of old or outdated route modules, not utilizing software or data information on the best routes, and forgetting to track travel times and identify areas needing improvement.

2.     Ineffective Communication

One of the biggest pitfalls in managing a large fleet operation is failing to effectively communication with your staff.  There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to fleet operations.  There are logistics specialists and route planners, drivers who are usually all in different places, in addition to any other personnel you employ.  It is imperative to make sure everyone is on the same page.  The larger the operation, the easier it is to let clear communication slip through the cracks.  Some good practices to implement to help avoid this are weekly or monthly staff meetings to review high level items and making sure there is a clear staff structure and accountability for reporting.  Allow employees an opportunity to clarify directives if they have questions and provide a clear line of communication to avoid confusion.

3.     Inaccurate reporting

With all the reporting that happens within your operation it is sometimes common for inaccurate reporting to occur.  This can throw off projections, give a false sense of your business, or have more serious accountability ramifications.  Often times mistakes are made with planned versus actual time being reported, overtime hours, and overall fleet management.  Other inaccuracies could also lead to a breach in warranties and claims, as well as other important legal documents.  Some best practices to avoid the mistake of inaccurate reporting include utilizing a checklist for all items recorded, implementing a double check system internally, and using data modules that do auto-calculations based on entered fleet information.

4.     Poor Training

Quality training is crucial to the success of your operation.  A common mistake fleet managers make is assuming drivers know more than they do or not providing the adequate training.  Proper training from a qualified professional will not only ensures your drivers and staff are working effectively but will also ensure your guidelines and policies are being followed.  It is not only important to provide quality training but also to make sure that training is ongoing to continue developing your team.

5.     Allowing Wear and Tear on your Fleet

It is easy to allow your fleet inventory to break down over the years.  Particularly here in Arizona where the summer heat takes a toll on our vehicles, it is important to make sure preventative maintenance is provided and routine check ups occur.  Allowing wear and tear on your inventory can eventually lead to a breakdown in efficiency, allowing vehicles to get slower, paying more in fuel costs and reducing the amount of business you can complete.  Making minor repairs and providing routine maintenance will help prevent the mistake of a wearing fleet, one that could be expensive to replace.

Everyone makes mistakes. But making a concrete plan to prevent them is possible.  Be sure to implement policies and standards within your business to avoid making common errors that cost you valuable time and money.

For more information contact the experts at RTA today!

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