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How To Manage Your Commercial Vehicle Fleet: A Practical Guide For Modern Managers

In any commercial business which requires the transportation of goods and equipment, either internally to other locations owned by that company, or external deliveries to customers and clients, there is a need for the management of those logistical services. Having a team dedicated to monitoring your fleet of transport vehicles helps you to ensure profitability, safety, compliance the law, and the overall welfare of your drivers. Finding the best ways to optimise this aspect of your business can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if it’s a secondary part to your business. But you don’t need to be a transportation expert to implement a good system. Follow our guide below for some of the best tips in managing your fleet.

Retaining Your Workforce
A big issue facing transportation services in the UK is the recent shortage of lorry drivers due to the pandemic and complications following Brexit. It’s said that there are several thousand EU drivers that have been lost, for example. This means that now, more than ever, holding on to your workforce is pivotal to your continued success. Rehiring to fill empty roles is not going to be as easy so keep your team happy to prevent losses. Similarly, you could invest more into your less experienced team members, offering mentoring and training programs. Take as many steps as you can towards building the loyalty of your fleet as it’s not going to be that easy to keep replacing staff that leave.

Ensuring Driver Safety
Keeping your drivers safe is of the utmost importance as a fleet manager. Not only is their welfare your responsibility, but in turn, you’ll be helping to keep other people in the general public safe too. Pushing your drivers beyond their limits increases the risk that they will become careless or distracted, either by tiredness or stress. There’s a stark difference between encouraging efficiency and speed, and making unreasonable, unfair demands. Encourage an open dialogue between yourself and your team to better understand the challenges of delivery driving and what you can do to make life easier for your workforce, whilst improving the services that you offer.

Fleet Tracking
Keep an eye on your team’s location with GPS fleet tracking to have a better idea of the routes they’re taking, as well as providing them with updated and efficient directions to their destination. On top of this, you’ll be able to keep in constant contact with your drivers to chase up late deliveries and update them on changing destinations. For a great system like this, check out the fleet tracking from FleetGO. When implementing GPS tracking on your vehicles, you’re ultimately going to be saving money on fuel costs as well as improving your team’s productivity at the same time, as you’ll be able to send your team on the best routes possible.

Setting Boundaries
As well as keeping track of your team, there are other great systems that GPS tracking software can achieve. There is a system known as geofencing which is a way of laying out a border for your GPS system. This instructs your drivers of you predefined area which they aren’t permitted to leave. This is perfect for local deliveries such as around large cities and towns. For example, if you’re running a business-to-business delivery service in London, you may have a selection of drivers assigned to particular Burroughs who will oversea the same-day deliveries, ensuring they’re always nearby for quick deliveries. You can also use this geofencing to prevent entry into certain areas, keeping drivers away from commonly congested area and encouraging them to take quicker and safer routes.

Hiring The Best
Regardless of the intensity of the role, you’ll want to be hiring the best drivers you can find for the job. Long-distance delivery driving is a combination of endurance, tactical thinking, and a good knowledge of the roads all around the country and beyond. As with any job, you’ll want to try to hire someone that’s enthusiastic and comfortable with your management system too. The last thing you need is push back from stubborn drivers who like to do everything their own way. Every role in your business should have a strong sense of teamwork and dedication to getting the job done right, making your fleet much easier to guide.

Tachograph Analysis
To improve your fleet tracking and overall effectiveness of your team, it’s worth making use of tachograph analysis software too. There are a number of important regulations to follow when it comes to running a commercial fleet and ensuring your compliance with these ever-changing rules and laws is essential. Using this software, you can keep a record of drive times to help you increase productivity whilst also making sure your drivers aren’t overworking themselves. There are strict laws on driver hours, and it’s imperative that drivers follow these rules for their safety and the safety of other road users. Tiredness can cause devastating accidents so keep on top of this as best you can.