Manufacturing goods is one thing; making them available to your market is another. You need proper management of logistics to get work done. No matter how well-crafted your products are if they can’t get to your customers or dealer network, the whole offering is bound to be forgotten to become but a footnote to society. You might think it’s easy but even the biggest of businesses fumble in this respect.
Take, for instance, Amazon, a company of over a million workers and long-hailed as the King of e-commerce. There’s no doubt this online giant is making American lives a lot smoother with online retail. This is especially true during the pandemic when people’s movement is placed at the utmost minimum. But its delivery service has been at times in question and hounded profusely by critics as inhumane for causing untimely deaths. It’s surprising but it’s true.
In this sense, fleet management should be practiced with care. Think about it. When you manage your delivery vehicles properly, you minimize costs. Even better, you are able to give your customers what they deserve. In short, it’s a win-win scenario you should seek every time.
Factor a Fleet Inspector
Right off the bat, you need someone to dip his fingers into it and focus on managing your fleet. There’s a lot of wear and tear happening on the road. Tires go thin and personnel grows impatient. A well-defined schedule for inspection can usher in a healthier, more robust fleet in no time.
Take note that preventive maintenance is a must. Think of it as looking in a mirror. The more you look at the mirror, the better you should be in maintaining your appearance. A vehicle to function at its best must be inspected regularly. Engine cleaning, tire changes, and oil changes are just some needed maintenance that will have to be factored in time. Quite simply, parts could go bust over time.
Regular maintenance ensures not only that your products arrive safely but also that your drivers are kept away from harm. A glorious example is your headlights. Your driver could be in danger with low-performing headlights used in harsh weather conditions. To avert disaster, you will have to get those front lights functioning at their brightest, and factor in the cost of headlight restoration.
With your attention focused on running a business, you could spread yourself thin if you take up fleet maintenance. Having an expert look into the matter should be spot-on.
There’s no person better at knowing issues with a vehicle exists than with the driver himself. He, in fact, spends more time behind the wheel than anyone else. So getting regular reports from your drivers should be paramount. You should allow them to give you notice when they feel something in their vehicle is off. In addition, they should check things regularly while on the road. We’re talking about tire pressure and oil for instance.
Get the Right Vehicle for the Job
Think of this as you would a man lifting weights in the gym. You won’t task a newbie bodybuilder with bench-pressing 500 pounds right? Not unless that person is a 21-year-old veteran named Arnold Schwarzenegger. Indeed, it pays to match the vehicle with the job.
Each vehicle to be fielded must fit the work at hand. That means each one must be properly equipped. If you give too much load to a light vehicle, you hasten wear and tear. Using a stronger vehicle to do a lighter job also means you’re spending far too much than you should.
It’s essential, no doubt. Tires are key to proper fleet maintenance. For starters, they affect fuel economy. However, the thing to remember is that each vehicle will have a different journey. As each driver will go through distinct road surfaces and weather conditions, not to mention have different driving styles, each tire will be affected uniquely.
It’s important therefore that a fleet manager inspect tire pressure right before and right after a trip is made. This is especially true when a driver faces a long journey ahead.
Of all the factors that need to be placed in line, drivers are top of that list. To note, the biggest cause of road accidents in America today is not drunk driving or driving under the influence. Truth be told, distracted driving takes the biggest toll every year. It’s paramount therefore that you train your drivers to drive safely and efficiently every time.
Aside from imparting discipline, ensure that your drivers have the necessary skills to handle mechanical tasks while on the road. We’re talking about knowing how to check tread wear and tire pressure.
Responsible driving and regular maintenance are two of your biggest tools to minimize fleet maintenance costs. Above and beyond, these also assure you your products get to where you want them. Best of all, it’s about having every driver go home safe and sound every day, man and machine in one piece.