There are numerous strategies that fleet managers implement to conserve fuel. Idle reduction, preventative maintenance, outfitting vehicles with aerodynamic devices and monitoring driver behavior are likely the ones that first come to mind.
The driver shortage is a top challenge and concern among fleet managers, and, unfortunately, it’s a situation with no real end in sight. In fact, it’s growing year-over-year and increasingly shrinking the driver labor pool.
With fuel costs accounting for approximately 30% of a fleet’s total operating costs, finding fuel management strategies that maximize fuel economy and reduce fuel costs should be a top priority for both fleet managers and key players, whether the fleet is comprised of a few or a few hundred vehicles.
If you’re looking to control costs — and what fleet manager isn’t — finding ways to reduce excessive idling should be one of your top priorities. Excessive idling is a huge fuel waster that gives you zero miles per gallon, increases maintenance costs and produces pollutant emissions that are harmful to the environment and to the health of your drivers. Plus, in many jurisdictions, excessive idling is illegal, with hefty fines for a violation.
There are various reasons for drivers allowing an engine to idle, including warming up or cooling down the interior of the vehicle, operating emergency lighting or radios, warming up the engine, powering off-board equipment, processing paperwork, talking on the phone, and loading/unloading.
It’s summertime and while the livin’ may be easy, as for the driving, well, that can be another story entirely. In fact, summertime driving can be downright dangerous.
For starters, with Americans packing up the car and traveling to summer vacation destinations, there’s more traffic than usual on the roadways. More traffic means more congestion and a greater chance of accidents.
And then there’s the weather.
Summer brings an abundance of steamy, sticky days and unsettled weather patterns that can ramp up the potential for torrential afternoon
thunderstorms that strike with little warning, limit visibility, and boost the chances of one of the most common causes of traffic accidents: hydroplaning.
There’s no doubt that managing a fleet is a complex undertaking — one that requires a broad range of skills and experience to keep the numerous areas of operation running efficiently and within budget.
But the fact is, as highly skilled and experienced as the most successful fleet managers are, one thing that’s hard to tackle is predicting exactly what liability issues might crop up — making such predictions is next to impossible.
However, reducing liability exposure with winning strategies and solutions that improve the areas most affected by common liability issue is very possible to achieve.
Being held liable in a claim is no picnic. It can negatively impact a company’s reputation, affect how a fleet is managed and operated, and can mean the difference between operating profitably or operating in the red.
With areas of the Gulf Coast and Puerto Rico still recovering from the devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Maria in 2017, it may seem too early to even be thinking about the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. But the truth of the matter is, it’s never too early to be thinking about — and preparing for — hurricane season.
With the blizzards, whiteouts and ice-covered roads of winter in the rear-view mirror and the warm, sunny days of summer just around the corner, you might be looking forward to your drivers traveling on roads that are safer and much easier to navigate.
Sorry to disappoint.
Tags: Fleet Management
After being in decline for nearly a decade, vehicle fatality rates have increased in the U.S. over the past few years.
In fact, 2016 fatal traffic crash data— released in October 2017 by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — shows 37,462 lives lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6% from 2015. Factors linked to the rise include reckless behaviors, such as speeding and not wearing seat belts, as well as a 2.2% increase in the number of vehicle miles traveled on U.S. roads.
With growing highway congestion and driver distractions here to stay, improving driver safety and reducing accidents has never been more important than now.
Tags: Fleet Management
If you are a fleet manager, there is no question that driver shortage is a significant and ongoing concern. In fact, in its annual top industry issues report — 2017 — the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) found that, for the first time since 2006, driver shortage was the top-ranked issue, followed by ELDs and hours of service.
Tags: Fleet Management