Ideas for Fleet Improvement: Part 1

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As we enter into a new year and personal resolutions are made and often forgotten just as quickly as they are made, it’s important for businesses and fleets to assess ways to save money and time in repairs and downtime as well as continue to create a sense of community and loyalty among staff, technicians and drivers. Here are 4 ideas for fleet improvement for the new year:

 

  1. Automated Dispatch System

Instead of tasking dispatchers with calling your drivers with important information, improve fleet communication with an automated messaging system. Automated phone calls keep drivers aware of various driving conditions, day-to-day activities and assignments.

Implementation and Benefits:

  • Save the time of dispatchers so they can do other work.
  • Train drivers to use the system with step-by-step instructions and screenshots.
  • Determine the package that will best meet your department’s needs by asking a lot of questions and getting the input of the dispatchers you employee.
  • Save the time of drivers and dispatchers with a cohesive system to inform of assignments rather than a daily call in.

 

  1. Compare Agency Performance Through Benchmarking

Conduct a fleet study between your fleet and similar agencies to determine how your funding and operations compare to other fleets. Because you are conducting the study it will not cost additional money (aside from man hours) and the department will be able to ask important specific questions related directly to your industry.

Implementation and Benefits:

  • Develop a benchmark survey and contact peer companies or municipalities to determine how much money others were spending on their fleet.
  • Experiment and determine the best way to get a response from peers.
  • With information gained the department can decide to increase or decrease spending in various areas.
  • Build relationships with peer companies and municipalities when possible to reach out to going forward.

 

  1. Prevent Distracted Driving

Proactively increase driver safety by developing an outreach program and use of a telematic system to teach fleet professionals the statistics of fatalities and accidents while driving distracted.

Implementation and Benefits:

  • After training on driver safety, equip vehicles with telematics and a decal notifying of the system.
  • Decals warn against distracted driving and discourages theft.
  • Spreads the message of the dangers of distracted driving, use peer pressure for good to change bad habits.
  • Create safer driving conditions.

 

    1. Expand Preventative Maintenance

Perform preventative maintenance as thoroughly as you do annual inspections. Model a system on the annual DOT vehicle inspections as well as CDL vehicle inspection. This will help to reduce road service breakdowns and calls. It will also help to extend the life of vehicles. For example, a solid waste heavy-duty truck is typically 5-7 years, with this system it was extended to 10-12 years.

Implementation and Benefits:

  • Begin with walk-up visual inspection and follow DOT inspired checklist, it will take a little extra time but will save a lot of down time and money in the long run from unscheduled repairs.
  • Train staff to work the new program and identify problems before they break entirely.
  • Make sure everyone is on the same page and invested in the results to work together and succeed.

 

The key to success is communication and sharing the goal of saving time, money and energy to benefit everyone involved in the fleet. Give these fleet improvements a try to see how it not only affects your efficiency and productivity, but your bottom line as well.

 

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