A fleet manager is often responsible for a fleet of hundreds (or thousands) of over-the-road tractor-trailers, local or regional delivery trucks, or package delivery vans. Regardless of what you manage, you probably face a great deal of pressure in keeping your fleet in good working order, your drivers and other employees safe, and your clients satisfied with on-time and as-expected deliveries.
Efficiency is necessary for fleet management since it is a fast-paced business with many moving parts and parties. However, many fleet managers find themselves bogged down in time-consuming tasks that don’t further their daily or overriding goals. If you strive to become a more effective fleet manager to benefit your organization, employees, clients, and your peace of mind, here are four habits you can adopt:
1. Make Safety a Priority
One vital element of your work is keeping warehouse and dock workers, drivers, and the public safe from danger and harm. Whether on your shipping dock or the road, your workers rely on you to understand the importance of safety for your fleet, which helps them observe and practice better safety measures.
Here are some ways you can reinforce safety for your employees:
- Screen and hire drivers carefully, relying on your company’s hiring standards, background screenings, and drug tests
- Provide drivers with regular training sessions on safety rules for reinforcement or inform them of new safety considerations
- Perform regular maintenance checkups on fleet vehicles to ensure they are always road-ready
- Invest in technologies that help operators measure the driving distance between other vehicles, identify blind spots, and provide collision warnings
2. Plan for Fleet Maintenance and Care
No one likes to plan to take fleet vehicles out of commission, even if only for a day, but it is necessary to prevent bigger issues that result in roadside breakdowns or accidents. Use software or a cloud-based program to simplify the fleet maintenance process, scheduling vehicles based on miles driven and any recurring issues. With a good plan, you can schedule vehicles so you don’t have too many out of rotation at once. You might also invest in electronic logging devices that come with vehicle diagnostic features to pick up on any problems, automatically triggering the need for an inspection.
3. Develop Good Communication Skills
A big part of your job is communicating the needs of your organization and its clients. It is essential that you communicate effectively to ensure drivers know your expectations of them, update your clients on issues like delays, and reassure employees that they work in an environment where open and respectful discussions are welcome.
4. Stay Up-to-Date and Embrace Fleet Technologies
The latest available technologies help you stay aware of what is going on with your fleet at all times. Some of the most effective digital tools available to you are smart cameras from tech companies that focus on fleet management. The best smart cameras provide comprehensive fleet safety, featuring AI built into the cameras that help you coach, manage, and protect your fleet. You also have access to real-time visual evidence of driver behaviors and any accidents that happen.
Become a More Effective Fleet Manager With Commitment to New Habits
Fortunately, you have plenty of tools at your disposal to become a more effective and less stressed fleet manager. By focusing on driver and vehicle safety, strong communications, and technologies to provide support, you will see improvements in your own habits. Even better, you are likely to see benefits across the board for your fleet and drivers.