Efficiency Enterprises, Inc. 6300 Efficiency Way Baltimore, MD 21225

Tips To Overcoming Supply Shortages for Your Fleet

Supply shortages of any kind interfere with your normal business processes, inflating prices and disrupting the flow of inventory. When your business depends on rubber hitting the pavement, nothing can bring you to a screeching halt faster than a tire supply shortage.

While you can’t control the number of tires available on the market, there are things you can do to overcome tire supply shortage and minimize the impact it has on your fleet.

Understand Why Tires Are In Short Supply

If a tire shortage causes you to cancel or alter arrangements with your client base, you’d better have a good explanation ready. Patiently walking your customer through the reality of supply and demand can be crucial to prevent the perception that you’re making excuses, and may help you maintain valuable relationships.

Tire shortages are caused when there is a rubber shortage, shipping difficulties, or increased demand in the tire market. Interruptions in the cultivation of rubber trees can lead to a long-lasting decrease in supply. As nations develop, the demand for tires may increase. The availability of shipping containers or other materials can also decrease the number of tires available for purchase.

When fewer tires are available, the overall supply of vehicles also decreases, posing a significant challenge to fleet owners who need a reliable stable to conduct their business.

Reorder now

In a shortage, there’s no such thing as ordering too early. Vehicles that usually take six to eight weeks to acquire can take six months or longer during a shortage. Evaluate your fleet and identify the vehicles that are likely to need major repairs soon, and plan to replace them with newer, lower mileage vehicles. This strategy, which is known as a life-cycle strategy, will help you keep your fleet on the road and your monthly maintenance costs fairly steady.

Preserve Existing Tires

Decreasing the effect of a tire shortage on your fleet means taking good care of the tires you already have.

The first step is to institute a tire rotation schedule. Regular rotation of tires ensures that they wear evenly, and have treads of similar heights. Tire life is reduced when you run a vehicle with different sized tires on the same axel.

The other crucial part of keeping your fleet’s tires in good condition is avoiding underinflation. Severe underinflation is known to contribute to tire failure, a safety issue that all drivers and fleet personnel are keen to avoid. Even a slightly underinflated tire will wear out more quickly than a properly inflated tire, and yet checking tire inflation often falls off the list.

A tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) can be installed directly on the vehicle, sending data back to a centralized source in real-time. A TPMS can be mounted on the tire itself, on the rim, or on the valve.

An alternative to installing TPMS on every vehicle in the fleet is the purchase of a single-station automated tire inspection system. Rather than tedious manual checks, an automated tire inspection system merely requires the driver to position the vehicle over the sensor plate. The tread and pressure are automatically measured and stored, providing valuable data that can be used to optimize your maintenance schedule.

Consider a Fleet Partner

Navigating fleet ownership is difficult enough when you’re not trying to overcome a tire supply shortage. Let Efficiency be your partner. As an expert advisor with industry connections, Efficiency can be a valuable resource to your business. We just might give you the boost you need to stay ahead of your competitors. Contact us today to discuss the right fit for your business.

10 Important Factors When Buying Pre-Owned Trucks For Your Fleet

At one time or another, many businesses find themselves in need of a good used truck to add to the fleet. When choosing a pre-owned truck for your business, aftermarket exhaust systems are just an important factor that has to be considered, along with the cost and the value of the vehicle. In this article, we will go over the top ten factors you should consider when buying a used commercial truck.

10 Essential Factors When Purchasing Used Commercial Trucks:

Cost
Truck costs can include purchase price, fees, and taxes. Many companies desire fixed-cost purchasing plans, so the cost of the vehicle is known and budgeted for. Fixed cost purchasing plans typically include the purchase price, delivery fees, taxes, and extended warranties.

Durability
The durability of a used commercial truck will be determined by its age and mileage. It is essential to know how many miles were on the truck before being taken out of service. A truck with an average of about 200,000 miles on its odometer is considered to have good durability. The buyer must look into the history of any commercial trucks being considered for purchase.

Reliability
When purchasing used commercial trucks, it is essential to ensure they are reliable. The best way to determine the reliability of a used commercial truck is to check its maintenance records. It is necessary to verify that an authorized dealer has properly maintained the vehicle.

Warranty
Warranty coverage is one of the most overlooked factors when purchasing pre-owned trucks. Any company that buys new vehicles should have a “bumper to bumper” warranty. The warranty will cover all of the truck’s components part of the original manufacturer’s equipment list. It also includes the engine, transmission, drive axle, and suspension system.

Price
There is a big difference in purchasing used commercial trucks based on make and model in addition to mileage. A rule of thumb is that the older the truck, the less expensive it will be to purchase.

Capacity
All used commercial trucks have a capacity rating associated with them. The capacity rating tells you how much weight and cargo each truck can handle. When choosing an appropriate truck for your business, ensuring its capacity matches your needs is vital.

Service network
All of the commercial trucks for sale will have a service network associated with them. The service network is an important factor to consider because it tells you how many dealerships are available to provide you with parts and service information if needed. It also shows you which dealership supports models.

Towing capacity
The towing capacity of any used commercial truck is important. If you are purchasing the pre-owned trucks for a company that has large trailers or tow vehicles, then the truck must keep up with the trailer.

Operating costs
When purchasing used commercial trucks, operating costs are one of the most important factors to consider. The operating costs of a used commercial truck include things like fuel economy and repair and maintenance costs. It may be beneficial for you to investigate the average costs of similar trucks that were purchased in the past.

Insurance
Truck Insurance rates vary depending on many factors such as the age, make, model, and mileage of the truck. If a company is purchasing used commercial trucks, then it is important to investigate insurance costs for similar models in the past.

While these 10 factors make a major impact on your decision, always go the extra mile with your research. Whether buying used or new, you want the most value for your money while ensuring that you are getting a high-quality product. Need help looking over your fleet plans or purchasing the right vehicle? Let Efficiency handle the heavy lifting for you!

Staying Safe During Winter: What Truck Drivers Need To Know

Roads can become extremely dangerous during wintertime. When the snow begins to fall and temperatures drop to sub-zero, even highly experienced truck drivers can have problems with poor visibility and the reduced traction that is so typical of icy roads. Luckily there are a few things they can do to help them stay safe in these conditions. Continue reading to learn more.

Double-check before the trip that you have all the necessary supplies.

If the trip does not work out as planned and you are involved in an accident, get stuck in heavy traffic, or have to pull off and wait out a storm, you are going to need certain supplies. That’s why it’s important to double-check before the trip that you have blankets, warm clothing, water, and food – and that the diesel tanks are full.

Check the truck before the journey.

Getting the truck ready for winter is a crucial part of staying safe and preventing accidents. Start by checking the engine oil. Also check the condition of the tires, tire pressure, antifreeze levels, brakes, lights, and everything else that could negatively impact having a safe journey.

Be on the alert for black ice.

This thin sheet of transparent ice typically forms when temperatures start approaching freezing point. The first warning sign could be when ice starts building up on the windscreen. Reduce your speed when approaching bridges, shaded areas, and overpasses since these are spots where black ice often first starts to form.

Increase following distances.

It takes much longer than usual to bring a large vehicle to a complete standstill when roads are wet, icy, and slippery. This is why truck drivers should always increase following distances during the winter months to help prevent accidents.

Be aware of and prepared for all weather conditions.

You should always make sure that they are up to date with the latest weather conditions on their planned route. Drivers should also use a GPS, radio, or another form of communication to be alerted of accidents ahead, roads that are closed, etc.

Turn signals and hazard lights become even more important during winter. Experienced truck drivers typically have their own rule of thumb for each different road condition. For driving in winter, they would use four to five blinks before moving into the adjacent lane. And they don’t try to match the speed of the other vehicles on the road at all costs. If their load or the road conditions require this, they would rather drive more slowly and use hazard lights to warn other drivers of this fact.

Do not try to be a hero.

There is no load worth a human life. If a truck driver experiences extremely dangerous driving conditions, he or she should know that it’s fine to look for a safe spot where they can wait it out. If there is no space at the nearest truck stop, stop on a ramp or anywhere else that is not in the way. Just beware of parking on a steep incline as you might have issues pulling off again with a full load.

Exercise caution when getting into and out of the truck.

Wintertime means slippery conditions that make it very easy to fall and hurt yourself. Wear boots with a solid grip and when visibility is low, always wear high-visibility clothing.

We always err on the side of caution, especially in unpredictable weather! Looking for more tips or information about how to improve your fleet management? Let Efficiency help! Contact us today.

Boost Your Fleet Management Solution With These 6 Steps

Regardless of the size of the business, managing a fleet of trucks can be both stressful and complex. From fuel costs to truck maintenance, hiring the right staff, and training them, fleet managers have an unenviable job. Fortunately, technological advances are rapidly starting to make the process a lot easier. Below are a few tips on how to boost your fleet management solution.

1. Choose the best vehicles for the company’s needs

This is one of the most important tasks of a fleet manager. Depending on the type of industry that your firm operates in, procuring the right type of vehicles that best meet operational needs can make or break the business.

From strictly adhering to maintenance requirements to determining optimum vehicle replacement cycles and carefully considering disposal options can all have a major impact on the fleet management program’s success or failure.

Another important consideration here is vehicle reliability. It’s of little use if truck B costs $10 000 less than vehicle A but the direct and indirect costs of breakdowns will amount to three times that.

2. Optimize schedules and fleet delivery routes

Routes that are properly planned will undoubtedly increase customer satisfaction rates. It is crucial to provide your customers with accurate estimates for delivery times and small appointment windows. Efficiently planning delivery routes can help to shorten delivery times and will improve driver safety because there will be no need for them to rush. Ultimately this will also have a positive impact on accident rates.

3. Have an open-door policy

The fleet manager is a core part of any successful equipment and vehicle management program. His or her knowledge helps to keep track of issues and trends that might affect not only clients but also internal departments of the company. That is one of the biggest reasons why the fleet manager should always make time to listen to what drivers, clients, and other stakeholders have to say.

4. Control spending professionally

One of a fleet manager’s most important duties is to ensure the optimum use of the capital the company has available. Factors that can have a major impact on the firm’s success include:

  • Deciding whether to buy, lease, or rent vehicles based on sound financial criteria
  • Ensuring that the company gets the best financing rates
  • Taking into account tax incentives and other tax implications when making financial      decisions
  • Negotiating the best possible prices
  • Taking into account resale values and operating costs when making purchasing decisions
  • Planning for the firm’s future operational needs

5. Use technology to plan truck sizes and routes

New technologies such as GPS tracking can help drivers to arrive at their destination safely and efficiently. With proper route planning, they will be able to avoid roads with weight limits, low bridges, and heavy traffic. Drivers will also have access to live information about road closures and detours so they can choose the best alternative route. All of these can play a major role in driver safety and customer satisfaction rates.

6. Encourage safe driving habits and improve the performance of your drivers

Regular driver training is another crucial responsibility of fleet management. The aim here is to improve safety standards and efficiency. Focus on issues such as reducing fuel costs and eliminating bad driver behaviors like excessive idling, hard braking, and speeding. Probably the best way to do this is to make it very personal. Keep track of those drivers who might need training in specific aspects of the job and make sure they get the training they need.

7. Reward positive driver behavior

Another good idea is to have an incentive program in place that rewards drivers for positive behavior. With modern technology, it’s very easy to keep track of issues such as speed fines, delivery times, accidents, etc. If the company rewards those drivers who perform best in these areas it will motivate other drivers to improve. In the end, it will reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction, and benefit the whole fleet’s efficiency.

Want to discuss more fleet management solutions for your business? Let Efficiency help! Contact us.

Sources:

https://www.mixtelematics.com/blog/11-tips-for-improving-truck-fleet-management
https://www.mixtelematics.com/5-ways-to-make-your-fleet-more-efficient
https://info.rastrac.com/blog/improve-fleet-management-operations

5 Costs Involved In Commercial Truck Leasing

Commercial truck leasing can be a great way to get the equipment you need without paying for it upfront. However, many costs come with this type of lease. In this blog post, we will explore 10 of these costs so that you know what to expect when considering commercial truck leasing.

1. Acquisition Fees

When you lease a commercial truck, one of the costs is acquisition fees. These are just leasing company fees that cover things like administrative expenses and insurance premiums. The leasing company will not collect an acquisition fee if you purchase the truck at the end of your lease.

2. Depreciation

Another cost involved with commercial truck leasing is depreciation. This refers to the loss of value or money that results from using equipment for an extended period. Essentially, your asset (the lease) has less worth at the end than it did at first because you have used it and worn out some parts in the process. The specific amount of depreciation will depend on the life expectancy of the truck and how much use it gets.

Depreciation costs can be tricky to calculate, so commercial truck leasing companies typically offer a simple lease calculator to put in your desired information for an estimate. Then, they’ll propose an estimated monthly payment based on this calculation.

3. Financing Costs

Part of the cost involved with commercial truck leasing is financing costs. The company will typically use a bank or other financial institution to finance your lease, and they’ll charge you interest for this. If you are also paying acquisition fees, you can combine these two things into one monthly payment that covers both items together. This is usually done because it’s easier for the lease company to pay one bill each month instead of two.

4. Insurance Premiums

As with any vehicle, you will need to pay for insurance premiums when leasing a commercial truck. This is one of the highest costs of commercial truck leasing and can vary greatly depending on what kind of coverage you choose (the more comprehensive your plan, the higher it will be). You should always check various insurance providers before leasing a commercial truck so you can find the best deal.

If you are using your insurance policy to cover any damages, it is high enough for this purpose. The leasing company will not pay out of pocket if there is an accident, and they will also charge penalties or fees if their deductible payment has already been used up.

5. Maintenance and Repairs

Part of the cost involved with commercial truck leasing is maintenance and repairs. As you use your leased equipment, it will eventually need to be fixed or maintained somehow. This can result in charges that come out of your lease payments if insurance covers them (for example, windshield replacement). You should also know that if you use your maintenance plan, the leasing company may still charge an additional fee to cover it.

6. Payment Method Fee

One of the costs of commercial truck leasing that many people don’t know about is the payment method. It can be challenging to find a company willing to lease you their equipment if you cannot make automatic payments through your bank account or credit card information.

This also makes it easier for them because they will only have one payment to make instead of tracking down payments from your business. This is especially important if you are using a third-party financing company, as they will need an easy payment method for the transaction process to go through correctly. The leasing company may require that you have a credit card on file with them and authorize automatic debits from your bank account.

You must set up a straightforward arrangement with all parties involved about who will pay for what type of repairs and when. The last thing you want is surprise charges because there was some misunderstanding along the way. It would be best if you discussed this before the lease begins. Worried about your existing contract? Want a second opinion? Let Efficiency help!

Readying Your Fleet for Winter: Why It’s Important

Harsh winter conditions and frigid temperatures are hard on vehicles, especially fleet vehicles which spend hours on the road. To help avoid repairs and costly downtime during winter, you need to ready your fleet for winter in the following ways.

Pay Close Attention to the Tires

Cold temperatures affect tire pressure as it causes tires to deflate. If unnoticed, deflated tires will adversely affect the tire’s durability, fuel economy and pose a threat to overall safety. Therefore, you need to keep tabs on the tires to minimize these risks.

Besides, the freezing temperature during winter causes rubber compounds in tires to harden. Since tires are made of rubber, they become less effective in gripping the road.

As part of tire preparation, rotate the tires and set reminders to keep rotating them. Consider switching from rib tread to lug tread tires to enjoy better stability and vehicle handling to drive smoothly on challenging roads. Additionally, install valve caps on the tires to avoid ice and build-up on the tires.

Change to Winterized Fuel and Protect Your Brakes

A major complaint during winter is vehicles that don’t start when the temperature goes below zero. Fortunately, you can make use of winterized fuel which operates at extremely low temperatures. You can also make use of a special additive package to increase horsepower and reduce fuel costs.

Brakes are also crucial for highway safety, especially during winter. With snow on the roads, the road gets slippery and needs your brakes to be optimally functioning. Check on your brakes and the brake chamber for any tears or signs of corrosion. Consult your mechanic and ask them to add some lubricant to the brake adjusters for reliable stopping power.

Frequently Service Your Fleet and Check Fluids

Cold weather can damage the wearable components of your trucks. Therefore, during winter, you need to be proactive about your fleet maintenance. Frequently check on brake pads, worn belts, and hoses to catch problems in time and avoid expensive repairs. You should also check the glow plug operation for diesel trucks.

Pay close attention to your vehicle’s fluid levels. Since engine oils are not the same, using the wrong oil, especially during winter, can result in excessive engine wear. Besides, heavy oils tend to be highly viscous in cold weather, thus don’t offer the same lubrication as in warm weather.

Therefore, for an easy fleet startup, consider using full-synthetic oil with low viscosity that can operate effectively under different temperatures. As a fleet rental service, you can consult us for recommendations on the best cold-weather fluids to use.

Why You Need to Prepare Your Fleet

Since vehicles are manufactured to survive harsh weather conditions, why should you get your fleet ready for winter? Winter comes with extremely harsh conditions, and ignoring preparation tips means you will be risking antifreeze failure, breakdowns, and low tire traction, which can cause accidents and losses.

Preparing your fleet for winter is important because, first, it saves you money. Although you will spend money getting your fleet ready for winter, it will help save money you would have otherwise spent making repairs or paying for accidents you could have avoided with proper procedures.

Second, preparing for winter helps preserve car tires. Tires are expensive, and it is essential to enhance the durability of your current tires. Besides, failing to take care of car tires during winter could also affect your vehicle’s alignment, causing more inconveniences.

Lastly, preparation helps your fleet remain safe with minimal chances of damage and loss. You wouldn’t want to lose merchandise during transportation. You can avoid this by ensuring your fleet is ready for the harsh winter conditions.

With the above tips, you can easily take care of your fleet during winter. Contact Efficiency today for all of your fleet needs.

How to Remove Stress Out of Commercial Truck Leasing

For many companies, commercial truck leasing has been nothing short of a highly stressful affair. Instead of enjoying and experiencing the joys of truck leasing and realizing business dreams, what they experience is just a protracted nightmare. Fortunately, there are several tips that you can employ to ensure that you don’t end up too stressed by truck leasing.

Do Thorough Research on Truck Leasing Programs

Most of the mistakes you will make when it comes to truck leasing are a result of trying to do things at the last minute. Therefore, you must avoid doing that and ensure that you know everything you must know ahead of time. In fact, the more details you find out ahead of time, the better your decisions will be when it comes to getting into lease agreements.

One of the best things you can do is talk to experienced operators about best practices when it comes to leasing trucks. There are several questions you can ask. For instance, you can inquire about their monthly or weekly rates or down payments. You can also find out if they handle any maintenance, towing, or repairs? The trick is to know as much as you can before you sign anything. Find out what’s in the lease contract. If everything is clear before you sign, then the chance that things will go wrong becomes slimmer. The truck leasing service should be able to answer all of your questions.

Read the Terms of Service

If you are regularly transporting heavy loads, it means you will likely need to lease trucks for a longer period. So before you agree to anything, ensure that you read the terms and conditions thoroughly, so you don’t get into an agreement without proper understanding. You need to know the kind of support the leasing company is promising to offer. This will help clear things if something unexpected happens. You also need to find out if there are any distance limits placed on the trucks. Failure to abide by some of the conditions listed in the terms and conditions can result in penalties.

Consider Prices

As with all your expenses, you need to compare several offers and pick the one that best serves your interests. You must never jump at the first deal you will find. Some service providers might just charge you a lot of money even if their service is no better than the next. The first thing you need to do is set a budget and ensure that you stick to it. Hiring services rarely negotiate, so you need to find a provider with a price that you are comfortable with.

Check the Type of Trucks

Another thing you seriously need to look into is the size of the trucks you’re looking at leasing. Older vehicles will probably not be as efficient as you want, and they need more maintenance. If you are planning to purchase the trucks at the end of the lease, it is not advisable to pick trucks that will be difficult to maintain and upgrade.

Accessible Service Centers

It’s not uncommon for vehicles to break down. Sometimes even the best-maintained vehicles can have problems. Before you sign the lease agreement, you must find out how quickly the provider can address the problem and where their service centers are located. You need to get your trucks from a service that takes the safety of its customers seriously and offers 24/7 roadside assistance. Some of the best service providers will provide you with a replacement truck at no extra cost to ensure that there are no delays on your part.

These are some of the things you must look into to ensure that you don’t end up in a tricky spot after leasing trucks. The idea is to be well informed when it comes to how lease agreements work and what you should be looking for in a service provider. Let Efficiency Enterprises make your leasing experience easy! Contact us today to learn more.

Cut Your Fleet’s Fuel Costs With These Four Easy Steps

One of the simplest ways you can improve the amount of profit your business makes is to reduce the amount of money you spend on fuel each year. Spending a lot of money on fuel can have a huge negative impact on your business if you operate a fleet of vehicles. Fortunately, there are some simple strategies that you can implement to ensure that you don’t end up spending too much on fuel. Read on to find out how you can cut your fleet’s fuel costs with these four easy steps.

Cut Your Fleet’s Fuel Costs by Improving Driver Behavior

The way your driver moves has a serious impact on how much fuel your trucks use. For instance, if they drive at excessive speeds, brake harshly, and gun off after stopping at traffic lights, the trucks will consume a lot of fuel. This means you must invest in training your drivers and ensuring that they understand the importance of fuel-efficient driving techniques. This will not only help you to save money on fuel, but it can also help keep the drivers, pedestrians, and other motorists safe on the roads.

There are several Energy Saving Trust-approved eco-driving courses that your drivers can take so they understand how to drive properly. Research shows that trained drivers can help you save up to 6% over time, about 15% on the day a driver is trained.

Avoid Unnecessary Idling

Research shows that idling vehicles for prolonged periods is a practice that wastes fuel unnecessarily. Even though it seems like only a small amount of fuel is wasted when trucks idle, these amounts accumulate over time, and the wasted expenses can quickly add up, especially at the fleet level resulting in significant losses.

To avoid unnecessary idling, you must train your drivers to switch off their engines if they know they will be parking for a while. It is also important that they don’t overdo it because research also shows trucks that are started many times a day also consume a lot of fuel. If the stop is going to be prolonged, turning off the engine will have more benefits than just saving fuel. There will be less engine wear as well. Nowadays, you can use telematics software to let drivers know when they should switch off their trucks after shifting into park.

Set Speed Limits for Your Drivers

Speeding is a practice that wastes a lot of fuel, and it can also be quite dangerous. Research done by the UMTRI shows that truck drivers who move at high speeds waste a lot of fuel, and sometimes a truck’s fuel efficiency can be cut by as much as 30%. Therefore, it is important to set speed restrictions for your drivers to improve fuel efficiency and reduce safety risks.

Just like with idling, you can also use GPS fleet tracking and telematics to monitor driver speed and alert drivers when they should slow down and drive within the speed limits. There are also software options that can generate reports to indicate which drivers are driving too fast.

Stick to a Preventative Vehicle Maintenance Schedule

One of the things that are most associated with high fuel consumption is tire pressure. This is because a truck requires more power to accelerate when it’s running on deflated tires. This is why you must perform regular checks and take a proactive approach when it comes to maintaining your trucks. There are a lot of factors that can be ironed out, resulting in better performance and reduced fuel consumption.

By practicing the tips listed in this article, you can greatly reduce your fleet’s fuel consumption and improve your bottom line. Little things like tire pressure can seem like they won’t affect your business too much, but it’s those things that can affect your profitability.

Let Efficiency Enterprises help handle your fleet concerns; learn more about becoming a fleet management partner today.

‏Proactive Fleet Planning: What Is It And Why Do You Need It?‏

‏Usually, managers tend to be more reactive than they are proactive. This is not the proper way to manage a fleet. Instead, for one to run a successful fleet, it takes a lot of proactive planning. There are a lot of adjustments and continual improvements that a manager needs to make on a regular basis to maintain the fleet in good shape. ‏

‏What is Proactive Planning?

‏Proactive fleet planning to take tasks head-on instead of reacting to situations around you. This will insulate you and your business from a lot of market influences as well. It can be difficult to run a business when there is chaos all around you. That is where proactive planning comes into play. It involves addressing tasks way before they turn into problems. You want a proactive plan that enables you to accommodate market fluctuations without being backed into a corner.‏

‏You Run a Reliable Fleet

‏Imagine the amount of money you lose when a single truck from your fleet breaks down. There is a lot of money lost in repairs and in missed opportunities. At the end of the day, your business will be less productive, and you will have to deal with:‏

● ‏Repair costs‏

● ‏Drivers sitting around with no work‏

● ‏Decline in productivity ‏

‏If you maintain your fleet properly, you won’t have to deal with a lot of mechanical issues. This is why you need to stay on top of your vehicle maintenance requirements, as this is an essential part of fleet management. It will help you ensure that more vehicles stay on the road. ‏

‏Lower Maintenance Costs

‏You may not fully understand how proactive fleet planning can lead to lower maintenance costs. However, if you think about it, whenever you take preventative measures, you save a lot of money. Maintenance is generally cheaper than repair because, in most instances, when things are broken, you’ll end up needing to replace a lot of parts. For instance, an oil change is less costly than having your engine damaged because of low oil levels. Apart from that, delaying an oil change can lead to a lot of shorter vehicle engine lifespans. At the end of the day, you will be faced with changing out worn-out pistons or cleaning out clogged engines. ‏

‏Lower Fuel Costs

‏When you take time to plan things ahead and attend to all your maintenance requirements, you will find that a lot of money will be saved in fuel costs. For instance, changing filters and making oil changes on time can help you boost your miles per gallon.‏

‏Another essential factor that contributes to saving fuel is wheel and tire maintenance. In fact, properly maintaining your wheels and tires has been shown to result in a 40% boost in fuel economy. This can be highly beneficial to commercial fleets. When you save on fuel, your operations will be way more profitable. ‏

‏Fleet Safety

‏Another reason why proactive fleet planning is important is that it enables you to maintain fleet safety. There are a lot of things that should be maintained, and ignoring them is just asking for trouble. For instance, you need to constantly check if you need to replace or fix things like tires, coupling devices, and brakes. Research shows that many accidents usually occur because of problems with the truck’s brake. Accidents that occur because of this are way more than those caused by driver fatigue.‏

‏Proactive fleet planning is all about thinking ahead. You don’t need to do certain tasks just because you have been backed up in a corner. Things like brake failure can be avoided if you take time to plan things and attend to maintenance tasks before they turn into real costly problems.

5 Reasons Why Reverse Parking A Truck Is Safer

As September is Safety month here at Efficiency we want to highlight something that makes a major impact for all of our customers. Reverse parking sounds like ‘common sense’ but there are major benefits to this approach. In fact, there have been a lot of accidents that have taken place as people are trying to back their trucks out of a space. These accidents lead to injuries and even fatalities.

Apart from collisions, many people have been injured by vehicles whose drivers were trying to back out of a parking spot. In a study conducted in 2018, about 12 000 non-occupants were injured by trucks trying to reverse from a parking spot. Of these 12 000, 284 were killed. These accidents occurred in driveways and parking facilities. Also, most of the people who are killed by backover collisions are the elderly and kids.

Rear Visibility Technology for Added Safety

It’s generally safer for truck drivers to drive out of space when they have a clear field of vision ahead of them. However, one of the issues with reverse parking is that it can be difficult to see what’s happening behind a truck as you are trying to reverse into a spot. Fortunately, nowadays, most trucks come equipped with rear visibility technology. This allows the driver to get into the parking spot safely.

Better Visibility

While it can be easier to spot vehicles on the roads with rearview mirrors, people can be hard to notice as a driver is backing out of a parking spot. With reverse parking, the driver first backs into a clear parking spot, and the chances of them hurting anyone are very low. On the other hand, when backing out of a space, there will be a lot of blind spots, and you won’t be able to see what’s happening around you. This increases the risk of hitting someone you can’t see.

Easier to Get Out of Emergency Situations

When the truck is parked in reverse, it is easier to jump into it and escape the emergency. This can save you from a lot of trouble. For instance, if the truck is carrying flammable materials and there is a fire, you will need to act quickly, and at the same time, prevent your truck from colliding with other vehicles and pedestrians.

Reverse Parking is Fuel Efficient

It is easier to pull forward out of a parking space. Since you can see everything that will be happening, you will most likely be able to do it all at once. Apart from this, research shows that a truck will consume a lot of fuel on a cold engine as it is backing out. However, when pulling forward in the first few minutes, the truck will use less fuel.

Reverse Parking Allows the Driver to Leave a Parking Spot Quicker

Reverse parking will allow the driver to leave the parking spot quicker. This will enable the drivers to save time if there is a lot of traffic on the road, reducing the chances of obstructing traffic and causing accidents.

Most truck drivers find reverse parking to be a little difficult for them. However, it is essential for every truck driver to be able to reverse park without struggling. If you have not yet mastered this important skill, you might want to take some time to practice in your spare time. If your truck has a rearview camera, you will find that it’s easier than you imagined. Reverse parking is an easier alternative for pedestrians.

4 Ways To Minimize The Risk Of Risky Drivers In Your Fleet

Statistics show that on average commercial fleets have a disturbing 20 percent yearly accident rate – and that human error is behind nearly 80% of all these accidents. A high-risk driver can cost your firm as much as $70,000 in a single accident. To put this into perspective: it’s nearly double the cost of the average workplace injury.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, therefore, that fleet managers are under increasing pressure, not only to identify risky drivers, but also to boost safety levels by doing whatever is necessary to remedy the situation.

If the safety of your fleet is a top priority, it’s imperative to change the driver issues that are causing all these accidents. But where do you start? Continue reading to find out.

Start by identifying high-risk drivers

If you only have three vehicles in your fleet, you will already know which one of the three drivers is a higher risk than the others. If you have 300 vehicles, things are much more complex. Work methodically. Start by checking all the drivers’ accident histories. Also, check every vehicle record. This will help to identify those drivers who have been involved in the highest number of accidents or who have abnormally high numbers of traffic violations on their record.

Classify these drivers into risk categories

Let’s say that, after studying all the vehicle and driver records, a list of 40 drivers who have an above-average number of infractions on their record emerges. That does not mean they are all in the same risk category. The next step is to classify them into risk groups.

At the bottom would be those with one or two equipment violations. The next group could be those with three or four violations, including breaking traffic rules. In an even higher risk group could be those with more than four violations, including serious speeding and other moving violations.

Right at the top should be those who have committed serious offenses like driving under the influence, ignoring stop signs or traffic lights, or exceeding the speed limit by more than 25mph.

Train and re-train problem drivers

Once it becomes clear who the high-risk drivers are and where the problem areas lie, the next step is corrective training. Whether this happens online, behind the wheel, or in a classroom, it should specifically focus on eliminating problem areas.

Some issues can easily be fixed by making sure the drivers in question get a refresher course that covers topics such as following distances, the dangers of speeding, driving in bad weather, etc. In other cases, the driver might have to be monitored behind the wheel to pinpoint and eliminate bad driving habits.

Create a culture of safe driving in your firm

While a once-off ‘drive safely’ campaign might be useful, in the long run, more will be needed. To keep the issue of safe driving on your drivers’ minds, consider doing the following:

Involve managers. Managers are in closer contact with drivers than the top management team. Start by making sure safe driving is one of their top priorities and request them to regularly stress the importance of this whenever they are in contact with drivers.

Safety meetings. Safe driving is important enough to warrant a regular meeting where you, for example, get someone from outside the firm to give a talk on this topic. It will also go a long way to keep safe driving on everyone’s mind.

Memos, emails, and newsletters. On their own, these are not enough. But when used as part of an ongoing safe driving campaign, they can help to keep the message alive. If one of your drivers, for example, celebrates 10 violation-free years, use one or more of these to make sure everyone knows about it.

Sources:

https://www.mixtelematics.com/safety
https://www.transpoco.com/blog/how-to-reduce-fleet-vehicle-accidents-starting-with-these-5-tips
https://www.automotive-fleet.com/340207/how-to-deal-with-high-risk-drivers
https://www.wilmarinc.com/blog/8-steps-to-handle-risky-drivers-in-your-fleet

The Pros And Cons Of Leasing Vs. Buying Trucks

Figuring out whether you should lease or own your commercial truck fleet can be a tricky choice. Some choose to mix both options, but some would rather pick one. Many factors come into play when making such a decision. Take a look at the pros and cons of leasing vs. buying trucks to help you decide what makes the most sense for your business.