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

Top 5 Fleet Costs You Need To Monitor

Despite their many benefits, fleet vehicles can be a headache for business owners.

Fleet vehicles are an excellent way to improve the speed and efficiency of transportation and other company logistics, but they can also have hidden costs associated with them. Managing a vehicle fleet is a balancing act of price and value that needs to be monitored closely to ensure the success of your business.

Fuel

Fuel is likely going to be the biggest expenditure associated with any fleet of vehicles. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average vehicle consumes about 684 gallons of gasoline each year. That can add up quickly if you have a large fleet of trucks or vans. Since it’s not something you can control, tracking fuel consumption will allow you to determine how much fuel was used for each vehicle and what the average cost per mile is. This data will help you make informed decisions about how much to budget for gasoline.

Employee Wages

Driver wages are an important consideration when overseeing a fleet of logistical vehicles. A lot of companies will use a driver wage calculator to determine the value of their drivers, but that may vary based on a number of factors from location to productivity level.

Many companies have started to use telematics solutions to monitor the performance of their fleets, which enables them to keep track of how much fuel is being used by each vehicle and how many miles are being driven by each driver. This allows them to get a more accurate idea of what kind of salary they need to pay each individual employee in order to keep their fleet running smoothly.

Maintenance and Repair

The cost of maintaining and repairing large fleets of vans or trucks can be very costly. This is especially true when you consider that the ripple effects of a single-vehicle malfunction can affect your entire fleet. When you’re responsible for multiple vehicles, the costs associated with each breakdown rapidly add up. That’s why it’s important to monitor your mechanic fees and make sure they’re not getting out of control.

If you find yourself paying for more frequent repairs than usual, this could indicate that something needs to be replaced or repaired sooner than expected—and those costs will compound quickly. The price of parts alone can tally up fast, especially if you need to restore an entire engine or transmission. Plus, there are also labor charges to consider, along with the toll of downtime while repairs are being made.

Procurement of Replacement Vehicles

Fleet vehicle replacement is incredibly expensive. For example, if you have ten trucks and wish to upgrade them, you can expect to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars. This cost includes the price of the actual vehicles, along with any necessary upgrades and repairs that need to be made before they can be put into service.

Thankfully, fleet vehicle purchases can come with bulk rebates, discounts, or other special offers. These may help lower the overall price of the vehicle in order to make it more affordable for your company.

Insurance Coverage

When you’re in charge of a fleet of vehicles, you want to make sure they are properly insured. This can be a challenge because it’s hard to predict what will happen, making it difficult to know what type of coverage to get. You should always make sure that your insurance policy covers any vehicles that are part of your fleet.

The best way to do this is to get a commercial auto policy from your current provider, or with another provider if necessary. This type of policy will cover all kinds of damage and liability that might happen while an employee is driving one of your fleet trucks. It will also cover any injuries caused by accidents involving these vehicles.

Efficiency Enterprises can help you with your fleet planning and management. Let us be your partner and do the heavy lifting for you! Contact us today for your consultation.

5 Reasons Why You Need A Fleet Replacement Schedule

Vehicle replacement is an essential measure of fleet management, and a clear and concise schedule is necessary for budgeting, planning maintenance, and more.

It’s very important to upgrade your fleet vehicles at certain premeditated intervals in order to preserve the safety of your entire fleet while preventing excessive downtime that can affect productivity. Thankfully, tools like automated fleet management software can track and analyze maintenance and service records for every vehicle in operation, ensuring optimal vehicle use and preventing accidents caused by poorly maintained vehicles.

Reduce Costs

It costs money to replace vehicles as they become damaged, outdated, or obsolete. The average fleet truck is in service for about nine years, with increasing maintenance fees as they age. Over time, your vehicle maintenance plan may start to fall behind or accrue unexpected expenses. It’s not uncommon for companies to keep their vehicles in service until they can’t run anymore—with the assumption that it will be frugal.

Poor or nonexistent replacement strategies result in long-term operating costs that are above industry standards because the repair fees necessary to keep an older truck or van running can be outrageous. To save money, you need to monitor past data and determine the correct time to replace your fleet’s vehicles. By waiting too long to update your fleet, it ends up costing more money than if you had planned ahead and swapped the cars during a determined interval.

Represent Your Image Positively

Outdated or damaged vehicles misrepresent the images of both your company and its products or services. When people see your company logo on a fleet of trucks or vans, they should understand that you are dedicated to investing in your business and providing a great experience for your customers and employees. Don’t let your drivers risk their lives, or your reputation, by driving obsolete trucks that have a good chance of breaking down.

More Predictability

Having a solid fleet replacement plan is an excellent way to prevent unpleasant scheduling and financial surprises. By creating replacement schedules based on fleet usage, businesses can plan and budget for associated expenses. Analyzing previous data will allow companies to have a better idea of future fees associated with their trucks or vans.

By following a routine service schedule, fleet vehicle operators can reduce unanticipated malfunctions and other unforeseen problems. When vehicles are used without routine maintenance and regular rests, breakdowns are more likely to occur and cause equipment downtime.

Incentives

Using incentives to your advantage is a wise decision for many businesses. Logistical and purchasing departments will often negotiate for replacement vehicles to be purchased in bulk each year. It is important to shop around for all of your available options to get the best deal.

Not only will you qualify for numerous dealer and manufacturer rebates, but there is often a large pool of funds from which you could draw money to subsidize the cost of your vehicles. Incentives can help you save thousands on each vehicle, potentially adding hundreds of thousands to your bottom line over the next several years.

Improved Safety

By periodically resupplying your fleet with newer vehicles, you are demonstrating to your customers that you’re serious about safety and security. You’re showing them that you care about the security of your employees and that you want to provide them with the most modern, advanced vehicles available.

Older vehicles may not be equipped to meet federal standards set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or other agencies that regulate vehicle safety. Newer vehicles are safer, more fuel-efficient, and comply with state regulations for emissions control, fuel efficiency, and safety features such as airbags, seatbelts, and anti-lock brakes (ABS).

Trust Efficiency to take care of your fleet needs! Schedule a consult with our team today to find the best fit for your business.

What Are The Benefits Of Renting Fleets?

When it comes to running their business, many people bring the same mindset they grew up with to that firm. One of those preconceived ideas is often that buying is always better than renting. The truth is, however, that in many cases renting beats buying. This is particularly true in the case of a business that runs a fleet of trucks.

With Renting Comes More Flexibility 

If a business is cyclical and its projects are varied in size and often come with different requirements, renting offers a much more flexible solution. Renting will allow the firm to use the trucks it needs when it needs them. And when the project is over, those trucks won’t have to be stored and maintained while waiting for the next similar project to come along. The same principle applies to e.g. delivery vehicles. When a business works with an experienced rental firm it will be able to customize its transport needs on a per-project basis to only pay for what it needs. The cost savings involved in that alone is often enough reason to choose to rent your fleet over buying.

Reduced Maintenance, Insurance, And Storage Costs 

Renting trucks and other vehicles shifts most or all of the maintenance burden to the rental firm. Depending on the contract, maintenance can be partly or fully the responsibility of the rental company. This includes everything from routine services to attending to roadside breakdowns a thousand miles away. Plus the rental firm takes care of insuring those vehicles.

Another direct benefit of this is that the rental firm takes care of recruiting and carrying the cost of maintenance staff. There is no longer any need for the client to employ a team of technicians that are not always fully utilized.

When a company owns a fleet of vehicles, it also has to make provisions for storing them. If this is done on-site it will require a large capital investment plus long-term maintenance costs. Alternatively, the company will have to rent storage space from a third party, which can be very expensive. With renting a fleet that responsibility is of course transferred to the fleet rental firm.

Renting Makes It Much Easier To Update Your Fleet 

When a business buys its own vehicles, those vehicles will sooner or later have to be replaced or the issue of unscheduled breakdowns will start rearing its ugly head. Some firms follow a staggered approach, i.e. they replace a percentage of their vehicles every year or two. Others base the decision on the truck or other vehicle’s mileage.

Another reason fleets often have to be updated is the need for new equipment and features. Technology is changing rapidly and if a new contract comes along that requires the most technologically advanced features it could force your company to either make a huge investment or lose the deal.

Rental firms regularly update their fleets to make sure they always have the latest vehicles in stock. They typically replace their trucks, delivery vehicles, etc., after six months or a year to ensure that their fleets always offer what their clients need.

Renting Your Fleet Means No More Idle Vehicle Costs 

Vehicles that are sitting idle will still cost their owners money. The list here includes fuel that goes bad, seals that deteriorate, routine maintenance, fluids that have to be replaced, and tires that start rotting and cracking – particularly if the vehicle is standing outside in the sun.

Vehicles that are not garaged or covered can also suffer damage in the form of plastic and dashes that crack and become brittle, fading paint, etc.

A business that rents its fleet can focus on its core business activities while the rental firm takes care of vehicles. Looking to expand your fleet or perhaps you’re just getting started? Trust Efficiency to take care of the hard work for you! Contact us today!

How Truck Wraps Can Be Used To Generate Impressions For Your Business

There is a good reason why so many businesses use vehicle wraps, and more specifically truck wraps, to market their products and services.

Based on research carried out by the OAAA (Outdoor Advertising Association of America) this is one of the most cost-effective ways to promote your business. Let us take a closer look at how truck wraps can be used to generate impressions for your business.

Truck Wraps Reach A Wide Audience 

According to OAAA data, a single truck wrap is able to generate anything from 30,000 to 80,000 impressions (views) every day, depending on the size and population of the city where your trucks are being used. The OAAA also recently stated that vehicle wraps can be used to reach no less than 95 percent of Americans.

Truck Wraps Are Memorable 

In a poll conducted by Cox Communications among millennials (people between the ages of 18 and 34) a while ago, it came to light that nearly half (47%) of this very important market segment find vehicle wraps easy to remember. In other words, you won’t be paying for advertising that most people will forget within the next 5 minutes.

Truck Wraps Are Among The Most Cost-Effective Ways Of Advertising 

The return on investment should always be an important factor to consider when choosing from among the many different marketing options. The reality here is that, when it comes to the cost per 1,000 impressions, truck wraps are hard to beat. According to research recently carried out by Arbitron, Inc., the cost of truck wraps starts at about $0.35 for every 1,000 impressions. Most other options are much more expensive. Outdoor signage will, for example, cost a business around $3.56 for every thousand impressions. The cost of radio advertising is more than double that at around $7.75/1,000. And when it comes to television advertising, the cost is about three times higher than radio at $23.70 for every thousand impressions.

Truck Wraps Are Perfect To Reach A Local Market 

Let’s face it: with nearly any other form of advertising your business will be paying to reach, not only its target audience, but also many people who will never become customers because they simply live too far away. Truck wraps don’t suffer from that shortcoming. If your trucks are moving around in a specific area, its people most likely form part of your target market. And they can easily and cost-effectively be reached with eye-catching truck wrap ads.

Truck Wraps Are Less Invasive Than Many Other Forms Of Advertising 

With many other forms of advertising, the potential customer is busy doing something else and your advertisement interrupts whatever he or she is doing. They might actually find your ad so intrusive that they subconsciously block it from memory. Truck wraps, on the other hand, do not interrupt anybody’s journey. Because they are part of the traffic scenery, they blend in more seamlessly. Yet, as we have seen above, their messages tend to linger longer in the minds of viewers.

Looking to add truck advertising to your marketing plans? Let Efficiency handle the design, installation and tracking for you! Contact us today.

Fleet Maintenance Costs: How Do You Control Them

If there is one important point of which fleet managers should never lose sight it’s that fleet management costs are not fixed, they are variable. This includes the types of vehicles in your fleet, the costs of supplies and parts, and even other factors that can impact fleet maintenance costs, such as the weather and road conditions. It’s crucial to know the difference between fixed and variable costs if you want to control expenses and introduce practices that will help to limit costs. The following steps will go a long way to help fleet managers who want to improve control over their fleet maintenance costs.

Reduce The Number Of Vehicles In Your Fleet

With better route planning, improved driver utilization, and rescheduling deliveries and pickups more efficiently, it should be possible to do the same work with a smaller fleet. This is the only surefire way to reduce fleet maintenance costs. Do not, however, cut down the fleet size to such an extent that it forces drivers to drive unsafely because they have to rush everywhere they go. The focus should be on better planning. 

Set Up And Adhere To Fleet Maintenance Programs

Scheduling fleet maintenance results in better cost predictability and enables fleet owners to plan properly because they know the intervals between services, shop space, tools, technicians, and parts that will be needed. This improves the quality of work, boosts workshop productivity, and reduces costs. 

Instructions should take the form of checklists that clearly set out the work that has to be carried out, taking into account driver reports and the data from onboard telematics systems.

Make Sure Your Vehicles Always Take The Shortest Possible Routes

If you don’t use GPS routing in your company’s fleet, you are losing out on an important way to help control fleet maintenance costs. This technology used real-time traffic information to calculate the quickest possible route to the driver’s destination. Not only does this save time, but it also saves fuel, and reduces wear and tear on the vehicle. This in turn has a direct impact on repairs costs and depreciation.

Ensure That Parts Inventory Is Effectively Optimized

Properly optimizing parts inventory can help bring about significant cost savings. With the proper parts being available whenever they are needed, technicians will be able to do their work more efficiently and without unnecessary waiting times. If your firm already employs a fleet maintenance program, making sure the right part is available at the right time will help to reduce the time vehicles spend in the workshop. This will in turn reduce labor costs and vehicle downtime, both of which are important elements of fleet maintenance costs.

Replace Vehicles When They Reach A Certain Age

There comes a stage in every vehicle’s lifetime that driving it will cost more than the higher cost of replacing it with a newer one. When a vehicle starts to require above-average repairs and its fuel consumption increases significantly (very common with older vehicles), it is most likely no longer financially justifiable to keep it in your fleet. With the help of financial forecasting, you should develop rules to decide when a vehicle should be replaced and what it should be replaced with.

Get Rid Of Unnecessary Loads

Fuel is one of the biggest costs of running a fleet. and carrying unnecessary materials or equipment can significantly increase fuel usage. Make sure only the equipment the workers need for a particular job is carried onboard any vehicle. Train the workers to always remove equipment used at a previous task before proceeding to the next one. This specifically refers to heavy tools and equipment. The additional drag caused by an empty roof rack can, for example, increase fuel consumption by as much as 30%.

Want to get the most out of your fleet? Trust the experts at Efficiency! Contact us today for your free evaluation.

Commercial Truck Production Delay: Expected Through 2023?

The production of Class 8 trucks is showing some signs of improvement, but freight truck production won’t truly rebound until well into 2023, most experts are saying. COVID 19 has caused an assortment of issues in the OEM markets, and these issues have been further compounded as new variants have cropped up all over the world, leading to further shutdowns and labor shortages. The demand for Class 8 trucks and freight trailers has not gone down; quite the contrary, it has grown significantly. However, the industry has never fully recovered from the original COVID 19 lockdowns, and new lockdowns and infection rates of the Delta and Omicron variants have continued to put the OEMs further and further behind.

Labor and Parts Shortages

Despite the demand, many OEMs have had to place significant caps on the orders, as the fulfillment of orders has been difficult for the previous years. Many companies had to resort to laying off and furloughing employees at the start of the pandemic, and many of those employees have not returned. Don Ake, FTR Vice President of Commercial Vehicles, stated that “suppliers need workers desperately.” While there are shortages in truck components, specifically semiconductors, improving the supply of parts will not necessarily lead to drastically improved production. Ake continues by stating, “even if the semiconductor issue was solved on the Class 8 side, you still wouldn’t be able to get up to maximum production.” Labor shortages are affecting many industries across the globe, and freight truck production is no less a victim of this than any other industry.

The lack of parts, specifically semiconductors, is still a major issue, though. Countries like Malaysia and Japan, major producers of the vital component, have experienced new lockdown protocols and have been ravaged by intense infection rates of the newer COVID variants. Further compounding the issue is the fact that semiconductor production focused more so on household goods as trucks were taken off the road with new national and state limitations on travel. With both production of the necessary components down, and with the reallocating of where the parts go, this has led OEMs to begin making ‘red tag units’, trucks and trailers made without certain components. However, even with some of these corners being cut, the production of trucks is still running at a deficit of over ten thousand, with trailers only doing slightly better.

Optimism for 2023

There is some reason for optimism on the horizon, though. FTR projects that nearly two hundred and seventy-five thousand Class 8 trucks will hit the market this year, possibly rising to three hundred and thirty-five thousand. 2023 should see the largest increase in production, with estimates of Class 8 trucks breaking three hundred and fifty thousand and higher. Again, Ake speculates that “this is going to keep the OEM build rates elevated into 2023 and maybe into 2024.” He clarifies, though, that, “we’re in catch-up mode and we’re going to be in catch-up mode for a while.”

Despite the labor shortages and the bottle-necking of production caused by a lack of components, there is reason to be hopeful for the future of freight production. After all, the decrease in production that the industry has seen over the last couple of years is not from lack of demand, but rather from lack of production ability. As the component industries start producing at their usual rates, and as workers begin to return to the industry, the demand to get Class 8 trucks and trailers on the roads will be staggering. Most industry experts are pointing to some time into 2023 as the point where these shortages will be fixed.

Looking for a solution to your fleet shortage? Let Efficiency Enterprises help as your fleet management partner! Contact us

These Tips Can Get You More Miles Per Gallon Of Diesel

Diesel fuel is far more economic than gasoline when utilized properly. On a fundamental level, it packs more of a “punch” per gallon than gasoline does. There is one exception to this; those who more frequently drive inner-city will not benefit from diesel, even when these tips are used to their fullest potential.

Categorically, there are two main principles to adhere to if you want to save as much money on diesel fuel as you possibly can. One is equipment maintenance and the other is user-consciousness.

Equipment Maintenance

No matter what you drive, you should always be sure to check your equipment frequently to ensure that the vehicle is running as efficiently as possible. To maximize your fuel economy, you’ll want to be certain to keep an eye on some specific details.

  • Tire Pressure & Tread

At first glance, it may not seem like something as menial as a few PSI can make a difference in your fuel economy but over a distance and period, it will become apparent.

Low tire pressures cause your tires to spread their surface area wider, subsequently gripping more of the road, causing your vehicle to have to work harder to pull itself.

The same concept governs the reason you wouldn’t want the wrong tread on your tires. If you drive in warm climates but equip your vehicle with tread designed for winter conditions, this can cause a noticeable drop in fuel economy.

  • Suspension

If something doesn’t feel quite as it should as you drive, there’s a fair chance that you’re right. Something as subtle as a pull to one side can mean the difference in saving money or burning it up.

User-Consciousness 

It’s not always easy to make discernable choices that will benefit a specific aspect of your vehicle. However, if some of these simple tips can be made into habits, you’ll see a noteworthy jump in your overall fuel economy.

  • Resist The Air Conditioner

This is one of those hard habits to break. You start to feel a little toasty and instinct kicks in for you to crank up the AC. The only issue is that air conditioning can affect your fuel efficiency far more than you might realize.

This isn’t to say that if it’s over a hundred degrees you should force yourself to suffer a heat stroke for a few extra MPG. Simply be mindful of the instinct to overuse the AC.

  • Slow Acceleration

Make an effort to gain speed at a slower pace. It’s okay to have time between your gear shifts, you’re not racing anyone on the express way. Punching your throttle can drastically eat away at your fuel efficiency. Sacrifice the little bit of excitement you feel when powering through gears; your vehicle will thank you.

  • Cruise Control

This is one of the single greatest innovations in automotive technology since antilock braking systems. For long-distance driving, you want to fluctuate your speed as minimally as possible. Therefore, cruise control can help alleviate the need for you to focus too hard on your speeds.

Be mindful of your attentiveness while utilizing cruise control, however. Taking that one task away from your conscious mind can be a slippery slope into becoming complacent behind the wheel.

  • Turn The Vehicle Off

Contrary to popular belief, unless you’re stopping for less than a minute, it doesn’t pay to leave the vehicle running. The longer your vehicle is running, the more fuel economy you’re losing.

  • Shore Power

When stopping for the evening or taking breaks at truck stops, use their 120v hookups and turn off your engine. If you have any electronic appliances or anything else that runs on a 120v, that is more than enough of a reason to use the shore power feature.

  • Lower Your Average Speed

Every mile per hour over fifty-five that you average will cost you in fuel economy. Sure you want to save time but if fuel is any concern to you whatsoever, then it’s a valuable piece of information to have.

  • Stop Less

The less you have to come to complete stops, the more you save on fuel. This can translate in many ways, from anticipating traffic lights to following those vehicles in front of you at a wide distance.

Any amount of complete stops you can shave from your trip will save you valuable fuel economy.

  • It’s All Downhill

Similar to the idea of not hammering the throttle or forcing your vehicle to overwork; when you stop at truck stops or anywhere else for that matter, stop at the crest of hills if you can help it.

This helps you to alleviate unneeded throttling because you can coast to regain much-needed momentum so that you can get up to speed without using the throttle.

Less throttle = better fuel economy!

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!

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