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

Check What’s Under The Hood When Buying Used Trucks

Purchasing any used truck to add to your fleet is a major investment. The last thing any company wants to do is make a large purchase of numerous used vehicles only to end up wasting time and money on repairs and increased downtime. What types of things do you need to consider when making your next used truck purchase?

Maintenance Records

Any reputable company or seller should be able to provide you with detailed maintenance and repair records. Has the truck been in any accidents before? How often was preventative maintenance performed? Are there long gaps in maintenance that don’t have a logical explanation? What major repairs have been done over the years? Are there repairs that will need to be made soon after you take possession of the commercial vehicle?

If the seller is reluctant to answer any of your questions or provide you with maintenance records, it’s a sign that you should look elsewhere. Additionally, ask whether or not the truck has been serviced recently. It can cost a few hundred dollars to have new filters and oil placed once you take possession of the truck, so having it done ahead of time can save you money.

Know Your Engines

Next, the engine in the truck makes a big difference in terms of how the vehicle performs and how much it can haul. How are you going to be using the vehicle? What types of loads will be carried? Do your research on the type of engine, as well as the make and model. Aside from telling you whether or not the truck is suited to your needs, this will give you an idea of how challenging it will be to obtain parts in the future when repairs are needed.

Check the Mileage

Aside from examining the total mileage on the engine, you should also inquire about idle time. If the engine has a surprisingly low amount of mileage but has experienced a great deal of idle time, it could have similar wear and tear when compared to an engine with much higher mileage. This can particularly come into play in trucks that are heavily used in major metropolitan areas where heavy traffic is common.

Look Under the Hood

There are many things that you can learn from the exterior of a truck, including whether or not there is damage from past accidents and whether or not exterior maintenance has been performed. Some of the most critical exterior things you should consider include what the wheels are made of, the age of the tires, door and window seals, and signs of rust on the frame.

However, what’s underneath the hood can be even more important. What types of things should you examine?

  • Engine oil, which can show you how often the oil is being changed and whether or not the truck has adhered to a good oil change schedule in the past
  • Engine coolant, which provides you with a glimpse at how well the truck has been maintained and whether or not there could be damage or rust present in the radiator, heater core, or engine
  • Air filter, which is another simple indicator of vehicle maintenance
  • Engine surface, which should not be covered in grime and grease

Buy from a Trustworthy Source

Whether you’re purchasing a handful of vehicles to add to your existing fleet or looking to start a new fleet from scratch, working with the right company is critical. Any company that you are purchasing from should be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with any information you might need, including maintenance records and vehicle history reports.

Looking to grow your fleet in 2023? Let Efficiency help you through the whole process as your fleet management partner. Contact us today to learn more.

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Improve Driver Retention with Fleet Management Technology

Commercial transportation is increasingly facing driver shortages and challenges. Indeed, fleet management requires accountability for seamless fleet services and a driver retention module with high turnover rates.

Alongside good pay and fair practices, improving driver retention with fleet management technology is the solution for commercial trucks in the transportation business.

Why is Driver Retention Crucial in Commercial Fleet Transportation?

Driver retention addresses two essential issues in the commercial fleet business:

Driver Turnover

According to the American Trucking Association (ATA), driver turnover rates for commercial fleets are consistently high due to factors such as “a robust freight market,” “a competitive driver market,” and an increase in carrier freight services seeking drivers.” However, individual carriers experience turnover rate challenges when retaining talent during driver shortages.

Driver Shortage

Driver shortage presents a problem in the United States supply chain. Coupled with rising demand for transportation and shipping constraints for goods, driver shortage causes delays and surges in prices. Further issues include truckers quitting jobs for better wages and working conditions. The shortage challenges present actionable insights to fleet companies aiming to retain drivers.

The Benefits of Using Fleet Management Technology

Fleet management technology seeks to enhance efficient commercial fleet operations and management for customer satisfaction and driver retention through the following:

Process Integrations and Automation

Automation enables integration with other departments, such as sales, marketing, and customer relations. The automation processes directly link to drivers by facilitating the following:

  • Behavior insights, communication management, and improvements.
  • Workflow efficiency; driver inspections, fuel reports assessments, delivery records management, and more.
  • Maintenance for driver documentation and records.

Performance Tracking

Fleet management technology provides invaluable operational management assistance through key performance tracking measures in the following:

  • Maintenance costs, inventory, and diagnostics
  • Driver management and performance evaluation; route adherence, driving habits, and more.
  • Vehicle monitoring and total operational costs; initial acquisition, fuel costs, taxes, and maintenance.
  • Fleet managers can optimize operations which benefits drivers as well.

How Does Fleet Management Technology Improve Driver Retention?

Commercial truck drivers and Fleet managers unanimously agree that work operations have a positive overhaul when technology integration is present. The technology improves driver retention by:

Improves Driver Efficiency

Fleet managers use technology to increase driver efficiency and encourage better rapport with drivers. Precise methods to achieve engagement will vary across carriers and fleets, with the most common practices including the following:

  • Maintaining better communication channels: Technology helps to maintain employee satisfaction by encouraging open communication strategies and offering assurance to drivers that their concerns are factored in.
  • Set productivity goals: Managers use technology to set tangible targets for drivers, including incentives for efficient drivers. It helps in keeping drivers motivated and engaged.
  • Recognize and Award Excellence: Fleet managers implement technology in awarding drivers’ excellent performances. Recognition boosts driver’s morale and engagement. Commercial truck managers understand that drivers who ever feel unappreciated often seek more appreciative workplaces.

Promotes Drivers Safety

Commercial truck managers acknowledge that the safety of drivers is paramount. Technology offers integration services that make for easy, better, and safe workplaces by:

  • Monitoring driver behavior: recklessness is easily identified and corrected using fleet management tracking. Managers can perform timely interventions and guide and coach drivers on dangerous driving using dash cameras and tracking.
  • Timely Vehicle Management: Technology enhances proactive vehicle maintenance. Vehicle diagnostics allow for reactive maintenance and reassure drivers of their safety.

Rewards Driver Performance

Fleet management technology recognizes the driver and improves driver retention. Trackable metrics include:

  • Delivery timelines
  • Registered safe miles driven
  • Route adherence
  • Customer reviews

Commercial truck drivers become highly motivated where incentives are present, improving driver retention. Drivers will remain in a job position that they believe is more beneficial.

Fleet management technology improves driver retention by promoting driver safety, enhancing driver performance recognition, and informing on best practices for increased driver engagement.

Are you interested in learning more about how fleet management technology increases productivity, improves safety, and creates better fleet management integration solutions? Contact us today, get a quick custom quote, and have one of our fleet management advisors guide you.

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The Reasons Why You Should Track Your Fleet Costs

There are numerous challenges involved with running and managing a fleet. One of the most important of them is controlling fleet costs. This is because not properly tracking your fleet costs could have a negative impact on profitability and might also harm your business as a whole.

Professionally managing fleet costs is one of the best ways to ensure that you make decisions that will boost the company’s profitability because they are based on reliable data. It also enables management to develop a clear understanding of how and where funds are being spent and thus determine areas where cost savings are possible. The easiest and most cost-effective way to do this is by using specialized software.

Let us examine in more detail how tracking your fleet costs can help your business.

Tracking Fleet Costs Is Necessary In Order To Calculate The TCO or Total Cost Of Ownership 

The total cost of running a fleet consists of both a fixed and a variable element. Fixed costs include things such as lease payments or loan repayments, permits and licenses, depreciation, and taxes. Since there isn’t much the company can do to reduce these costs, we will instead focus on controlling the second element: variable costs.

Variable costs depend on the size of your fleet and what you use it for. Examples include expenses such as fuel, toll fees, replacing defective parts, and routine maintenance. Unless you know what these costs are, how they vary over time, and from vehicle to vehicle and driver to driver, you will not be able to make data-driven decisions on how to reduce them. While this can be done with the help of spreadsheets, it will most likely be more time- and cost-effective to use cloud-based fleet management software.

It Will Help You To Control Fuel Expenses 

For many fleets, fuel is their biggest ongoing variable cost. Although you can do nothing about the price of fuel, there are many ways in which you can manage and reduce fuel costs. One of them is to track the total fuel consumption of every vehicle over time and to compare it with historical data and with other similar vehicles.

If the cost-per-mile of a vehicle suddenly starts to show a sharp increase, the reason has to be determined. It could be e.g. caused by a mechanical problem or a new driver might have a different (and costly) driving style.

You Will Have The Necessary Data To Draw Up A Sound Fleet Maintenance Plan 

It might never be possible to prevent all unplanned breakdowns, but by following a preventative maintenance system they can be reduced to the minimum. Such a system will ensure that the vehicles in your fleet remain well-maintained at all times. Without properly tracking fleet costs, however, you will not even know when it’s time for a specific vehicle’s next regular oil change, service, or parts replacement.

You Will Know When It’s Time To Retire a Vehicle Or Retrain Its Driver 

If you properly track fleet costs, you will know when it’s time to get rid of a particular vehicle. If despite regular maintenance, and ruling out other possible causes, the running costs of a vehicle start to increase significantly, the time might have arrived to retire it.

Of course, other factors can also play a role – and with proper data, you should be able to easily find the culprit. The firm might e.g. recently have appointed a new driver and he or she could have driving habits that place unnecessary strain on brakes, tires, the engine, the gearbox, etc. One or two training sessions might be all that is needed.

The Bottom Line 

Not keeping track of fleet costs is a bit like driving without headlights on a treacherous mountain road in the middle of the night. Something unpredictable is likely to happen sooner or later. Let Efficiency Enterprises help keep your fleet running smoothly with our fleet management partnership. Contact us to learn more.

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The Importance Of Fuel Saving In Fleets

For businesses that rely on their fleets for generating income, the reality of ever-increasing fuel prices is having a major impact on daily operations. It makes it very hard to plan ahead to ensure the survival of the firm. That is why an increasing number of fleets are switching to telematics and fleet management solutions to track and reduce fuel consumption.

The Impact Of Fuel Consumption On Running Costs 

According to data published by the American Transportation Research Institute in its 2020 Analysis of the Operational Costs of Trucking study, fuel on average represents 24% of a modern fleet’s MOC or marginal operating costs. To express this in a different way: if the fuel price increases by $0.50 per gallon, it will increase the running costs of an average truck by no less than $7,000 per year. If you have a fleet of 15 trucks, that equates to more than $100,000 a year.

The Increasing Importance Of Sustainability 

One more reason to take fuel consumption very seriously is that sustainability has become very important when shippers have to make a decision about the carriers they partner with. More and more of them want to know what a carrier is doing to reduce its fleet’s fuel consumption before accepting it as part of the team. 

It’s not difficult to understand why. The transport industry is one of the 6 biggest sources of dangerous greenhouse gasses in the world and accounts for around 28.9% of all global emissions. And there is a direct link between the amount of carbon dioxide a vehicle emits and its fuel consumption.

To quote just one example: according to EPA data, the average passenger vehicle emits around 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide over the course of a year. That equates to 404 grams of carbon dioxide for every mile driven. The disturbing reality is, however, that the average freight truck emits no less than 161.8 grams of carbon dioxide when transporting cargo weighing one ton for one mile. A truck carrying 10 tons will, therefore, emit 1.618 kg of CO2 for every mile driven.

Against this background, a company that is able to show that it has a successful program in place to reduce fuel consumption will undoubtedly have a better chance of getting (and keeping) business.

Improving Fuel Consumption Benefits The Community

The reason why we can safely say this is because a drop in air pollution from the transportation industry helps to improve air quality for everyone who finds themselves on or near major roads all day long. Breathing less polluted air will reduce their likelihood of getting sick and could eventually help them to lead longer, healthier lives.

Reducing Fuel Consumption Can Extend The Lifespan Of Your Vehicles

A fleet that uses less fuel also enjoys another benefit: it will help to make the existing vehicles last longer and experience fewer breakdowns. One of the biggest reasons why a fleet might experience excessive fuel consumption is because the drivers are driving unnecessarily long distances. By properly planning trips, these distances can often be reduced significantly. This will not only reduce fuel usage, but it will also reduce the wear and tear on the vehicles in your fleet, cut down on repair costs, and extend the lifetime of the vehicles.

7 Things That Can Help Reduce Your Fleet’s Fuel Consumption 

– Optimize vehicle speed

– Start using tires with a lower rolling resistance

– Use tools that will help cut down idle time

– Educate drivers on fuel savings techniques and reward those who follow them

– Make sure that vehicles and equipment are properly maintained

– Use the right trailer aerodynamics

– Make sure that you use the correct axle configurations

Want to learn more tips for managing your fleet? Let Efficiency Enterprises help! Contact Us today!

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How To Drive Safely While Sharing The Road

Driving a truck or other type of delivery vehicle on a public road comes with great responsibility. In the first place, you are responsible for property worth a large amount of money. Secondly, your driving habits could have a direct impact on the safety of other road users and their property. The tips below will go a long way to helping you become a safer driver.

The Driver Is The Most Important Part Of The Equation 

Never forget that the driver is in charge of everything. Without him or her being wide awake and alert at all times, it doesn’t help that the truck and other equipment are in prime condition. Drivers should understand the importance of getting lots of rest before the start of a trip. And they should never be encouraged or allowed to exceed the permitted driving hours.

Drivers Should Always Remain Alert 

Drivers should understand that they are sharing the road with other people. They should, therefore, always be aware of everything that is happening around them. Look around the truck and as far down the road as possible for any signs of danger. And when traveling on a highway in heavy traffic, always look for a possible ‘escape route’ in case an accident e.g. happens in front of you and you have to act quickly.

Check The Weather Forecasts 

The weather can, and often is, a major contributing factor when it comes to accidents. Before a trip (and if it is a long trip, also during the journey) the driver should check the weather forecasts to see what weather conditions are likely to be. He or she should also be aware of what the outside temperature is to be prepared for adverse road conditions, for example, ice on the road surface.

Make Sure You Adhere To The Recommended Following Distance 

Typically, if something should go wrong, it’s most likely going to happen on the road ahead of your vehicle. That is why the correct following distance is so important. If you always make sure that there is a ‘buffer zone’ in front of your vehicle, chances are very good that in case of an emergency you will be able to stop before plowing into the traffic ahead of you. For a loaded truck, seven seconds is normally regarded as the minimum safe following distance.

Do Not Change Lanes Unless Absolutely Necessary 

The chances of an accident happening increase significantly every time a driver changes lanes. To put that differently: you can dramatically reduce the odds of getting involved in an accident by simply staying in your lane whenever possible. If you do that, and an accident occurs, it is much more likely that the other vehicle will be at fault instead of you.

Refrain From Using Cruise Control As Far As Possible 

Cruise control should only be used in perfect conditions. It can be extremely dangerous in areas where there are roadworks, on icy or wet roads, in urban areas, in heavy traffic, or on hilly or winding roads.

Use a GPS Designed With Truckers In Mind 

This type of GPS shows crucial information such as the distance to your exit, traffic reports, when it’s time to change lanes, etc. This can remove a lot of stress from the driving experience for the driver, particularly when he or she is driving in an unknown area. Just remember that even a GPS can sometimes fail, so always have a nice old-fashioned map ready as a backup.

Take Regular Breaks To Rest And Quickly Check Your Vehicle 

This will prevent you from becoming too tired to properly focus on the road. It also provides an opportunity to look for potential hazards like air leaks, soft or damaged tires, or dripping oil or coolant. Remember, a truck doesn’t have to be moving to be a safety hazard. If your truck breaks down in busy traffic it will immediately become a major accident risk.

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5 Ways To Improve The Efficiency Of Your Fleet

Fleet efficiency has become a buzzword that everyone in the transport industry seems to be talking about. Not everyone seems to know what exactly the term means though, and even fewer of them understand how to actually run a fleet more efficiently. If that sounds familiar, below we provide a brief explanation of what is meant by the term fleet efficiently. This is followed by a couple of practical steps that can be taken to achieve this objective.

What Is Fleet Efficiency? 

Fleet efficiency is the science (some would call it an art) of optimizing all the different assets that form part of a fleet, including drivers, trucks, delivery vehicles, cars, containers, trailers, and even office staff in an efficient manner.

How To Improve Fleet Efficiency 

Enough of the theory. Let us now proceed to some of the more practical aspects of improving fleet efficiency.

Improve Driver Behavior 

Help your drivers by studying their driving style and giving them feedback and tips on how to improve it. One way to do this is to utilize driver behavior software to monitor their driving habits and then recommend improvements. This system can also be used to reward drivers who follow these recommendations, which can in turn help with driver retention.

Make Maintenance a Priority 

Regular maintenance of all vehicles in your fleet will help to ensure that they always perform at optimum levels. You will also help to prevent costly roadside breakdowns that are likely to negatively impact productivity and customer retention. Keeping tabs on something as simple as tire pressure will not only help to lower wear and tear but will also reduce fuel costs and improve safety compliance.

Track The Service History Of Your Fleet 

Studying your fleet’s service history with the aid of fleet management software will help your business to improve fleet efficiency in the future. Not only can this software keep track of maintenance data in real time, but it also stores a comprehensive record of every past service. This helps fleet managers to analyze data from the past to pick up maintenance trends and then create ways in which your maintenance plan can be improved.

Utilize Your Fleet More Efficiently By Reducing Idle Time 

Using assets in a cost-effective manner is a major part of running a fleet efficiently. In this regard, idling is a notorious offender that should be minimized as much as possible. When it comes to the most common causes of unnecessary idling time, these are the main offenders:

– Drivers warming up the engine for an unnecessarily long period of time

– Drivers letting the engine run even when the vehicle is not in use

Unnecessary idling is one of the worst culprits concerning fuel misuse. That is why a significant number of U.S. states (and many countries) have in recent years passed strict anti-idling legislation. 

Reduce Fuel Costs By Properly Planning Vehicle Routes 

While lowering idling times will help to improve fuel usage, proper routing can play an even bigger role in helping to run your fleet efficiently. Issues such as traffic jams, road closures, natural disasters, and accidents can all work together to make one route less efficient than another one. When choosing one route over another, the aim should always be to minimize mileage while not compromising delivery times. Fleet management software can once again come to the rescue because of its ability to produce customized maps. By properly using this feature, fleet managers are able to choose from among different routes based on solid data and thereby improving the efficiency of their fleets.

For more information on how to better manage your fleet contact Efficiency Enterprises today! 

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Know The Best Tires For Your Truck

Keeping your trucks in top condition is a matter of great importance to you and your business.

If you don’t have the right tires on your vehicles, it can mean trouble for both driver and truck, as well as damaged cargo. Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the best tires for your truck.

The commercial truck tire’s most important needs

You should not buy a truck tire without knowing the following:

  • The tire’s load capacity
  • The tire’s traction or grip on wet and dry pavement
  • The tire gives a smooth ride and comfortable feel when driving on rough roads
  • A good wear pattern, ensuring your tread will last longer between replacements

The different needs and uses of truck tire tread designs

Depending on the application, some truck tires are designed for hard work in tough conditions, while others are designed for smooth, paved roads. The tread pattern on these types of tires is quite different from one another, so it’s important to know what type will best suit your truck before you purchase them.

  • Linehaul applications: This type of tire is designed to provide maximum traction and wear. It’s perfect for long-haul drivers who often need to keep their trucks moving in inclement weather.
  • Regional applications: For limited areas of around 250 miles in urban environments with lots of starts and stops.
  • Vocational application: This type of tire is designed to handle off and rough road applications. It’s perfect for trucks that are used for work purposes.
  • Super Regional applications: These tires are designed to be used on both regional and linehaul applications (hub-and-spoke).

Load capacity rating

Load capacity rating is perhaps the most important number you should know about your truck tires. This number tells you how much weight your truck tire can support, but it’s more than just a theoretical statistic; it also affects how safe and comfortable your driver is while hauling. When carrying heavy loads, this is particularly important—the wrong amount of pressure in a tire can cause it to blow out, and that could result in an accident or even death.

Rib designs and Lug designs

There are two major types of truck tires: rib designs and lug designs. Rib designs have a series of grooves cut into them to help distribute weight evenly across the tire surface, while Lug designs have large treads that can grip even slippery surfaces like ice or snow. Both serve the same general purpose, but they’re often used in specific areas depending on what type of terrain you’ll be driving through.

Rib designs are generally used for dry conditions and long distances, while Lug designs are better for short trips and wet surfaces.

The right tire can help trucks operate at their best.

The tires on a truck are the only part of the vehicle that touches the road. Think of the weight they carry, and the hazards they help avoid. The right tire can help trucks operate at their best, but the wrong one can cause unnecessary wear and tear on an engine, transmission, and suspension.

Most truck tires are designed to work in different conditions. By selecting the right one, you can get the most out of your truck’s performance and lower its fuel consumption.

Whether you’re looking to improve your truck’s performance or just need to replace worn-out tires, it’s important that you choose the right ones to run a successful fleet. Truck tires are designed to work in different driving conditions, whether they’re hauling a load or not. The right tire can help trucks operate at their best, but the wrong one can cause unnecessary wear and tear on an engine, transmission, and suspension, while also increasing fuel costs.

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This Is Your Average Truck’s Wear and Tear

Whether for personal use or work, every truck experiences wear and tear as time goes on. This is especially true when the vehicle is used for tough jobs requiring a lot of driving and mess which can accelerate this process. When renting trucks and vans, it’s essential to be aware of the condition of the vehicle and to know the difference between major damage and average wear and tear.

On the Outside
The outside of the truck or van includes the paint, the body, the bumpers, tires, and the glass. Average wear and tear on the outside of the vehicle can come from natural causes that aren’t related to the use of the truck itself. Proper storage can eliminate factors like rain and direct sunlight that can accelerate fading and rust.

Body and Bumpers
Minor dents 2 inches or less in diameter or scratches less than 3 inches in length are considered average wear to the body and bumpers. It’s important to note that any dent in the body of the vehicle must also not affect the panel’s structural integrity.

Glass
Average wear can look like minor scuff marks, light scratches, and a maximum of two minor chips that aren’t within the field of vision. Due to the nature of glass, these types of damage can quickly escalate to larger problems that can impede vision and become a dangerous liability. It’s important to attend to wear on glass promptly to avoid more severe issues.

On the Inside
The interior of the truck can get just as messy as the outside and routine driving will cause the mechanical parts within to experience normal wear.

Carpet, Upholstery, Dashboard Controls
Scratches, scuffs, minor stains, and dirt is expected on the inside of the vehicle, especially one used for loading and unloading or transportation between work sites. You can expect to see this on the seats, carpet, floor mats, and even the ceiling. Buttons and controls on the dashboard can fade over time with regular use, and hinges and handles for doors will begin to wear.

Trunks, Truck Beds, Cargo Areas
These are areas that are intended to experience scuffs, scrapes, fading, and weathering. Any damage that affects the structural integrity of these places is considered past average wear and tear.

Brakes
Brake lines, brake pads, shocks and struts, and springs are pieces of the system that will slow down your vehicle and bring it to a stop. Heavy loads and quick stops can cause accelerated wear and tear, leading to frequent maintenance and replacement.

Clutch and Transmission
The clutch is responsible for connecting and disconnecting the engine from the vehicle’s transmission and is an area that experiences a lot of wear and tear. You can expect to find slight wear on the clutch disc, pressure plates, and flywheel.

Cooling and Electrical
Cooling includes air conditioning and internal cooling systems like the water pump and radiator. Commonly, the average wear to a cooling system is minor rust and leaky pipes.

Electrical pieces within your vehicle like the battery, fuses, and the computer system can wear with use over time. On average, car batteries are the most common part of the electrical system to experience wear. A new battery can last up to 3 to 4 years but will need replacing when it begins to fail. Common signs include dim interior and exterior lights, corroded connectors, and an engine that is slow to start.

Overall
Renting your work fleet has many benefits that can be an asset to your financials and your quality of work. Assuring that your fleet is maintained and cared for guarantees the best outcome in the long term, and knowing what your truck’s average wear and tear is will prepare you for it.

Whether you need help with maintaining your fleet, or acquiring a new one, Efficiency Enterprises can help. Contact us today.

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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.

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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.

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