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

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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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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8 Ways to Cut Down on Fleet Operation Costs

Managers are always looking for ways to bring down fleet operation costs and make their businesses more efficient. Luckily there are easy, cost-effective ways to bring down fleet costs while also improving the longevity and safety of your trucks.

1. Proper Driver Training

The easiest way to bring down fleet costs is to invest in training your drivers in fuel-efficient driving practices. Bring in defensive driving instructors to teach your drivers to drive slowly and cautiously. Instigate penalties to discourage aggressive driving, which can cost you up to a dollar per mile on some trucks. Multiplied across your entire fleet, driver training can make a big difference for your bottom line.

2. Carefully Monitor Tire Pressure

 Tire pressure can have a very large impact on your fleet’s fuel economy. The farther away from the manufacturer’s recommended PSI your tires are, the less fuel-efficient your vehicles will be. Weekly or daily checks can ensure that you are staying within the ranges recommended by tire manufacturers.

3. Run Vehicles in Shifts

Every driver does not need their own vehicle. Having your fleet vehicles operating in a morning and afternoon shift reduces the number of vehicles you need to operate while increasing fuel economy (reduces fuel used on startup and warm-up, especially in colder climates). If you move to a shift system, be aware that increased run time on vehicles will lead to slightly increased maintenance costs.

4. Reduce Miles Driven 

The fewer miles your vehicles cover, the less fuel and maintenance they will require. Investing in a quality fleet vehicle tracking and maps software can greatly reduce miles driven by avoiding inefficient routing. The better organized your fleet is, the more efficient it will be.

5. Lower the Cost of Your Fuel

Research the different company fuel cards that you give to your drivers. Depending on the company you get your cards from, you can receive discounts on fuel and other benefits that will help you reduce costs. Several cards will give you as much as 0.15$ off a gallon which can add up to big savings when multiplied by the size of your fleet.

6. Consider the Lifecycle of Your Vehicles 

 Often companies will mandate to keep vehicles in service for longer than they are operationally viable to avoid the cost of buying new vehicles. This increases overall fleet costs because as vehicles get older their maintenance costs will increase exponentially. New vehicles will require less maintenance and will have better fuel economy, making getting the lifecycle of your vehicles right a top priority for reducing fleet costs.

7.  Consider Resale Value

When buying fleet vehicles, consider what will allow you the best resale value. The easiest way to ensure a higher resale value is to buy trucks in neutral or high-demand colors. White vehicles are proven to have the highest resale value of any color. Keeping detailed maintenance records that can be provided to potential buyers is also proven to ensure a higher resale value.

8. Buy or Rent Vehicles in Volume 

Buying or renting your fleet vehicles in volume allows you to negotiate a lower price per vehicle than if you were to buy vehicles in smaller groups or individually. Volume purchasing requires good forecasting of your business’s needs and requires more capital, so make sure you are prepared before attempting to buy in volume.

Decreasing the operating cost of your fleet is a great way to make your business more efficient and increase profits. Implementing any of the simple solutions provided above will go a long way to making your fleet safer and more cost-effective. Let Efficiency find the best solution for your business!

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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!

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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.

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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
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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.

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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
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