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

How to Remove Stress Out of Commercial Truck Leasing

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

Do Thorough Research on Truck Leasing Programs

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

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

Read the Terms of Service

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

Consider Prices

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

Check the Type of Trucks

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

Accessible Service Centers

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

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

Read more

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

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

Cut Your Fleet’s Fuel Costs by Improving Driver Behavior

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

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

Avoid Unnecessary Idling

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

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

Set Speed Limits for Your Drivers

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

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

Stick to a Preventative Vehicle Maintenance Schedule

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

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

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

Read more

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

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

‏What is Proactive Planning?

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

‏You Run a Reliable Fleet

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

● ‏Repair costs‏

● ‏Drivers sitting around with no work‏

● ‏Decline in productivity ‏

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

‏Lower Maintenance Costs

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

‏Lower Fuel Costs

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

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

‏Fleet Safety

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

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

Read more

5 Reasons Why Reverse Parking A Truck Is Safer

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

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

Rear Visibility Technology for Added Safety

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

Better Visibility

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

Easier to Get Out of Emergency Situations

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

Reverse Parking is Fuel Efficient

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

Reverse Parking Allows the Driver to Leave a Parking Spot Quicker

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

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

Read more

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
Read more