If there is one important point of which fleet managers should never lose sight it’s that fleet management costs are not fixed, they are variable. This includes the types of vehicles in your fleet, the costs of supplies and parts, and even other factors that can impact fleet maintenance costs, such as the weather and road conditions. It’s crucial to know the difference between fixed and variable costs if you want to control expenses and introduce practices that will help to limit costs. The following steps will go a long way to help fleet managers who want to improve control over their fleet maintenance costs.
Reduce The Number Of Vehicles In Your Fleet
With better route planning, improved driver utilization, and rescheduling deliveries and pickups more efficiently, it should be possible to do the same work with a smaller fleet. This is the only surefire way to reduce fleet maintenance costs. Do not, however, cut down the fleet size to such an extent that it forces drivers to drive unsafely because they have to rush everywhere they go. The focus should be on better planning.
Set Up And Adhere To Fleet Maintenance Programs
Scheduling fleet maintenance results in better cost predictability and enables fleet owners to plan properly because they know the intervals between services, shop space, tools, technicians, and parts that will be needed. This improves the quality of work, boosts workshop productivity, and reduces costs.
Instructions should take the form of checklists that clearly set out the work that has to be carried out, taking into account driver reports and the data from onboard telematics systems.
Make Sure Your Vehicles Always Take The Shortest Possible Routes
If you don’t use GPS routing in your company’s fleet, you are losing out on an important way to help control fleet maintenance costs. This technology used real-time traffic information to calculate the quickest possible route to the driver’s destination. Not only does this save time, but it also saves fuel, and reduces wear and tear on the vehicle. This in turn has a direct impact on repairs costs and depreciation.
Ensure That Parts Inventory Is Effectively Optimized
Properly optimizing parts inventory can help bring about significant cost savings. With the proper parts being available whenever they are needed, technicians will be able to do their work more efficiently and without unnecessary waiting times. If your firm already employs a fleet maintenance program, making sure the right part is available at the right time will help to reduce the time vehicles spend in the workshop. This will in turn reduce labor costs and vehicle downtime, both of which are important elements of fleet maintenance costs.
Replace Vehicles When They Reach A Certain Age
There comes a stage in every vehicle’s lifetime that driving it will cost more than the higher cost of replacing it with a newer one. When a vehicle starts to require above-average repairs and its fuel consumption increases significantly (very common with older vehicles), it is most likely no longer financially justifiable to keep it in your fleet. With the help of financial forecasting, you should develop rules to decide when a vehicle should be replaced and what it should be replaced with.
Get Rid Of Unnecessary Loads
Fuel is one of the biggest costs of running a fleet. and carrying unnecessary materials or equipment can significantly increase fuel usage. Make sure only the equipment the workers need for a particular job is carried onboard any vehicle. Train the workers to always remove equipment used at a previous task before proceeding to the next one. This specifically refers to heavy tools and equipment. The additional drag caused by an empty roof rack can, for example, increase fuel consumption by as much as 30%.
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