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5 Methods That Can Help Fleet Managers Reduce Costs

As a fleet manager, it’s essential to constantly be on the lookout for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Whether you’re responsible for a small fleet of vehicles or a large one, implementing cost-saving measures can greatly benefit your financial performance.

From optimizing routes and schedules to implementing a preventative maintenance program and improving vehicle utilization, these five strategies can help you cut costs and improve your fleet’s performance.

1. Use Telematics

Telematics systems are a valuable tool that can help fleet managers optimize their operations, reducing costs in several ways. By using GPS tracking and other sensors, telematics systems can provide real-time data on vehicle performance, location, and driver behavior. This can help fleet managers to track and monitor various cost drivers, identify opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce fuel consumption, and lower costs.

2. Optimize Routes and Schedules

By using route optimization software or GPS tracking systems, fleet managers can ensure that their vehicles are taking the most efficient routes and are not wasting time on unnecessary detours. This can involve using real-time traffic data to avoid congestion and finding the most direct routes to destinations.

By optimizing routes and schedules, fleet managers can also help reduce their vehicles’ wear and tear. In addition, optimizing routes and schedules can help to improve customer service, as vehicles can arrive at their destinations more quickly and efficiently.

3. Implement a Preventive Maintenance Program

Implementing a preventative maintenance program can help fleet managers save money by identifying and addressing potential issues with vehicles before they become more serious and costly to repair. By regularly maintaining and servicing vehicles, fleet managers can help to prevent costly breakdowns and extend the life of the vehicles.
This can involve things like regular oil changes, tire rotations, and several other routine maintenance tasks.

Preventative maintenance can also help to improve the safety and performance of vehicles, which can help to reduce the risk of accidents and downtime. By proactively addressing potential issues, fleet managers can also reduce the need for emergency repairs, which can be more costly and disruptive to operations.

4. Lower Fuel Costs

Reducing fuel consumption can be a significant way for a fleet manager to reduce costs. Fuel is often one of the largest expenses for a fleet, so finding ways to reduce fuel usage can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

Fleet managers can encourage fuel-efficient driving habits by educating drivers on ways to conserve fuel, such as avoiding hard braking and accelerating, and maintaining a steady speed. Managers may also opt to implement a fuel management program to help fleet managers track and monitor fuel usage, identify trends and patterns, and implement strategies to reduce fuel consumption.

5. Improve Vehicle Utilization

When vehicles are not being used, they are not generating revenue, which can be a significant cost for a fleet. By finding ways to use vehicles more efficiently, fleet managers can help to reduce these idle costs. This could involve reassessing the number of vehicles in the fleet, or finding ways to use the vehicles more efficiently. By consolidating multiple deliveries or pickups into a single trip, fleet managers can ensure that their vehicles are being used more frequently and efficiently.

By carefully analyzing their operations and identifying areas for improvement, fleet managers can find creative solutions to lower expenses and increase productivity. Whether through the use of technology or by making changes to their processes and procedures, fleet managers can drive down costs and achieve better results for their organization. Fleet managers can effectively manage their budgets and help their fleets thrive by staying proactive and continuously seeking new opportunities for cost savings.

Let Efficiency Enterprises help keep your fleet running smoothly. Contact us today to learn more about our fleet management partnership.

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Starting Your Fleet: What Trucks Do You Need?

Starting your own fleet of trucks can be an intimidating prospect. With the right information though, it doesn’t have to be.

Whether you need a fleet for personal transport, business deliveries, or something else altogether, there are plenty of important decisions that need to be made before you get started.

What types and models do you need? How much should you budget for these vehicles? Should you rent or buy? These questions – and more – must be answered before moving forward with any sort of fleet acquisition plan.

In this blog, we take a look at a few key decisions you’ll need to make before starting a trucking business.

Starting your own fleeting company in the US

In the US, the two primary types of trucks used for commercial operations are heavy-duty rigs (such as 18-wheelers) and light-duty pickups (such as the Ford F-150). Depending on your specific needs, you may need some combination of these two vehicle types.

For example, if you are planning to haul large amounts of cargo and transport goods over long distances then heavy-duty rigs will be your best bet. These vehicles have been specifically designed to handle more weight than the average pickup truck and can be customized with additional features to accommodate specific freight requirements.

In contrast, light-duty pickups are best suited for shorter hauls or lighter loads. These vehicles often have better fuel economy and maneuverability compared to heavy-duty rigs, making them ideal for quick deliveries within a limited area.

Other truck options you’ll need to consider are flatbeds, box trucks, and specialized vehicles like dump trucks or tanker trucks. Each of these can be used for different purposes depending on your business needs.

When choosing a truck, it’s important to consider the type of cargo you plan on carrying. This will help you determine the appropriate size, capacity, and features needed in order to safely transport your goods.

It’s also important to factor in costs associated with each vehicle type. Heavy-duty rigs are typically more expensive than light-duty pickups, but they may offer more efficiency when hauling heavier loads.

Do your research

For trucks you are looking to rent or purchase, check for any signs of damage or wear as well as proper maintenance records. This is especially important if you are renting a fleet of trucks.

Make sure that all safety features are in good working order and that you have enough information about each vehicle’s history before making a decision.

Why you should lease a fleet of trucks

Leasing is a more cost-effective option when it comes to starting a trucking company. It’s a great way to minimize upfront costs when starting your business, as leases are typically far more affordable than outright purchases.

If you do decide to rent, it’s important that you do your research and understand all associated costs before making a commitment.

Make sure you find a reputable truck rental company that you can trust. You won’t be able to afford the luxury of having your trucks out of commission during the early stages of starting your business.

Ready to get started?

Starting your own fleet of trucks can be a great way to enter the trucking industry. However, it’s important to consider all factors and make sure that you are selecting the right vehicles for your business.

Be sure to research all associated costs carefully before deciding if leasing or purchasing is the best option for you. With careful planning, you’ll be able to find the perfect combination of trucks that meet both your budget and needs.

Let Efficiency help you build your fleet whether looking to lease or purchase, we can do the heavy lifting for you. Contact us today!

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Ways To Diminish Fleet Idling

While fleet idling can to a large extent be avoided, it can never be completely eliminated.

If not kept in check, however, it can spiral out of control. Below we will examine how idling can cost your business a lot of money and what you can do to reduce idling time to a minimum.

What Exactly Does The Term “Fleet Idling” refer to? 

Fleet idling takes place when the vehicle’s driver allows the engine to keep running while it is in a stationary position. If they have to stop at a red light, or are stuck in heavy traffic, it might be virtually impossible to avoid. There is, however, often a lot of idling going on that has nothing to do with traffic congestion or red lights. Examples include leaving the engine running while:

– The driver is busy with a phone call

– The truck is being unloaded or loaded

– The driver is busy cooling or heating the vehicle because of very hot or cold weather

– The driver is taking a break to rest or eat

Why Unnecessary Fleet Idling Is A Bad Idea 

Statistics show that a gallon (or even more) of fuel can be wasted every hour the vehicle is left idling unnecessarily. This will obviously have a detrimental impact on your firm’s profits. Apart from that, it also has a large negative impact on the environment. Running any vehicle for longer than is absolutely necessary comes with the added cost of shortening the engine’s lifespan and causing wear and tear on other parts.

Ways To Diminish Fleet Idling 

Luckily, there are quite a few ways to reduce unnecessary fleet idling. Below we look at a few of them.

Ask Drivers Not To Leave Engines Running Unnecessarily For More Than 15 Seconds 

Restarting a vehicle uses more or less a similar amount of fuel as letting it idle for 15 seconds. It’s not likely that you will be able to convince your drivers to switch off the engine when a traffic light, for example, stays red for an extended time, There is, however, very little reason for him or her to keep the engine running in the parking lot while they stop to buy a snack or run an errand

Make Sure Drivers Know That Driving Warms Up An Engine Better Than Idling 

Many drivers are not aware that idling is not the best way to warm up an engine. The best way to do so is to ease into the drive while avoiding unnecessary engine revving. This way the vehicle will be ready to drive at normal speed within a very short time (much more quickly than if the engine was left idling). This also happens to be the most efficient way to get the vehicle’s cooling and heating systems to start delivering cold or hot air.

Start Using Telematics Technology

To get accurate idling data, you will have to start using one of the better telematics solutions out there, for example, LocoNav. These technologies help to keep track of idling time and the reports they produce will make it much easier to determine which drivers are most guilty of letting their vehicles idle unnecessarily. Once you know where the problem is, you can take the necessary steps to correct it by e.g. implementing a driver training program.

Introduce GPS Tracking 

This will show you exactly where the vehicles in your fleet have traveled and how long every vehicle spent at each place. It also makes it possible to find out whether a driver made one or more unauthorized trips or not.

Fleet management software like this also has a few other benefits, including the following:

– Management will be able to set alerts and react in real time to whatever issue arises

– The data that is generated can be used to improve the efficiency of your drivers

– It will help the firm to adopt a long-term view when it comes to issues such as idling time and fuel consumption

– The information gathered by the system can be analyzed on a fleetwide basis or per vehicle.

Introduce Incentives For Reduced Vehicle Idling Time 

Once you have proper data to work on, your fleet manager can proceed to incorporate that information into a fleet idling reduction plan. Start by providing training to those drivers who struggle to reduce idling time and publicly reward drivers who are able to significantly reduce this.

Let Efficiency Enterprises help keep your fleet running smoothly & efficiently. Contact us today to learn more about our fleet management partnerships.

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Zero Emissions: On Using Greener Fuels For Your Fleet

Implementing a greener fuel program for your commercial fleet can provide a range of benefits. However, it can also present some challenges and requires careful planning and management.

Let’s explore the benefits and challenges of using alternative fuels in a fleet setting and learn some strategies for effectively implementing a greener fuel program, so you can start going greener today.

Benefits of Implementing a Greener Fuel Program

Many alternative fuels, including electric, biodiesel, and hydrogen, produce less harmful emissions than traditional fossil fuels. This can help to reduce the negative impacts of transportation, such as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Using alternative fuels can also provide financial benefits. Many alternative fuels, such as electricity and hydrogen, have lower fuel costs compared to traditional fossil fuels. This can result in lower operating costs for your fleet, as well as savings for your customers.

Using greener fuels can also help a company to meet its sustainability goals and improve its reputation. As consumers and stakeholders become increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of vehicles, companies that make an effort to reduce their carbon footprint may be seen as more responsible and attractive to customers and investors.

Challenges of Implementing a Greener Fuel Program

One of the main challenges is the availability of alternative fuel infrastructure. Many alternative fuels, such as electric and hydrogen, require specialized fueling or charging infrastructure, which may not be widely available in all areas. This can make implementing a green fuel program difficult if the necessary infrastructure is not in place.

A major challenge for fleet managers is the upfront cost of transitioning to alternative fuels. Alternative fuels can save money over the long run, but the initial investment can be substantial. If fleet managers are lacking funding or financial resources, this may be a barrier to implementing green fuel programs.

How to Effectively Manage and Maintain a Greener Fuel Program

To effectively manage and maintain a fleet using greener fuels, there are a few key strategies to consider:

  • Conduct a feasibility study: Assess the viability of different fuel options for your business by analyzing each fuel type’s costs, benefits, and challenges. You should also create an assessment of the necessary infrastructure and vehicle modifications.
  • Build a plan and budget: It is important to develop a detailed plan and budget for implementing the green fuel program, including a timeline for transitioning to alternative fuels, as well as a budget for purchasing new vehicles or fuel storage systems, if necessary.
  • Communicate with customers: If your business serves customers who are also interested in sustainability, it is important to communicate your green fuel program to them to build trust and loyalty. Showcasing your commitment to environmental responsibility is a plus, too. 
  • Train employees: It is important to provide training for your employees to ensure that they are familiar with the new fuel systems and able to properly operate and maintain the vehicles. This may involve providing training on new technologies and information on how to properly handle and store the fuels. 
  • Monitor and evaluate performance: It’s important to regularly monitor and evaluate the performance of the vehicles and the fuel systems. This can help to identify any issues or problems that need to be addressed, as well as opportunities for improvement.

There are many benefits to adopting a greener fuel program for your fleet, including reduced emissions, reduced costs, and greater sustainability. However, it also presents some challenges, which can be overcome with careful planning and management. If you want to promote your company as a green leader, transitioning to greener fuels for your fleet of vehicles is a great way to start. Let’s talk about the most efficient options for your company. Contact Efficiency today!

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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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