September 12, 2023

Top 6 Heavy-Duty Truck Fleet Management Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

The Department of Energy estimates that every 5 MPH you drive beyond 60 MPH will cost you an extra $0.21 per gallon of petrol. When you run a small or medium-sized business, you are in charge of making important choices every day that might have a significant effect on the financial health of your company, such as how to deal with speeding.

The added difficulty of managing workers who run trucks and do fieldwork is confronted by fleet-based organizations. Managers of fleet-based firms sometimes have to make judgments based on little information or anecdotal evidence offered by their drivers and customers since they cannot monitor processes and employee behaviour firsthand. This separation may result in frequent fleet management errors, costing your company a lot of money. The good news is that GPS tracking tools may quickly fix many of the most typical fleet management errors. Here are the top five fleet management mistakes.

1. Not following a maintenance schedule.

Maintaining a regular maintenance plan ensures that your heavy-duty trucks always run at their best. Preventive maintenance extends the life of your heavy-duty trucks and reduces the possibility of an unplanned breakdown. Avoidable failures brought on by inadequate maintenance may cost your company a lot of money in the form of repair expenses and lost income while your vehicle is out of action.

With a GPS tracking device, you can keep detailed records of your fleet's vehicle maintenance history and set up email or text message notifications for when maintenance is required, ensuring that you never skip a tune-up or have an unanticipated breakdown that might have been avoided. Find out more about automating your preventative maintenance routine using GPS tracking devices.

2. Not updating and tracking routes

Ineffective routing results in more miles driven by your heavy-duty trucks, which wastes fuel and time and limits the number of customers your drivers can service daily. Using a GPS tracking device to monitor your driver's daily routes will allow you to see chances for dispatch and routing improvement, fuel consumption reduction, and income growth by reaching more clients daily.

3. Not taking any action to discourage risky driving practices

Everyone is harmed by unsafe driving, not just your company. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that reckless and distracted driving are the main factors contributing to truck accidents in the US. Although accidents and crashes are unavoidable, they may be avoided by monitoring driver safety using GPS devices. The most advanced GPS monitoring systems include comprehensive driver safety report trucks and real-time notifications for risky behaviour, including speeding, abrupt braking, and quick acceleration. These warnings and reports may be used by fleet managers to proactively identify dangerous drivers and take action to promote driver safety.

Elevated Risk of Legal Trouble

Driving recklessly also raises your fleet's chance of receiving a citation, which may raise insurance costs. Beyond the expense of repairs, downtime, elevated insurance rates, and material damage, accidents and wrecks may also result in bad press and harm your business' connection with your clients. In addition to the expense of restoring any damaged heavy-duty trucks, this may result in fewer revenues.

Higher Fuel Consumption

Failure to promote and enforce safe driving practices may also result in excessive fuel consumption and wear and strain on your heavy-duty trucks. Driving behaviours such as abrupt braking, quick acceleration, and speeding primarily influence high fuel consumption. Understanding the personal driving practices of your staff members will enable you to train them on how to drive more safely and efficiently.

4. Lack of understanding of how your drivers act in the field

When you don't see your drivers' actions in the field, you have to assume that they are abiding by the laws of the road and the policies that your business has established. While the bulk of your fleet may drive safely and effectively, a few staff members often exhibit avoidable risky or costly driving behaviours. These behaviours might raise your risk of accidents and operational expenses.

You may enhance your company's operations in a variety of ways by having a better understanding of how your drivers act in the field, including:

5. Lowering fuel costs and consumption

You may be paying up to $0.84 more per gallon of petrol if even one of your drivers often goes 20 MPH above the legal limit, and those expenses can mount up rapidly.

In reality, GPS monitoring features like notifications for wasteful behaviours have helped several fleets lower their fuel use by up to 20%. GPS tracking systems make it simple to detect and correct unproductive driving patterns like speeding. Additionally, GPS tracking systems provide real-time data on vehicle positions. You may utilize this information to explain the driver's whereabouts and settle billing issues if a consumer questions their invoice.

6. Ignoring usage after hours

Fraud detection and loss recovery are often more challenging for small organizations. Unauthorized and after-hours usage might be hard to spot, but with GPS tracking, you can get instant warnings anytime a motorist does anything wrong with their truck, like:

  • Post-work hours
  • GPS tracking device tampering
  • The use of a vehicle outside of permitted zones

These warnings not only help you stop employee fraud and illegal usage, but they may also speed up the recovery of your heavy machinery or heavy-duty trucks in the case of theft.

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When your staff spends their days driving, it might be challenging to know if they’re acting in the best interest of your company. You can make data-driven choices that will enhance driver safety, boost productivity, and lower your fleet's running expenses when you can depend on the precise information GPS truck trackers give.

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