While it may be impossible to achieve 100% utilization of your fleet vehicles, there are several strategies you can apply to ensure that your work trucks achieve the highest utilization rate possible. Improving commercial fleet utilization requires a delicate balance between keeping utilization efficient but without compromising vehicle availability for your business operations. Here are a few ways that can help improve commercial fleet utilization and maximize profits.
1. Vehicle Sharing
A lot of savings can be made when more than one individual can utilize the vehicle through sharing or pooling. This makes the vehicle available on demand and this could allow for a smaller fleet to manage and increase the drivers-to-vehicles ratio.
It is a common misconception that pooling makes vehicles unavailable when needed. In actuality, the reverse is true. Commercial fleet companies can even out the average demand and provide additional vehicles as necessary so there is no shortage.
Pooling also affords a wider variety of vehicle classes. If there is a need for a cargo van for example, the fleet company can accommodate this demand when the occasion calls for it. The vehicle’s usage and seats are maximized because it is made available to more people through ridesharing.
Continuous monitoring through fleet management software allows for a more effective use of those assets when there is a large inventory of vehicles. It will make a record of important information like who is driving the vehicle, the time and date that it was picked up and returned, how long it was used, and how far it has travelled.
This makes the daunting task of managing pool vehicles much easier and it frees up the time for companies to focus on other areas such as reducing costs, optimizing efficiencies, and formulating effective policies.
2. GPS and Telematics
Monitoring vehicle usage is critical in managing your commercial fleet effectively. When paired with a vehicle sharing program, GPS can help better understand how the cars or trucks are being used. It can give you data on how often the rentals are away from home and can reveal when vehicles are being under-utilized.
This information can help with finding the right fleet size and composition so that no rental is being wasted.
Telematics like GPS enhances productivity for fleet managers because it fundamentally helps them track their vehicles in real time. They can then make strategic decisions on what routes to take that can reduce the number of kilometres driven which can drive the costs down.
3. Avoid Personal and Specialty Vehicles
Personal owned vehicles (POV) can impact the utilization of your commercial fleet because it may decrease demand. Although there are exceptions, it is generally unwise to reimburse drivers who utilize their own vehicles because it may be prone to abuse. Policies need to be implemented to reduce this practice and that company vehicles should always be the first option before contemplating POVs. Reimbursement should be subject to supervisor approval and have an annual allocation for these instances to limit company losses.
Another kind of vehicle that should be avoided are specialty vehicles because they perform a singular purpose which makes them only necessary on occasion. Why invest in a snowplow, for example, when it can only be utilized for a certain time of the year.
Multi-purpose vehicles like pickup trucks are far more useful and can be used by more people all year round.
4. Reduce Idling
One source of unnecessary costs is when vehicles are left idling too long. This increases the wear on the vehicles, and this also leads to more frequent trips to the gas station. By implementing effective policies and procedures for drivers to follow, they become more responsible for the vehicles they drive which reduces costs and extends the life of your fleet.
Fleet policies can give a clear roadmap for how to properly utilize the assets and discourage issues such as excessive idling which can drain the company’s bottom line gradually over time. This also makes it easier to manage a large fleet with many drivers when there are understood rules of operation.
Do you need customized work trucks? Contact us at 1-877-479-1388 or email Steve Gruber at firstname.lastname@example.org for your car, truck or fleet rental and no-term leasing needs. We have locations in Hamilton, Selkirk & Niagara and service all of Ontario through our partner network. With a fleet of over 1000 vehicles and growing, Thomas Solutions has a wide array of work vehicles for lease or rent, and an expert team that provides fleet vehicle management services for large industrial firms.