Buying a fleet of vehicles can save you a lot of money in delivery costs, and it also has the added benefit of giving you advertising on the roads. It’s an appealing prospect for any business owner that relies on the delivery of goods.
But, it isn’t as simple as buying a truck and a couple of vans. There is a lot you need to do to make sure you follow the law and keep your fleet efficient.
So, if you are tempted to buy a fleet of vehicles, don’t rush out and spend a fortune just yet. Use this guide to work out a long-term strategy and get those safety measures in place first. Let’s get started with some of the basics of fleet management.
Insurance is a legal requirement, of course. But, make sure your policies are as robust as possible and give you all the cover you need as a business. A crash or accident could leave your business in a tricky predicament, and without the right cover, you may have to fit the bill yourself.
You also need to keep in touch with your insurance provider. They need a notification about when you increase or decrease the size of your fleet – as well as any changes to the vehicles themselves. Don’t forget – or it could mean your insurance plan is void.
Rules and regulations
You will need to get in touch with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and find out all the standards that you and your fleet need to meet. There is a lot more pressure on business drivers – especially those that drive trucks and larger vehicles.
If one of your drivers has an incident, you can guarantee that a truck accident lawyer will go through your standards with a fine toothcomb, It is essential that you give yourself the right protection by meeting every standard. And, to train your staff properly – which we will take a look at next.
All drivers in your fleet should have the right skills and knowledge in place before they take to the roads. If they do have an accident, it is your responsibility.
It is vital that you hold training records. And, that your drivers understand the health and safety regulations that dictate how long they can drive without a break. Tiredness is one of the biggest causes of truck accidents. You will receive no tolerance if you are found to be pushing your drivers too hard.
One excellent way of keeping tabs on your driver’s performance is using tracking software. It will give you updates on their driving, tell you when they break speed limits and how much fuel they use. There is an element of big brother to all this, of course.
But, the truth is that most fleets have this kind of technology these days. It won’t be long before every company is using telematics and similar software.
Perform regular maintenance
Our last point is a simple one: look after your vehicles and they will last you a long time. Make sure you have regular checks – a service package is well worth the money, and it will save you a small fortune.
Individual repairs will happen a lot, given the vast distances fleet vehicles travel. But, you can eliminate much of the cost by embracing regular servicing and maintenance.
We hope this beginner’s guide to fleet management has helped. Let us know your thoughts – and feel free to leave us any tips.