What is Fleet Management?
Fleet management is a discipline required in organizations where transportation is a key part of the overall operation. It consists of tasks related to managing drivers, vehicles, assets (such as trailers and equipment) and vendors of solutions ranging from leasing, insurance, technology, fuel procurement, service and maintenance and more.
- Vehicle and asset acquisition and lifecycle management
- Hiring and managing the driver pool
- Hiring and managing third party transportation companies
- Managing the fuel program
- Managing tax compliance and vehicle registrations
- Managing the vehicle service program
- Compliance with federal and state hours of service (HOS) and inspection requirements
Fleet Management Systems
A fleet management system will record a variety of data depending upon the set-up. Typically, those hardwired into a vehicle’s engine (a telematic system) will gather more reliable engine status data than the kind that rely on a USB or Bluetooth Wi-Fi connection. For example, EROAD’s telematic system records accurate data and provides reports that can significantly improve fleet productivity, optimize customer service levels, and reduce costs and downtime.
Benefits of Fleet Management Solutions
Compliance, tracking and security
Better efficiency is also achieved through location tracking. This means any wayward vehicles can be course-corrected faster, saving money and time. Over time, the system’s reports identify the fastest routes for future efficiency increases.
Speeding and harsh braking can be tracked by most fleet management systems, letting a fleet manager identify bad behavior and promote good behavior.
ELD compliance is just one component of fleet management, but it can protect everyone’s safety while helping fleets avoid the high financial losses incurred by accidents and legal challenges. A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) report found commercial drivers using electronic logs reduced their total crash rate by 11.7% and lowered their preventable crash rate 5.1% versus trucks not equipped with e-logs.
Fleet management software also tracks and reports overtime hours. This is another key benefit since fleet managers are informed in real-time of a driver’s overtime hours, rather than later when it’s too late.
Fleet Management Software and the ELD Mandate
The FMCSA established a legal mandate that took place December 2017 that states U.S. commercial motor vehicles must track drivers’ hours of service (HOS) with an electronic logging device (ELD). It requires that ELDs capture data on how often the engine is running, if the vehicle is moving, the miles driven and duration of engine operation (engine hours).
With an ELD-compliant fleet management system installed, no other equipment is necessary. It’s designed to log, store and transfer any required data needed to pass roadside inspections.
All manufacturers of ELDs must certify that their products meet the rules governing the technical standards of the ELD mandate. Motor carriers are responsible for checking that the device they use is on the FMCSA register. Vehicles can be put Out Of Service (OOS) if they are using an ELD that isn’t compliant.
Benefits to Fleet Managers
Fleet managers using a fleet management system can benefit by having the ability to analyze and/or make suggestions on usage and expenditures in order to contain costs. They gain the ability to better examine variable costs and deal more easily with less predictable fuel markets or other unexpected expenses that might arise.
Driver safety and productivity
Fleet Management Considerations
Health and wellness
Fleet management is necessary in ensuring accidents are handled appropriately. Following insurance reporting rules is also paramount so that claims are managed efficiently and expediently. Fleet management also entails making sure repairs are made swiftly. Accidents happen, but fleet management can help by minimizing the risks for them to begin with.
Complying with the ELD Mandate
Fleet vehicle procurement
For optimum flee management though, it’s important to also evaluate factors like vehicle legislative changes, taxes and insurance costs.
Avoiding information overload
The ELD mandate includes provisions that safeguard the driver’s privacy. For example, if driving in personal conveyance mode, the driver’s location is only available within a 10-mile radius. Managing driver expectations is critical to successfully implementing a fleet management system.
EROAD offers the best fleet management
EROAD’s fleet management enables you to run a safer, more efficient fleet and reduce the burdens and costs associated with manual paperwork. Our superior accuracy provides your business with the best data available to help you improve productivity and customer service, reduce operating costs and maximize up-time.