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5 Biggest Productivity Challenges Small-Fleet Managers Face


Oct 27, 2023, 9:17AM EST

Fleet management is an integral part of running a successful operation. A more productive fleet means more margin and increased customer satisfaction. But small fleets like yours may face productivity challenges, and it’s essential to recognize and remedy them to achieve more uptime and a better bottom line.

What is fleet productivity?

Fleet productivity is a metric that assesses how productive your fleet vehicles are in your operation. Put simply, it measures how well your fleet is completing routes, staying on the road, and limiting downtime. Fleet productivity can come down to how your driver is performing and how the truck is performing. However, some factors can stand in the way of the complete driver and vehicle productivity.

5 productivity challenges for small-fleet managers

1.   Tracking drivers and dispatching them efficiently

Not knowing where your fleet vehicles and drivers are at all times can be detrimental to your operation, especially as new opportunities arise. If your fleet does not have GPS tracking, you’re losing out on real-time driver updates and the ability to optimize routes where multiple stops are involved.

Today’s technology makes it easier to incorporate fleet management solutions into your operation. With telematics technology and GPS fleet tracking, you can get real-time vehicle location, driver performance data, and route optimization reports.

Adding a telematics solution to your fleet management approach can drastically improve your fleet efficiency and increase profitability.

2.   Unforeseen fleet downtime

Unexpected breakdowns take a toll on your fleet’s productivity. The longer one of your fleet vehicles spends in the shop, the bigger a toll the downtime takes on your bottom line—in both productivity and maintenance costs.

Smaller fleet managers feel the pain acutely, as each truck represents a higher profit percentage for your business. While engine issues and other mechanical issues can arise, one culprit is easily preventable—corrosion.

Regularly scheduled maintenance prevents mechanicals before they occur. Routine vehicle inspections and fleet maintenance must be a priority. Be sure to set time aside each month to inspect your fleet with a well-trained professional. Then, if you need to resolve any issues, you can schedule off-time for preventive maintenance before small problems become more significant headaches.

3.   Excessive idling

Another costly challenge to productivity is excessive idling. Some idling, as you’d expect in heavy traffic, is unavoidable. However, prolonged idling can cause excessive wear and tear on the engine. Excessive idling can also increase your fuel consumption costs.

There are a few ways to reduce excessive idling. A telematics solution can often give you detailed reports on vehicle performance, including idle time. Therefore, you can correlate your fleet’s highest idling vehicles with the operators. This can give you insights into which drivers may need extra training. In addition, a robust fleet management system can help your drivers idle less by providing the most efficient routing based on traffic patterns.

4.   Driver performance

Getting the most out of your fleet means getting the most out of your drivers. Unfortunately, poorly trained drivers are more prone to bad driving behaviors: quick acceleration, aggressive braking, long idling periods, and speeding. These poor driver behaviors not only influence fleet efficiency, but can also take a toll on your vehicle maintenance costs.

Proper training can increase driver productivity. In addition, implementing driver safety measures can boost fleet performance, while also lowering the overall wear and tear on your fleet.

5.   No standard fueling policy

Fuel costs account for a significant share of your fleet’s expenses. Unfortunately, many small-fleet managers make the mistake of not incorporating a standard fueling policy. Without a formal fuel program, cash discrepancies from drivers can cause unforeseen expenses, taking a big bite out of your bottom line.

To remedy this, fleet operators should implement a fuel program. By using fuel cards, you’ll see where and how often each driver stops for fuel, monitor fuel spending, and ensure they’re saving on fuel costs.

Paired with telematics, you’ll get a comprehensive picture of your fleet’s fuel expenditures, including points at which your drivers are wasting fuel.

Take control of fleet management with Fuelman

If you’re ready to improve fleet productivity at your operation, take the first step with Fuelman. With various fuel cards for your fleet, our team of specialists can help you find the right fit for your fleet. Apply now to see how you can increase your fleet’s productivity, while saving on more than just fuel costs.






Have  one of our Fuelman specialists help you find the right fleet card.

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