The fleet manager is responsible for ensuring cost-effective strategies for fleet management. Some of these tactics can result in huge gains. Here we look at ten ways you can easily reduce your fleet expenditure.
Reduce Your Fleet
The biggest savings can be achieved by cutting down on the size of the fleet. Reducing the fleet by one hundred vehicles will immediately cut fixed costs by a significant amount. Operating costs such as maintenance for the remainder of the fleet will increase somewhat but the net outcome is very positive.
Reduce Distances Travelled
Start by eliminating all non-work-related trips. Enforce a strict policy regarding the personal use of vehicles. Do not let employees take the vehicles home with them. Use available monitoring tools to ensure that staff and fleet are where they are meant to be.
Reduce the Size and Weight of Vehicles
The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards aim for more mileage from a vehicle to lower the emission of toxic gases that are partly responsible for the greenhouse effect. The fleet manager should view the fleet in the field to determine whether vehicles can be replaced with lighter, more efficient options without compromising the work through breakdowns from heavier loads and less efficient motors.
Driver behaviour can increase fuel inefficiency by 33%. Negative habits in this regard are driving at variable speeds, idling, hard braking, hard acceleration, cornering techniques, and constant use of aircon. Vehicle monitoring systems can identify these issues.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Your commercial auto insurance will protect you from out-of-pocket expenses related to an accident with a fleet vehicle. These expenses may include legal fees, damage to property and/or vehicles, and medical and emergency treatment. You can also include cover for rented vehicles and staff members’ cars when they are used for work purposes.
As a vehicle ages, its maintenance costs increase more steeply. It makes sense to trade vehicles in before they reach this stage. Older vehicles tend to be heavier on fuel consumption.
When aiming for the lowest vehicle acquisition cost, depreciation must be taken into account. The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is higher when depreciation is higher. There are numerous aspects to consider in these calculations, including tangible and intangible costs.
Keep Maintenance Costs Down
While vehicles must be serviced at regular intervals or according to mileage, fleet managers should avoid unnecessary maintenance costs and take vehicles in at the optimal time, which may be less frequent than the recommended period. Newer tires since 2013 have a wider diameter and result in better performance. Sticking to white vehicles will reduce the costs of repainting after an accident as glossy paint is more expensive.
Drivers must be trained extensively on how to operate their vehicles safely and in a cost-effective manner. This will prevent potential accidents and expensive maintenance. Insurance costs will be kept low.
Leasing Versus Purchasing
If your current fleet was purchased, you may find that this is no longer the best strategy. Consider selling a portion of your fleet to a leasing company. This will provide you with some immediate funding. You can then lease back some of this fleet from the same hiring contractor, which will result in savings on your maintenance costs.
These simple changes can make a significant difference to your fleet expenses.