There are almost countless variables that fleet managers have to account for on a daily basis. Everything from inclement weather to a job site issue can endanger your equipment, vehicles, and other company assets. Fortunately, there are a few solutions you can implement to minimize the impact of these variables on your fleet. No matter what industry you’re in, you can use these five fleet protection strategies and solutions to keep your assets secure.
1. Vehicle Maintenance and Diagnostics
Anyone who has ever owned a car knows the importance of regular vehicle maintenance. This goes double for fleet managers, who understand that proper maintenance can prevent costly repairs and potential asset loss.
You can extend the life of your vehicles by keeping up on maintenance and monitoring your fleet’s health. Use a vehicle diagnostics system that delivers real-time fleet health information and uses engine diagnostic data to trigger alerts. Some vehicle diagnostics systems offer maintenance scheduling, which can help you stay current with regular and recurring maintenance needs. These features can be invaluable when it comes to maintaining the health of your fleet.
2. RFID Tags and Tracking
Even the most responsible drivers make mistakes every now and then. Unfortunately, these mistakes can carry a sizable price tag, especially if they involve the loss of expensive equipment.
Using RFID tags is one of the best ways to prevent these mistakes by both increasing the visibility of both your crew members and assets. These pocket-sized tags simplify the dispatching process by making it easy to assign drivers to specific vehicles. They also allow dispatchers to see the who, what, and where–driver, vehicle, and worksite–at all times, increasing crew visibility. RFID tags also offer increased asset control by delivering alerts connected to equipment location and use, letting managers know if items have been forgotten, lost, or used after hours. The extra layer of asset protection offered by these tags goes a long way towards minimizing the costs associated with fraud and misplaced equipment.
3. Fuel Card Integration
When gas prices go up, instances of fuel theft go on the rise. The potential costs of fuel theft are too high to leave your fleet’s fuel purchasing methods unprotected. More and more fleets are finding that fuel cards offer a convenient solution for their fuel purchasing and loss prevention needs. The benefits of fuel card integration include the ability to set up individual fuel cards with purchasing controls and review purchase reports associated with each card. The added control gained from using fuel cards can go a long way towards preventing and identifying fuel theft.
4. Driver Behavior Monitoring
One of the most serious threats to any fleet is unsafe driving. An impaired, reckless, distracted, or drowsy driver is a danger to themselves, others on the road, and your company’s assets.
The best way to keep unsafe drivers away from your vehicles is to not employ them in the first place, but this isn’t always possible. A clean background check and good first impression don’t necessarily mean a potential hire is safe behind the wheel. That’s why driver behavior monitoring is so crucial to fleet protection, as it allows you to see what your drivers are doing while operating your company’s vehicles. If any of your drivers exhibit unsafe behavior, whether it’s braking too hard or exceeding the speed limit, you’ll know.
5. Starter Disable
Any item of value has the potential to attract thieves, especially when that item has the ability to take the thief far from the scene of the crime. The loss or damage of a vehicle due to theft is something no company wants to deal with. Fortunately, you can protect your vehicles from unauthorized use with a simple starter disable system.
Using a starter disable is easy–all the dispatcher or fleet manager has to do is send a signal to the vehicle, prompting the tracking device to disable the vehicle’s starter. If one of your vehicles is stolen, this is arguably the easiest way to stop the crime in progress. As far as any potential thief is concerned, once your starter is disabled, your vehicle essentially becomes a giant paperweight. Unless the would-be thief happens to be an accomplished car carrier, your problem is very nearly solved.
As a fleet manager, many of the dangers your fleet faces are outside your control. Keeping your assets safe from these with protective strategies and solutions will pay off in the long run.