5 Crucial Reasons Why Every Fleet Needs Fleet Management Software
Fleet management is a detail-packed job for managers and drivers alike. It’s crucial to log data such as hours, fuel used and job progress throughout the day, every day. However, keeping track of all these details can suck up valuable time and money.
This is why fleet management software is so useful. With the right system, managers can know where their fleet is at all times. They can easily learn more about each vehicle’s location and fuel use at a moment’s notice, even tracking driving habits like speeding and harsh braking as well. Drivers can also rest easy knowing that their data is automatically logged.
Don’t just take our word for it — a great fleet management software package can offer a return on investment that essentially pays for itself. Here’s a closer look at the top five benefits of fleet management software to prove it:
#1 – Better Fuel Economy
Fuel costs are among the single biggest expenses a fleet pays – as much as 40% of a trucking fleet’s budget, according to the Environmental Defense Fund – which means reducing them can result in huge savings. While the actual per-gallon cost of fuel is out of your hands, you can reduce the number of gallons used per trip in a variety of ways when using fleet management software to the fullest extent.
How? First, fleet management software that handles routing and dispatch can help find the shortest path in real-time, accounting for weather and traffic that might otherwise burn extra fuel. Second, most fleet management systems can log idling time, too, allowing managers to curb excessive idling. Rest-stop idling alone accounts for up to 1 billion gallons annually, the Argonne National Laboratory found in 2015.
Finally, thanks to wind resistance, speeding has been proven to burn more fuel. Fleet management software that tracks instances of speeding, and driver scorecards that can help aid in, can help save even more fuel and funds. Overall, savings from optimal fuel use alone can be as much as 30% per vehicle, annually.
#2 – Better Driver Safety
Tracking and addressing driving habits like speeding and harsh braking won’t just save fuel – it will also promote safety, creating a healthier environment for a trucking fleet and lowering the chance of a catastrophic collision.
Driving habits that a fleet manager can keep tabs on, also include seatbelt usage, rate of acceleration, and how sharply the vehicle turns a corner. The data adds up over time, so managers can easily compile a weekly or monthly report of driving trends, to better understand their fleet’s strengths and weaknesses.
Habit-tracking isn’t the only way fleet management software can promote safety. Most systems can also issue automated notifications by SMS or email, which will let managers know when each vehicle needs preventative maintenance. Some can even notify managers of recent safety recalls automatically, ensuring the fleet cuts down on the chances of equipment failure.
#3 – Insurance Savings
Naturally, having all this fleet data can help smooth over insurance claims. The average cost of a large truck collision in the US is around $91,000 per crash, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has found. If it results in an injury, that average rises to nearly $200,000.
With data on vehicle speeds and driving habits at the time of the collision, a fleet can prove its driver was following protocol. Some providers offer integrations with dash cams, too, allowing the collision itself to be recorded and prove when your driver is not at fault.
The data is useful when buying insurance, too, and not just when dealing with a claim itself. If a fleet has built a year-long safety profile of each driver, using historical data collected by fleet management software, it can use this report to convince an insurance company to offer lower premiums than it might otherwise impose.
#4 – Theft Deterrence
Motor vehicle theft cost a grand total of around $6 billion in 2017. It’s a serious concern for commercial fleets, as even a temporary loss of a vehicle can lead to a meaningful loss of income.
Fleet management software allows a company to establish geofences, which alert the manager if any vehicle moves beyond a set geographic region. It’s an easy way to learn immediately when a vehicle is in an unauthorized area and can help identify theft right away. And, with GPS-enabled location tracking, the vehicle can be quickly recovered for minimal inefficiencies.
Fuel theft can be uncovered too, since the system can track the amount of fuel purchased, matching it against the fuel used. Most likely, the benefits of a fleet management system to stop theft won’t just be prevention, but also deterrence, since anyone who knows about the system’s capabilities will know not to bother stealing any vehicles or fuel.
After-hours use of vehicles can be monitored through fleet management software as well, letting operations know when a driver might be driving without authorization. While not material theft, this type of misuse still qualifies as theft of resources. It certainly shouldn’t be overlooked, but remains tough to trace without a system that can report on a vehicle’s engine status in real-time.
#5 – Easy ELD Compliance
Since December 2017, all US commercial vehicle fleets are required by law to track their drivers’ hours of service with an ELD device. While businesses might have used paper logs or AOBRDs in the past, they’ll now need to upgrade to an ELD-compliant software service. Luckily, any major fleet management provider will offer ELD compliance as well.
ELDs are now required for a reason – they’re superior to previous solutions and simple to use. Everything that can be automated is automated, so human errors are reduced. The driver just needs to sign in and out when starting and ending work hours, and the hardware unit in each vehicle will track everything else, including dates, times, miles traveled, and locations.
All this data is automatically compiled into a report for each driver, and it’s easily accessible should the driver be pulled over for a roadside inspection. The impact is that drivers can pass inspections with little effort and stay on the road, saving a fleet from any lost business due to a vehicle that’s out of commission for HOS violations.
With all the financial benefits of fleet management software listed here, plus the safety measures and reputation for quality you’ll gain, the result is clear: upgrading your fleet today will pay for itself many times over. Find out how much you could be saving today with our ROI Calculator!