The Simple Guide to Fleet Savings
The many expenses involved in operating a successful fleet can become overwhelming at times, even to the most experienced fleet owners and entrepreneurs. The modern fleet deals with countless demands on its budget, with everything from insurance to fuel increasing in cost each year. Fortunately, a few simple operational changes can go a long way toward keeping your fleet budget safe.
Everything from flat tires to traffic delays and road blockages can sabotage the productivity of your fleet. While you may not be able to control what happens on the open road, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your fleet stays as productive as possible every day. With the help of an intelligent GPS vehicle and asset monitoring system, you can keep track of all your business’ many moving parts.
Heading to a work site for the next phase of a project or to respond to a customer call? Take a careful inventory of the equipment you will need, to make sure you bring all the essentials. Doubling back for forgotten supplies can be a serious time management issue, one which can cost your business in both productivity and profit. Using a GPS-enabled heavy equipment monitoring system that lets you know when your equipment enters and exits specified locations can help you ensure that nothing important gets left behind.
Don’t Forget to Lock Up
If you have to leave your equipment off-site overnight, make sure it’s safe by fitting it with a GPS-enabled asset monitoring device. These devices can be programmed to send you alerts when your equipment leaves or enters a predetermined location of your choice. Designate your site radius as an approved location, so if a thief or vandal tries to run off with your expensive equipment, you’ll know immediately and be able to give the authorities said equipment’s exact GPS location.
Getting to the Route of the Problem
Even if they’re navigating a familiar area, knowing the road conditions they’ll be facing can give your drivers the information they need to make informed decisions while on the road. Outfit your vehicles with GPS routing devices, so your drivers can have directional assistance wherever they are. Using a fleet management system in conjunction with these on-board devices can enable you to set up alerts that notify your drivers when they should avoid certain areas due to inclement weather, road construction, or a traffic accident. When even the smallest of delays can mean lost productivity, it’s important to have your routes planned out and be ready to adapt at any time.
Cutting Fuel Costs
The average fleet vehicle accumulates several hours of idle time every week. While that might not sound like much, it could mean your fleet is spending thousands every year just to have your vehicles do nothing. Careless driving behaviors, like sudden acceleration and speeding, can also compromise your fleet’s fuel budget. Fortunately, it’s easy to trim down your fuel costs by implementing a few simple fleet-wide practices.
Get Pumped Up
Simply ensuring that all tires on your fleet vehicles are properly inflated to the recommended level can help you save hundreds on your fuel costs. Adequately-inflated tires allow the vehicles they support to operate more efficiently, helping you save on fuel.
Practice Mindful Driving
Poor driving practices, like weaving in and out of traffic, accelerating quickly to beat lights, and exceeding the speed limit aren’t just unsafe…they can also hurt your fleet’s efforts to save fuel. Make sure your field service management strategy emphasizes the importance of safe and responsible driving.
Cut Idle Time
Remind your drivers to be conscious of the amount of time they spend loading and unloading their vehicles and ask that they turn the engine off when not in use. You can use the fleet monitoring software to track idle time, giving you a valuable look at how much fuel your fleet is wasting by idling. Tracking fuel usage with GPS Trackit’s fleet monitoring tools has proven to cut idle time by nearly 40%.
Dealing With Time Thieves
When your workforce is mobile, it can be difficult to hold each employee accountable for how they spend their time while on the clock. A solid workforce management system can help fleet owners keep track of their workers in the field without making the latter feel micromanaged. These systems use GPS tracking data to verify time-sheets and account for the time workers spend a while on the job.
Set Clear Expectations
Employees should know, from their first day at work onward, that spending time engaged in unrelated activities while they’re on the clock is completely off-limits. This should be reiterated regularly in memos and company-wide communications. There should be a policy in place that describes the consequences of wasting or misusing company time. This policy must be enforced consistently, with every employee at every level being held accountable to the standards outlined therein. Fair and consistent enforcement of this policy will not only save money in wasted time but will keep morale healthy. Employees are further likely to suffer from low morale when you unevenly enforce rules than they are when you apply them calmly and consistently.
Don’t Let the IRS Get the Last Laugh
News Alert: Section 179 Deduction Limit Increased to One Million for 2018! With H.R.1, aka, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is passed and signed into law, the deduction limit for Section 179 increased to $1,000,000 for 2018 and beyond. Fleet businesses, in particular, can benefit from both Section 179 deductions and fuel tax savings. Dare to Deduct Almost every business equipment purchase your company makes qualifies for a Section 179 deduction. These purchases may include vehicles, computers, and—you guessed it—GPS tracking devices. See the fully updated 2018 Section 179 Calculator to know how much your company could save.
Section 179 Qualifying Purchases*
• Vehicles owned by the business
• Machines and other equipment purchased for use in business
• Computers and “Off-the-Shelf” Software
• Office Equipment and Furniture
• Personal property used for business
• Equipment purchased for both business and personal use (depending on the percentage of
time the equipment is used for business)
Stop Over Paying
The fuel cost savings fleets experience with GPS tracking are well documented. But, what about fuel tax savings? With the accuracy of GPS state mileage data, you will never pay more in fuel taxes than you really owe again.
GPS Trackit’s ProMiles® Integration allows companies to easily create IFTA-compliant reports while minimizing the potential for recording errors. Mile-to-kilometer and gallon-to-liter conversions are processed automatically, ensuring fuel reporting accuracy. IFTA reporting errors don’t just put your compliance status in jeopardy—they can mean big losses for your business in the form of fuel tax costs.
At GPS Trackit, we’ve designed our software solutions to keep fleet businesses productive and profitable. If you’re interested in learning more about how your fleet can cut costs and improve operations, get in touch! Our Fleet Advisors will help you find the perfect solution for your fleet’s unique needs. It’s just that simple.