By Rebecca, Technician at Dronsfields
If your business relies to any degree on the transporting of products, equipment, materials, livestock or – indeed – passengers, it’s likely that you’ll understand the financial pressures of running a fleet of vehicles.
Whether you work for a taxi firm, a haulage business, a food delivery service or anything else of that kind, you probably feel like the expenditure on maintenance, insurance, fuel and other specialist requirements will never stop.
However, there are ways of making your life a great deal easier and cutting down on the costs inherent in keeping your vehicles on the road. Here are a few of my top tips for saving money when managing a fleet.
- Train Your Drivers in Efficiency
Giving your employees a few tips on fuel efficiency can make all the difference to your costs. Here are a few of the suggestions you can make:
- Only carry necessary items with you. An overfull boot or van will cause your engine to guzzle fuel at a very expensive rate!
- Keep the speed down where possible, as this burns more.
- Take your foot off the accelerator as often as you can – coasting saves fuel.
- Report any problems as and when they occur – a small clunk, squeak or rattle may not seem threatening, but it may lead to bigger, more costly problems later on!
2. Be Smart About Fuel
This is something that both your drivers and you as a business owner can take on board. Where you buy your fuel makes a difference – motorway service stations are always more expensive than garages on minor roads.
You can also pick up cards that offer certain discounts on fuel from garages connected to supermarkets or other businesses. Your drivers can use them instead of paying cash, and then you will be billed directly – making expenses a lot easier to work out!
3. Invest in a Telematics System
You can use a telematics monitoring system to keep an eye on the performance of your fleet and make changes where needed. This approach will help you to study the fuel consumption and mileage of each vehicle and to keep an eye on traffic conditions, so you can advise drivers of the best route to conserve fuel.
Many systems can also register when a vehicle is in need of maintenance – so that problems do not become exacerbated further down the line.
4. Opt for Fleet Insurance
There’s no need to insure each unit within your fleet individually: you can arrange for comprehensive fleet insurance covering any number or combination of vehicles. This often means slightly reduced premiums and only one set of paperwork to keep hold of!
5. Opt for a Fleet Maintenance Service
A surefire way of keeping your maintenance costs down is to arrange for your fleet’s servicing to be managed in one go. This means that you won’t have to pay for each individual vehicle to undergo checks and tweaks and so your schedules will be easy to manage and your costs will be kept way down.
You can save a considerable amount of money while running your fleet just by using these simple steps: training your drivers well, watching where and how you pay for your fuel, using telematics and insuring and maintaining your fleet as a whole instead of in parts.
There are many other benefits to these approaches too – including greater technical efficiency and considerable amounts of time saved on paperwork!