4 ways to reduce operational costs in your fleet

Finalizing your 2020 budget or researching ways to reduce costs in your fleet next year? What if you could cut costs while improving your fleet’s fuel efficiency and reducing risk?

Sounds good to us! From adapting innovative technology like Active Vehicle Management solutions to staff retention, there are some easy wins you can start implementing now that will drive long-term results for your fleet’s operations and budget.

Read up on four ways to reduce operational costs in your fleet and go into 2020 ready for success.

1. Preventative maintenance

Preventative maintenance is a must for your fleet to be successful and productive year-round. Proper maintenance extends the life of your vehicles, reduces maintenance costs, reduces risks, and improves your vehicles’ fuel efficiency.

Your preventative maintenance program should have a set of policies, a checklist of standard services, as well as comprehensive vehicle records.

We’ve seen a rise in fleet managers offering training to drivers so they act as the front line of defense against costly repairs. If drivers can recognize potential problems with their vehicles, you can get them fixed immediately and affordably.

2. Telematics

Telematics can help you identify problems and trends in your fleet by tracking drivers and routes and tracking fuel usage. Learn the ins and outs of your telematics solution to create valuable and customized reports for your operations, set the right alerts, and track the right metrics on your driver scorecards.

3. AVM

At Derive, we focus on Active Vehicle Management or AVM, and that essentially means we tailor vehicles to work the way the fleet needs it to – and save them money in the long run.

One of our biggest opportunities with AVM in terms of reducing fuel costs is to lower the idle RPM so the vehicle uses less fuel on its own and then fleet managers can set alerts for excessive idling on a case-by-case basis.

Another AVM option is speed limiters, making it physically impossible for the driver to go above a set speed limit. We’ve worked with fleet managers who also make sure speeding is a metric on their driver scorecard and put drivers through additional training for every five or 10 speeding events.

Speeding definitely doesn’t put you in the fast lane to fuel savings but limiting speeds can. For a 100-vehicle fleet whose vehicles travel 15,000 miles per year, an additional 10 miles per hour can add an additional $50,000 to your fuel budget and it only gets more expensive the faster your drivers go.

On average, fleet managers investing in AVM have their investment paid off in just six months!

4. Staff recruitment and retention

We all know it’s more cost-effective to keep drivers than hire and train new drivers. In fact, Freight Waves magazine found that it costs on average $11,500 per driver for turnover, and with Truckinginfo.com reporting that both large and small fleets have a turnover rate around the 78% mark, it’s a real problem fleets have to deal with.

Part of your recruitment and retention strategies should include driver incentives and rewards, referral or tenure bonuses, and you should brag about your fleet’s culture and benefits to attract and keep your talent.

LinkedIn and Altimeter Group reports that companies active on social are 58% more likely to attract top talent and 20% of those employees are more likely to stay. Make sure your social media presence is engaging and responsive and highlights all the great reasons prospective drivers should want to join your team.

Continued education continues to grow as an important part of anyone’s career path. Include opportunities for advanced training or certifications in your fleet to retain top talent and bring qualified drivers into your operations.

Want to learn other key areas of fleet optimization? Download our free guide: Improve fleet operations for 2020.