Fleet management of any size can be a daunting task. The services necessary are multi-factorial and address numerous needs, such as vehicle financing, maintenance, telematics (tracking and diagnostics), driver management, speed, fuel, health, and safety of the fleet. This allows companies which rely on transportation in their business to minimize the safety and financial risks associated with their fleet vehicles, such as initial investment, improving efficiency and productivity, reducing overall transportation and staffing costs, ensuring compliance with government legislation, and many others. Whether you are setting up your fleet for the first time or just trying to improve operations, the following state-of-the-art technologies, software, and procedures will help you successfully manage your fleet:
1. Vehicle Tracking - Usually GPS-based, but sometimes can be based on a cellular triangulation platform. Once vehicle location, direction, and speed are determined from the GPS components, additional tracking capabilities transmit this information to a fleet management software application. Data transmission includes both terrestrial and satellite. Satellite transmission communications, while more expensive, are critical if vehicle tracking is to work in remote environments without interruption. Actual real-time locations of fleets on a map provide for rapid response time to events in the field.
2. Mechanical Diagnostics - An advanced fleet management system (FMS) can connect to the vehicle's onboard computer system, gather data such as mileage and fuel consumption, and report a global overview of vehicles to fleet managers.
3. Driver Behavior - Highly developed fleet management and vehicle telematics systems collect a full range of data in real-time for fleet managers. By combining data received from the vehicle tracking system and the on-board computer it is possible to form a profile for any given driver (average speed, frequency of detours, breaks, risky maneuvers, choice of gears, etc). This data can be used to highlight drivers with dangerous habits and to suggest remedial training applicable to the issues and to ensure that drivers are meeting key performance indicators.
4. Management Software - Fleet management software enables people to accomplish a series of specific tasks that encompass all fleet operations from vehicle acquisition to disposal. Fleet management software, depending on its capabilities, allows functions such as recording driver and vehicle details, tracking of procurement costs, scheduling of maintenance and servicing tasks, tracking fuel transactions, and measuring of fleet performance via reports and charts.
5. Fleet Security and Control - This is accomplished by the addition of Over-the-Air (OTA) security and control. OTA includes security of the vehicle while stopped and the ability to safely disable a vehicle while in operation. This allows the fleet manager to recover stolen or rogue vehicles while reducing the chance of lost or stolen cargo. Remote vehicle disabling systems provide users at remote locations the ability to prevent an engine from starting, prevent movement of a vehicle, and to stop or slow an operating vehicle. Remote disabling allows a dispatcher or other authorized personnel to gradually decelerate a vehicle by downshifting, limiting the throttle capability, or bleeding air from the braking system from a remote location. Some of these systems provide advance notification to the driver that vehicle disabling is about to occur. After stopping a vehicle, some systems will lock the vehicle's brakes or will not allow the vehicle's engine to be restarted within a certain time-frame. Remote disabling systems can also be integrated into a remote panic and emergency notification system. In an emergency, a driver can send an emergency alert by pressing a panic button on the dashboard, or by using a key-fob panic button if the driver is within close proximity of the truck. Then, the carrier or other approved organization can be remotely alerted to allow a dispatcher or other authorized personnel to evaluate the situation, communicate with the driver, and/or potentially disable the vehicle.
6. Fleet Replacement and Lifecycle Management - This involves the timely replacement of vehicles and equipment in a process that requires the ability to predict asset lifecycles based on cost information, utilization, and asset age. To assist in fleet repairs, dedicated inventories can be stocked with common repair parts for your specific fleet. Having the right repair parts immediately available is essential to a fast turnaround and provides support to your fleet manager. This allows your manager to quickly pull the most commonly used parts and deliver them to your fleet almost immediately.
Automotive Rebuilt Exchange (ARE) has been in business supplying parts in the Las Vegas area for over 33 years and can help you streamline your business by stocking dedicated inventory for your fleet. At ARE we are constantly reevaluating our costs to bring you the highest quality automotive parts at the most competitive prices. As a partner, we are dedicated to giving you an edge over your competitors and to helping you keep your customers satisfied through high quality parts and unprecedented turnaround.