Fleet Manager 101: How to Excel at Managing a Fleet

fleet of trucks

The domestic worth of the trucking industry is steadily rising. As a matter of fact, as of 2017, it was worth over $700 billion dollars.

If that number shocks you, it shouldn’t. Whether its freight that needs to be transported or cars that need to be towed, trucks are used for just about everything these days.

That truth is why purchasing and managing a fleet can be such a lucrative venture for the savvy business person.

If you’re curious to know what it takes to be a fleet manager, this article is for you. In it, we explore tips to keep in mind in order to streamline your operations and maximize your profits.

1. Make Safety a Priority

Safety should be every business owner’s top priority. This should be true from both a moral and monetary standpoint.

If one of the drivers in your fleet is operating haphazardly with a big-rig truck, they have the potential to kill drivers that they share the road with instantaneously. You can avoid (and unfortunately plan for) this possibility in a variety of ways.

First off, educate your drivers on what safety means to your company. If they know that you don’t mess around when it comes to safe divining, they’ll be more cautious.

Second, arm yourself with a solid insurance policy. This great tool and others online can help you find quotes depending on the kind of fleet you manage.

Finally, have your driver’s reference number and a company hotline on the back of your truck so that other people can report unsafe behavior.

2. Keep Your Fleet Young

Being a fleet manager often means making costly investments in a number of trucks.

We understand that footing that initial investment can be painful. What a lot of fleet managers do to try and soften the blow is they put their money into cut-rate fleets in order to save a few dollars.

While that strategy could save you some money in the short term, it’s likely to cost you more in the long run.

An old fleet is one that’s prone to being resource intensive, one that’s prone to needing repairs, and one that’s prone to missing pick-up dates for clients. A new fleet circumvents all of those issues.

3. Never Let a Questionable Driver Operate Your Truck

Your employees are an extension of your brand. If they act irresponsibly, your brand will be labeled as irresponsible which could cause irreparable damage to your business.

The best way that you can ensure that the people you hire will reflect positively on your organization is to background check them.

Every single one of your drivers should have a relatively (if not perfectly) clean record and should have no bad marks on their record in relation to their driving habits.

While it can be tempting to show leniency on these fronts, don’t. Doing so could cost you immensely.

4. Initiate Pre/Post Check Routines

A good fleet manager knows the value of automation. When it comes to trucks, one of the most simple ways to automate your fleet’s health is to install processes where your employees can conduct self-inspections.

For example, you could have an application where drivers enter numbers such as fuel levels, mileage, tire pressure, and other important figures when they start their workday and when they finish.

These numbers could help you track whether or not employees are adequately fueling or effectively managing their routes. It can also turn you onto any potential problems your trucks may be having.

5. Keep Document Sharing Simple

Invoices. Bill of lading sheets. Receipts.

Fleet managers need to get their hands on a variety of documents, many of which require input from drivers who are actually out on the road completing tasks.

Don’t make the exchanging of documents and information any more difficult than it needs to be. Enable your drivers to digitally scan any documents over to you or have your clients fax you documents after your drivers complete tasks.

Anything that you can do to avoid drivers needing to physically drop off paperwork will save you and them lots of time and lots of stress.

6. Share Your Corporate Culture

Any brand that doesn’t have a corporate culture is liable to go under sooner than later. So, be sure to not neglect developing and sharing what your culture is.

What’s important to your business? What sets you apart?

Those questions can turn you onto what should be at the top of your list when it comes to telling your drivers what you’re all about.

A clear corporate culture makes drivers feel like they’re part of something bigger. It can reduce employee turnover and increase your team’s performance.

7. Make Sure Your Drivers Always Know What To Do

A good fleet manager makes sure that his or her team is never left wondering what steps to take when adversity strikes.

When one of your drivers is in an accident, who should they call? If your driver’s trailer gets stolen, who should they seek help from?

All of your protocols should be well documented and a hard copy of actions and reactions should be sitting in each of your fleet’s trucks at all times.

Wrapping Up Our Successful Fleet Manager Tips

If you want to be a fleet manager, go for it! There is a ton of opportunity out there that we think can help you build a wonderful career and a wonderful life for yourself.

Just be sure to keep our tips in mind as soon as you begin working on your ambitions. Doing so will save you a lot of headaches and a lot of money.

If you still have more questions that need to be answered, feel free to check out more of our content now!