Trucking is already a time-consuming job that comes with both stress and advantages. Now imagine being a fleet manager with multiple drivers to keep up with. That job comes with a lot more stress and tasks to handle, but it also has bigger rewards. As a fleet manager don’t get overwhelmed because you don’t want your fleet to go under. Instead, relax and check out common mistakes for fleet managers to avoid and drive your operation to new levels of success.
Common Fleet Manager Mistakes To Avoid
1. Don’t avoid truck or driver maintenance. Your vehicles need to be regularly maintained so that they will last longer and you can avoid the costs of major repairs or having to purchase a new vehicle. So, keep up with when the oil needs to be changed when the brakes need to be adjusted when filters need to be changed, and more.
Regular maintenance has to potential to save your drivers time and help get drop-offs delivered on time because regularly maintained trucks are less likely to break down. You can use a program like TruckLogics to notify you when your trucks need regular maintenance.
Your drivers can break down just like your trucks. Check-in on them to make sure they are doing alright. Also, be sure to keep up with their certifications and licenses, so you don’t miss an annual renewal date. Also, never forget about tax deadlines like IFTA and HVUT 2290.
2. Speaking of drivers, you can’t let things slide. While drivers are outstanding people with honesty, integrity, and a sense of pride for what they do, we can’t speak for everyone. Sometimes when employees get away with something they’ll try to take advantage of their manager to see what else they can get away with.
That’s why when a driver gets a speeding ticket, drives over 11 hours, doesn’t take breaks, skips a pre-check inspection, texts while driving, or more, you need to step in and take necessary action.
3. Don’t ignore the budget. Look to see where you can save costs. Plan trips in advance to make sure the right vehicles are going on the right trips. For example, use your truck with the best MPG for the longer routes and use ProMiles with TruckLogics to optimize the route for fuel-efficiency.
Look at all your options before making a purchase. For example, see if a used truck or leasing a truck would be a cheaper option. Buy your office supplies in bulk or use a program like TruckLogics to run financial tracking reports like your Cost Per Mile, Profit For Mile, Profit and Loss, and more to see where money is coming in and going out.
4. You can’t get burnt out. Long hours are a part of the job sometimes, but you can’t stay late every day. Take some time to relax. Maybe take a day off to play golf, and definitely make time for a vacation at least once a year.
When things are hectic and you can’t get away try taking an hour or two to indulge in your favorite TV show, see a movie, take a long walk to destress, or even meditate. Even a small amount of your time will make a big difference.
5. You can’t let your drivers get burnt out either. Be sure to give rewards and recognition when they are due. Celebrate a driver’s good idea and share it with the team. Give out rewards and prizes for good behavior. For example, you could give out a monthly prize for the most fuel-efficient driver, or call a team meeting and mention what a great job your drivers have been doing on the road.
6. Last but not least, don’t get comfortable. There is always room for improvement. Instead of sitting back and letting things happen like they always do, study the system to see where things could be improved. Maybe you can change the way driver logs are handled, maybe you could suggest stopping a certain report that seems like a waste of time.
While change can be met with resistance, they can also improve the way the entire operation runs, so if new policies need to be adopted at least give them a chance. Businesses, especially in the trucking industry are living organisms that need to adapt to major changes in the industry to survive.
Make Your Fleet Great
You became a fleet manager for a reason, and that’s because you have the guts necessary to manage your fleet while also improving it. While it’s easy to make mistakes, it’s also easy to avoid them with a little planning, preparation, and attention to detail.
For more trucking tips visit TruckLogics.com and please share your tips about what mistakes to avoid as a fleet manager in the comment section below.