Ask anyone who’s done the job before: fleet management isn’t easy. In addition to choosing cars for purchase, scheduling repairs, and training drivers, fleet managers have to keep a budget and make sure their operation stays DOT and FMCSA compliant. That’s a lot to juggle, especially if you’re handling a fleet of 50 cars or more. Fleet managers are known to juggle many plates in the air, all while keeping an eye on the big picture, bringing in company savings and creating better, safer drivers. It’s a difficult balance to strike, that’s why any helpful fleet management software or gas saving tools such as WatchCard fuel cards are worth their weight in gold to fleet managers looking to truly make a difference. If you’re looking for a job that keeps you on your toes and places you at the center of a company’s operations, here are a few things to know about the fleet management title.
Fleet Managers Make Savings
Larger companies don’t always rely on management to keep the budget in check. When you’re working as a fleet manager, however, a big part of your job is finding new ways to create savings for your company. You’re given a budget to work with, and with that budget, you have to fuel an entire fleet for a year, train, hire, and pay drivers, and purchase and repair vehicles. In the midst of all this, you have to be responsible for making day-to-day operations go smoothly, checking in with drivers on jobs and making sure everything runs on time. At the center of all of this is figuring out new, creative ways to cut costs without opting for cheaper vehicles or laying off workers entirely. Sometimes this means planning in the long term by purchasing more expensive green and hybrid cars upfront with the promise of savings down the line. Other times, you have to work to prevent unnecessary gas spending or “slippage” through giving your drivers pre-loaded fuel cards and setting alarms to cut down on idling and choose faster, more efficient routes on the road. As a fleet manager, efficiency is at the core of everything you do. Finding ways to make your fleet run faster, better, and more responsibly is part of your big picture effort to make the company more streamlined and successful.
They Train Drivers
Many workers can drive, but most of us weren’t trained to drive transport vehicles for long periods of time in compliance with government regulations. A fleet manager has to find a way to make sure every driver knows exactly what the standard is when it comes to on-road behavior. This generally means setting up training sessions and installing fleet management software that communicates with drivers to let them know when they’re driving recklessly or carelessly. Driving for a fleet doesn’t just mean delivering goods on time. It means driving in an efficient, safe manner that doesn’t end up draining a ton of fuel or putting the vehicle or goods in danger. A fleet manager is responsible for holding each driver up to a consistent standard of excellence on the road.
They Schedule Repairs and Updates
If you’re responsible for what happens to your cars, drivers, and shipments on the road, you have to make sure you’re always aware of what’s going on with any given vehicle in your fleet. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with 50 cars or 500 cars. As a fleet manager, you have to use the best software to let you know when a car is due for a repair, a checkup, or a replacement. Part of being effective at the job is preventing problems rather than dealing with expensive accidents and insurance payouts. That means keeping close track of how every car is performing and stopping problems before they start.
They Keep Deliveries on Track
A fleet manager’s job deals with a ton of communication. In addition to communicating with drivers, upper management, and repair workers, they have to be in constant contact with clients about their shipment progress. A fleet manager is responsible for getting drivers to their destinations on time, with all their deliveries in tow. That means keeping tabs on where drivers are, making sure they’re using the most efficient routes, and being a liaison between the driver and the client to make sure no one is in the dark about delivery times, traffic patterns, or any unexpected cause for delay. Fleet managers create the means for a flawless, perfectly-timed delivery with each job, leaving clients happy and the company’s good reputation intact.