Is A Fleet Manager Career Right For You?

By Marc Ready / October 17, 2017

There are many opportunities for a young man or woman who is considering a career in the transportation industry.

One of the better choices would be to plan your career around becoming a fleet manager. This person can provide a key pivotal role for any transportation or logistics company. They will have a lot of responsibility but they are well compensated for their expertise and hard work. They will be responsible for all of the company’s vehicles. They will make sure that the vehicles can provide proper deliveries and distributions on a timely basis and within the company’s established budget.

A fleet manager will have a variety of skills

A fleet manager will have a variety of skills in various areas such as logistics, operations, creating and maintaining software programs, overseeing and monitoring both the drivers and the fleet of vehicles. For a company to be successful they will require the expertise of a well trained manager of their fleet. For this reason, the services of such a person are in constant demand and attaining this position is an excellent career choice.

This article will deal with some of the responsibilities that this type of job has. The article will also discuss some of the opportunities and wages that a career in this field offers. Anyone who has an interest in the transportation industry should consider this position as a long-term goal. There is an abundance of excellent online information to help you decide whether you have the aptitude for this type of work or not.

One of the most important aspects of the managers’ job is to select specific vehicles

A manager of the company’s fleet will not only make important decisions about which type of vehicles to purchase but he/she will also make the decision on how many to purchase. A company may decide to purchase the vehicles outright or they may decide to lease the vehicles. The manager will advise the owners of the company which is the better option based on a variety of criteria. When the vehicle is no longer required by the company he will then try to recover as much money as he can if the vehicle is being sold.

Obviously, a large company would require many different types of vehicles. For example, a food manufacturing company would require semi-trucks for long-haul distribution, smaller cargo vans for local distribution, and company cars for managers, owners, and salesman. Often a wise manager, who is employed by a larger company, would deal directly with a car manufacturer for the purchase or lease of the entire fleet. A manager that is employed by a smaller company may deal primarily with a local car or truck dealership.

Other important aspects of the job are to keep impeccable records

A manager would be required to license and register all of the vehicles plus keep any government inspections current and up to date. There are many state and federal regulations that companies must adhere to when it comes to vehicle maintenance and condition. This will be especially true if the vehicles are used to transport people from one location to another.

For example, a company that provides transportation for school children would be required to have vehicles that were mechanically immaculate for the safety of the children that were being transported from their home to the school and then back. A manager would be required to make sure that these vehicles are kept in tip top shape and he would need to have accurate records of vehicle maintenance and repairs.

Therefore, another part of the job description would be overseeing the maintenance and repair of all vehicles. A profitable company relies on the dependability of their vehicles and therefore the maintenance of such vehicles would be of top priority. We all know that vehicles have the habit of breaking down at the worst possible time. If a distribution company depended on a strict delivery schedule then the manager would make sure that each vehicle was properly and regularly maintained. In addition, he would make sure that there were backup vehicles ready to work in case of mechanical problems occurring with the vehicles in the regular fleet.

Scheduling Mechanics

The manager would be responsible for the scheduling of all mechanics that were employed by the company. Larger companies often have their own mechanical repair and maintenance centers where their vehicles are maintained on a regular basis. The manager would oversee the operation of this center and would work hand in hand with the lead mechanic in hiring and scheduling qualified mechanics. A smaller company, on the other hand, may have to outsource the repairs and maintenance of their vehicles. This would not be as convenient as having their own repair center and therefore the fleet manager would have to be more diligent in making sure that all vehicles were in good working order to meet customer needs and demands.

Another responsibility would be to manage the drivers of the transportation vehicles. This would entail that the manager would have excellent communication skills. A profitable transportation company depends on reliable drivers. A poor driver could be a big problem for a company if they had a habit of erratic driving, receiving tickets for speeding or other traffic offenses, or incurring fines or lawsuits. Today, we see that many managers are using GPS trackers to help weed out poor drivers. They use GPS trackers for all of their vehicles so that they can monitor where the vehicle is and what type of driving habits the driver has.

Lowering Costs and Maximizing Profits

Company management expects their fleet managers to maximize profits while at the same time keeping costs down. The majority of the managers do this by utilizing various accounting software to collect and record important data about the fleet. They use this data to search for patterns that show them where they can reduce administrative costs or cut expenses. They often are considered a key person in the transportation company because of their ability to save the company huge amounts of money. Most profitable transportation companies understand the value that an experienced fleet manager provides.

If this type of work appeals to you then you should consider becoming a fleet manager. To obtain this prestigious position you will need several years of experience in the transportation industry and an associate’s degree. It is imperative that you become proficient and familiar with the transportation industries practices, concepts, and procedures. Having a bachelors degree in either accounting or logistics will be especially beneficial for anyone who inspires to become this type of manager.

If You Are Looking for Job Security

The job is also an excellent career choice because of the salary and job security. Currently, the average fleet manager makes a salary of $80,000 per year. Also, the need for experienced and qualified managers has continued to rise year after year. The transportation industry expects the need to continue to grow and therefore the job outlook is quite good. It is a fact that many transportation companies have a desperate need for qualified and efficient managers. This has resulted in a vigorous competition for the narrow talent pool of experienced fleet managers. In fact, an experienced manager can usually command an above average wage.

Therefore, if you are willing to educate yourself and spend the necessary time required in the transportation industry then a career as a fleet manager may be just the thing for you. It is both an exciting and rewarding career. Finally, if you are fortunate enough to work for a larger company then you may also receive additional benefits such as stock options and company perks.

About the author

Marc Ready