Personal Use Charges Rise to $132 in 2016

Personal use charges have increased in 2016 up $4.00 to $132.00. The numbers point to various changes throughout the fleet. A few of these changes are assignments of company owned vehicles, and use of these vehicles when not working, safety and concerns about liability have also contributed to this increase. The personal use of company vehicles seems that it will always be a challenge of the fleet company.

Key Takeaways:

  • Fleets’ average monthly personal-use charges increased in 2016 by $4 to $132. Over the past five years, personal-use charges have increased $16 per month from $112.
  • In 2015, 70% of respondents indicated job function as the top reason employees received a vehicle. Still the top reason in 2016, the job function category jumped a whopping 13 points to 83%.
  • Of the fleet managers responding to the 2016 personal use survey, 43% no longer allow anyone other than the employee to drive a company vehicle for personal reasons, up from 28% in 2015.

“Fleets’ average monthly personal-use charges increased in 2016 by $4 to $132. Over the past five years, personal-use charges have increased $16 per month from $112.”

http://www.automotive-fleet.com/channel/operations/article/story/2016/09/personal-use-charges-rise-to-132-in-2016.aspx

Greening Your Fleet

There are many ways to help reduce the output of harmful emissions in our environment. One that can get overlooked is fuel efficiency in commercial vehicles. With a few tips on how to make a smooth transition your company can be on the way to a cleaner and more cost efficient future.

Key Takeaways:

  • According to the ECA, transportation accounts for 26% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, meaning that over a quarter of the United States greenhouse gases come from private and commercial vehicles.
  • According to Amerit Fleet Solutions, “one of the biggest hurdles many businesses encounter when considering hybrid vehicles are the changes involved in caring for them.
  • Converting your vehicles to alternative fuels in many cases is the most cost effective option because you can keep your existing fleet

“Converting your vehicles to alternative fuels in many cases is the most cost effective option because you can keep your existing fleet.”

https://thedealerconnection.org/2016/06/30/greening-your-fleet/

Reasons To Use Preventive Maintenance Software

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The best form of maintenance is preventative maintenance.

Why wait until the system has crashed and burned to start repairing your asset? Is that the right approach to take? Let’s say you have a truck in place, and it is a core component of your business, would it be wise to let it grind into the dirt without taking a look?

Is the business going to be functional when the truck is uselessly sitting in the garage? You want to maintain it and make sure it remains on the road for as long as possible. This is where your asset become a moneymaker instead of something you are regularly wasting money on.

So, how does one go about preventative maintenance? It begins with high-grade preventive maintenance software and using it as directed. This read is going to provide an in-depth look at what this software can do and the value it brings.

What Is It?

For those who are new to this option and want to get a read, it is best to look at defining the technology. The idea begins “preventive maintenance software” is to set up a technological system that is going to keep track of all incoming data associated with your asset.

So, let’s say it is trucks.

The software will be able to generate information associated with the trucks (i.e. fuel consumption, scheduled maintenance checks) and keep things running like a well-oiled machine. This ends up helping out the business in keeping the trucks on the road earning money.

Let’s move onto the core benefits of this solution and why companies love using it all the time.

1) Prevents Extensive Repair Work

Do you like spending $50 or $5000? It is a simple answer, isn’t it? Well, why aren’t you working on setting up the right preventive maintenance software then? What is holding you back? It surely can’t be money since you will lose a lot more from extensive repairs when short-term damage is ignored.

Too many people ignore or never see the short-term damage. It is important to have software that can keep things in check for you.

This will save you from a lot of heavy expenses down the road. Pre-schedule maintenance checks are now the way to go and save a lot of money.

2) Keeps Asset Performing At Highest Levels

Is your asset working the way it should be? Do you lack in results? It happens when you are not maintaining it as required. There are too many people who don’t keep their asset performing as it should, and it hampers them in the long-term.

You don’t want the asset to get to a point where it is functioning, but not at the level you expect.

This eats away into your bottom line, and that is when you will feel a world of pain. Do not let it sink to this level.

3) Simple

The simplicity of a solution is often the biggest benefit you are going to see, and that does not change here. The software is made to be simple and can be used by those who are looking to maintain their asset and not get lost in the details.

It is complex internally, but will relay the information in a straightforward and easy way for anyone to understand and get a good read on.

Do not think you will be overwhelmed by what is being put in front of you.

4) Provides In-Depth Data

The data you are going to get will be as detailed as you want it to be. This means if you are going to want a comprehensive schedule with all of the data laid out, you will be able to access it using this software. It will provide you previous repair work, current data, and even what will be required in the future.

This information beneficial for anyone that is looking to keep the asset running as needed.

5) Increased Uptime

What is the one thing you care about? You will want the asset to remain active for as long as possible. It is just like getting a truck, but not being able to use it. What is the point of that asset? It is useless to you until it gets on the road.

The same applies to anything else.

Uptime is essential, and this software helps get things moving in the right direction for you.

6) Builds Reputation Of Brand And Company

The business is going to depend on its reputation. If you are using these assets to get things moving at a certain pace, you will want to maintain those standards or clients won’t be happy. This happens all the time and is the number one reason businesses dip in performance over time.

Your assets have to work in a manner where the reputation stays intact.

Once you do that, the business will flourish. Do not let these assets wane in quality unless you are willing to take a hit on your brand’s reputation as well.

7) Lowers Day-To-Day Expenses

Expenses are not always about what you might pay once in a while. Yes, these expenditures hurt a lot, but it is not those costs that are going to hurt the most.

It is those day-to-day expenses that will add up in a hurry and are going to come back to burn you. Too many people let expenses such as these wreck their bottom line. Just something as simple as fuel consumption and reducing costs here can save thousands of dollars.

8) Standardizes Business Processes

The software is going to make sure you are streamlining what is occuring. A business that is not able to streamline everything will be winging it half the time and that is not the way you want to run an enterprise. You want things to be standardized so it is almost automated.

You are just setting the ball rolling and then it is able to work out as needed.

You never want to be second-guessing everything along the way as that is when you make mistakes.

9) Safer For Operator In The Long-Term

The operator isn’t going to feel safe behind an asset that is inadequately repaired. This can happen when steps are being skipped, and software is not in place. When the system is in place, everyone knows how it functions and can feel comfortable about what they are getting.

This is important as there is nothing worse than having assets that are not safe.

It is not only a risk for the business but can become a legal issue as well when it comes to employees and their general safety. Do not let it descend to this as the expenses in that regard could fold the business and leave it bankrupt.

It doesn’t matter what you are hoping to maintain as long as you are setting up the software and letting it go to work for you. When the software is in place, you will know it is working overtime for you at all times. What more can a person want?

You require the asset to function at top speed and that will occur when this software is being used and can relay quality information to you and others. This will help the asset remain efficient for as long as you want without causing issues.

Be patient and remember investing into preventive maintenance software is the way to go. Most businesses are now using this method to remain efficient and on top of their game.

18 Effective Truck Fleet Management Tips

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Truck fleet management is increasingly becoming a large industry and management solutions are also increasing equally in number thanks to the technological advancements of today. In fact, it is provable that even the most minimal of changes can lead to significant bumps in profits. Here are the top truck fleet management tips.

1. Controlling Fleet Size

Fleets need to contain the least number of trucks necessary to do the job and no more. Fleet managers need to conduct periodic reviews of fleet usage to ensure that no trucks are unnecessary or underused. Controlling fleet size is critical to controlling the costs and ensuring maximum efficiency.

2. Using The Right Truck For The Job

You need to use the right truck to help you win in business. When securing trucks for your fleet, you need to look beyond acquisition cost. Fleet managers need to recognize how the trucks will operate within a specific business application if you would like to secure vehicles in the right way.

Determine whether a truck is the right fit for the required delivery routes, loads, terrain, driver needs among other elements. It is also critical to understand whether the equipment is up-to-date with the dynamic business environment.

3. Managing Life Cycles

Repairs might appear cheaper in the short-term than replacement. This is however risky since it masks the real cost of keeping trucks for too long. Fleet managers need to analyze costs to set the replacement cycles for minimizing the total cost of ownership. It is important to consider leasing as opposed to buying particularly if you are spending much time and money on repairs or if technology has advanced and more energy efficient options are available.

4. Determining Fleet Reliability Goals

Good fleet managers set goals for reducing unscheduled repairs while understanding that newer fleets require fewer unscheduled repairs. A reliable fleet has lower associated costs and enhanced fleet client satisfaction. Do some research and identify the leading practices to ensure that you are among the leading fleets in your industry.

5. Managing Vehicle Downtime

Vehicle downtime affects fleet users negatively. Managing in-house repairs, identifying responsible repair vendors, and managing accident work and recalls allows your truck users to stay focused and productive on their job. While it might be unfeasible to keep a spare of everything especially trucks, having a plan for expenses and a plan for reducing downtime is important for managing your asset downtime. Managing asset downtime is critical to the success of your mission and business.

6. Budgeting For Fleet Replacement

A budget for replacing the fleet should be set at a level that keeps trucks within their appropriate lifecycle. Fleet managers should advocate for the suitable level of funding by explaining the consequences of underfunding the fleet replacement. There is always value in preparing a budget and ensuring that it is utilized effectively including the recycling, upgrading, and replacing of assets such as trucks efficiently.

7. Preventing Unauthorized Use

Effective fleet managers use fuel management systems, exception reports, as well as telematics for identifying misuse and unauthorized vehicle use as well as usage of fuel cards. Nothing costs and hurts more than having totally avoidable expenses. You need to have tools in place for identifying potential abuse, misuse, theft, loss, or destruction of your company assets. It will save you from lots of unnecessary expenses.

8. Improving Fleet Safety

Older fleets of trucks usually have fewer safety features and are thus more prone to breaking down than newer fleets. Effective management of fleets facilitates the procurement of newer vehicles that have better safety features, which in turn reduces injuries, accidents, and liability.

9. Investing In Navigation Software For Your Drivers

Navigation software is quite effective in eliminating most of the stress associated with driving by offering drivers relevant information such as points of interest (direction for private roads, road updates, safe overnight parking, or rest stops) and truck-specific routes. This is in turn leads to improved efficiency and safety.

10. Investing In Fleet Management Software

Fleet management software is important since it helps in identifying potential areas where money can be saved and monitoring expenditure. It helps to digitally keep track of all the relevant data, which increases efficiency in the end. In addition, fleet management software offers a host of benefits not listed here such as client retention, increased profitability, maximizing driver satisfaction, and improved fleet fuel management.

11. Tracking Distance and Fuel

Tracking fuel output and distance can both be used for identifying inefficient driving resulting in lower overall costs if rectified. In similar fashion, you should always strive to ensure that the right vehicle is used for the required task to avoid any unnecessary costs as stated in point 2 above.

12. Ensuring Energy Efficiency Of Vehicles

Fuel efficiency of vehicles improves with each passing year. Effective truck fleet management with a strong focus on modernization helps in lowering emissions and lowering the total costs of ownership. Trucks that have a lower carbon dioxide emissions helps to lessen the impact on the environment ensuring that your fleet does not add to climate problems such as global warming. In addition, clients are now more environmentally conscious than ever and would like to know that they are doing business with companies that are energy efficient.

13. Going Electronic With DVIRs and ELDs

Electronic ELDs help drivers to stay on top of their paperwork by collecting data automatically, lowering administrative costs, and maximizing driver productivity. This helps to improve the efficiency of roadside inspections. Electronic DVIRs through a smartphone have the capability of collecting video or photo evidence and give an option to schedule repairs automatically or order new parts, all of which contribute to enhancing efficiency.

14. Using Geofence

Geofence uses GPS tracking for detecting when a vehicle enters or exits a particular location and has various practical uses. For instance, you can use it for confirming deliveries by tracking a truck’s location, marking it as completed then sending suitable notifications for follow-up. This helps in lowering administrative and administration costs and increases productivity.

15. Built-In Telematics

Investing in trucks that have in-built telematics such as predictive vehicle maintenance or GPS-tracking hardware helps to increase efficiency, lower administration costs, and lower overall costs. Some of the best manufacturers of trucks that have these devices are Hino and Isuzu.

16. ETA Notifications

Receiving timely notifications on ETAs helps in giving more accurate information to drivers and help them share the information with clients leading to enhanced productivity.

17. Conducting A Thorough Risk Assessment

Fleet management is quite a risky operation and a good initial risk assessment that looks into all the risks of running a motor fleet is necessary from the outset. The assessment needs to outline the training and procedures that should be implemented to reduce these risks.

18. Driver Checks

Regular driver checks including 6 monthly medical examinations and original license checks to identification of any physical or mental inadequacies such as eye test can be implemented to protect against the risk of accidents happening. Reminders of organizational policy particularly with regards to the use of mobile phones, alcohol, and drugs while driving need to be made abundantly clear.

Final Thoughts

Fleet management is critical to keeping your drivers safe and your costs low. Given the seemingly never-ending challenges and tasks associated with fleet management, it is important for companies to make use of the available solutions to help them operate more efficiently.

The 18 truck fleet management tips discussed in this article will definitely help your company achieve its goals of improving efficiency and lowering costs for enhanced profits.

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