Your Quick Guide To Managing A Fleet Of Trucks
Managing a fleet of vehicles can be a challenge, especially if you are dealing with trucks.
Whether you are dealing with larger vehicles or small-scale pickup trucks, you can expect some degree of difficulty here. Moreover, some of the obstacles you will need to overcome could perhaps be more recent, with truck management evolving alongside shifting economies and transformative technologies.
Still, by following our quick guide below, you should be able to find this task more manageable in the long run. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind if you are contemplating how to start managing a fleet of trucks.
Work Within Your Limits
Establishing a fleet of trucks might seem like you are expanding your enterprise to pastures new, exploring many new and lucrative opportunities along the way.
However, it is important you adopt a sustained approach to growing a fleet of trucks, as a critical trucker shortage has been reported in recent times. Obviously, investing in many different vehicles whilst having nobody to sit behind the wheel is not a good idea, hence the need for caution.
There may also be further calls for caution here. For instance, you do not want to take on many fleet vehicles while only having a limited number of products and services available to dispatch. Everything must be organized proportionately, with sensible logistics guiding the process. Your answers to rapid business expansion and lucrative sales does not lie in the fleet alone, so review what your firm is capable of and respect your limits.
Value the Drivers
Fixing the worker shortage here may be partly achieved by inspiring the next generation of up-and-coming truckers, as well as dismantling damaging stereotypes as you go.
Truckers can sometimes be stereotyped, and if your business can publicly break those molds, it may be viewed more favorably by the public. In April, female truckers became TikTok influencers, thereby changing the transportation game for the better and providing motivational speeches to inspire the next generation of workers. Why not make some moves here yourself?
- Create viral online marketing initiatives – Trucking is often perceived as a dour, male-dominated space. An inspirational or relatable video proving otherwise could be effective.
- Inject more personality into job advertisements – Charisma may help people be more open to the trucking career path.
- Tailor recruitment drives to certain demographics – Offering opportunities to all is a sure-fire way to enhance the appeal of your firm.
- Create a welcoming work culture – Drivers may feel separated from the rest of the workplace due to their travels. However, by making them feel just as much a part of the workforce, you may build loyalty and increase staff retention.
Drivers are more skilled than they are given credit for, so tapping into how valued people would be as part of your workforce is incredibly important. You could also focus on aspects of the job that will leave them feeling fulfilled also, such as seeing new places, meeting new people, and providing essential supplies to those in need.
Be Sensitive to Driver’s Struggles
For all the positives that truck driving brings, there are downsides to the job, just as there are with many others. Being open to receiving feedback in these areas could be crucial.
You should try to consider your fleet as more than just a series of vehicles and schedules. People make it all possible, so being sensitive to the issues that your driver’s experience could be a good idea.
For instance, a truck driver may:
- Be tasked with hauling critical supplies during a pandemic – Though coronavirus cases in the US seem to be largely under control at time of writing, you should try to appreciate the sheer importance of what truck driver’s do and any stress they experience.
- Suffer loneliness – Truck drivers spend many long hours on the road alone, and will no doubt yearn to be with their family and friends at the earliest opportunity.
- Erratic shifts – Because many of them travel as and when they are needed, their erratic shift work may cause a sense of imbalance in their personal lives.
Of course, it would be almost impossible for you to make all these problems disappear for your workers. Still, it may be possible to be more accommodating and considerate of these issues. Perhaps you could fine tune a compassionate work culture and facilitate communications between workers, or provide access to support services? Ultimately, the more you demonstrate that you care, the better.
Upgrade Your Trucks
Because trucks are such a versatile vehicle, they can be optimized with a range of dynamic upgrades.
If you have bought some fleet vehicles instead of leasing them, then you can customize your assets to your heart’s content. For smaller pickup trucks, you could browse tonneau cover reviews, with Decked intricately covering 18 types for your consideration. Tonneau covers protect your goods from harsh weathers and even thieves, so taking your time in weighing the pros and cons of each product is a good idea if you are serious about keeping your pickup trucks secure.
An entire fleet to be upgraded with newer technology can call for considerable expenditure. To avoid spending too much from your own pocket, or taking from the business’ resources, you could consider taking out a business loan for a reasonable amount that will be able to fund all necessary upgrades. Of course, you should opt to learn more about such loans before you choose that option. Nevertheless, it could help you manage business finances better in the short and long run this way.
You could outfit any larger trucks with motion sensors, blind spot detectors, and superior braking systems to improve road safety. Research the devices that may integrate most effectively into your fleet of trucks, and improve your vehicles overtime the same way you would any other part of your company infrastructure.
Anticipate Big Changes
Vehicles are often considered to be symbolic of just how quickly times change.
Innovations are constantly being made to trucks, so try not to stop looking for the next window of opportunity. Recently, footage of President Joe Biden circulated online that depicted him test-driving an astonishingly fast all-electric truck. It showcased just how far these types of vehicles have come, once thought to be slow and cumbersome and now accelerating faster than ever before.
Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that the next few decades may see you overhaul your fleet several times for the sake of improving efficiency, or even your eco-friendly image, so be open to those changes to optimize your firm’s performance and public standing. Remember, your competitors will be radically changing their fleets too. Ultimately, every upgrade to your fleet should either bring you in line or ahead of industry trends.