Is your fleet optimized? The 3-point checklist
To optimize something means to make as effective, perfect or useful as possible. There are plenty of things we can optimize. We can optimize our workout at the gym, developing a routine that maximizes whatever time we have there. We can optimize our waiting time, always keeping some activity with us that we can do when we’re forced to wait. In a lot of software programs you will find an option to optimize, which will make adjustments to the data to make sure it is running as effectively and efficiently as possible.
But what about your driving? Or the driving of your employees? Have you optimized that?
Most trucks these days are equipped with GPS but is it being used to its full potential?
Easy ways to optimize driving
Optimizing your driving is actually not that difficult. It’s simply a case of taking the time to analyse your current driving and identify areas for improvement. It’s also about knowing what technologies are out there that you can take advantage of to make sure your trucking fleet is as optimized as possible.
Review the following list to see how optimized your fleet’s driving is.
This is an obvious one but needs to be said. There are many tips on saving fuel such as keeping tires properly inflated (a GPS device can track this) or coasting to stop lights. Read more fuel saving tips.
Toning down aggressive driving
It’s often been quoted that you drive in much the same way you live. So if you live a stressed, frantic life this is quite often reflected in your driving style. And that is not always conducive to optimized driving.
Optimized driving is about being effective, not just quick. So instead of only thinking in terms of how quick you can get from A to B, you might be more effective to stop and consider how you drive. Aggressive driving styles can lead to needless accidents, stress-related illnesses and premature mechanical breakdowns.
GPS fleet tracking can be setup to monitor drivers who are needlessly aggressive, checking for a driving style that includes hard braking and acceleration as well as excessive swerving.
By toning down your driving a notch or two, you put less wear and tear on your truck (and yourself!) and increase the longevity and mechanical wellbeing of the vehicle, which means less downtime and smoother running.
Optimized driving involves taking the most effective route between your starting point and your destination but there are a few different factors to keep in mind.
- Multiple stops – Is your truck GPS able to handle multiple stops, optimizing the best route between all of them? An effective fleet management program should be able to calculate the best route between all your stops, reordering where necessary to save wasted miles.
- Road restrictions – Trucks can’t always use every road to get to their destination. Their access is often limited by the size of their vehicle, meaning your GPS needs to be able to re-route accordingly.
- Shorter is not always best – The shortest distance between two points is not always the most optimized route for a vehicle to take. Factors such as traffic congestion and relevant speed limits should be taken in to account as well.
Hopefully you can use these suggestions to measure how optimized your truck fleet is, and keeping in mind that the more optimized a fleet is results in happier drivers, more economical driving and improved customer service levels. It’s worth the effort!