Managing a fleet can be expensive, and is usually faced with challenges that may incur additional expenses. From fuel costs to maintenance and weather, many things can impact fleet performance. For companies facing tight budgets, fleet managers must be on their toes, looking for ways to minimize costs. Thankfully, simple adjustments to vehicles and driver practices can be all you need to reduce fleet operational costs.
Below are some effective strategies companies can use to reduce fleet operational costs:
1. Invest In Energy-Efficient Vehicles
If the average amount spent on gas per month is $150-$200 and your fleet comprises over 10 vehicles, you can have an idea of how much you spend monthly on fuel. That's an average, so chances are you're spending more.
In contrast, electric vehicles can reduce fuel costs dramatically, saving thousands of dollars on your fleet operational costs monthly. By choosing green energy, you'll help not only your company but the environment as well.
But, of course, acquiring and managing a fleet of electric vehicles can be a bit more complicated. So here's where you may need an expert in electric vehicle fleet management. Through fleet electrification, these experts can help you invest and capitalize on all the financial and regulatory benefits of a more sustainable fleet.
2. Buy Vehicles With A Long-Term Mindset
When buying fleet vehicles, consider more than just the sticker price. Things like maintenance, fuel, downtime, taxes, and insurance can add up and make a cheaper vehicle more expensive in the long run. So, it's better to buy more expensive but reliable and easier-to-maintain vehicles to save money.
When buying a new vehicle, it's important to check its weight and size, maintenance schedule, and customer reviews. Alternative fuel vehicles may also save money in the long run. Choosing suitable, cost-effective vehicles to buy is a crucial part of fleet management and Revenue Operations, as this can affect the company's bottom line as a whole. When in doubt, consult a seasoned fleet manager.
3. Right-Size Your Fleet
"Right-sizing" a fleet means getting rid of vehicles that are not needed or can be replaced with better models to save on costs like maintenance, storage, and fuel. The process includes evaluating each vehicle's usage, identifying those with low usage, and determining which are non-essential to remove from the fleet. Other metrics, such as fuel consumption, maintenance costs, and average hours in use, should also be considered. In addition, selling underutilized vehicles quickly and having a disposal strategy in place can make the process more cost-effective.
4. Regular And Proactive Maintenance Is Key
Proper maintenance ensures vehicles are reliable and reduces breakdowns, which saves time and money. Tires and oil are vital for vehicle handling and longevity. Under-inflated tires can decrease lifespan by 30%. On the other hand, using the correct oil grade can improve vehicle lifespan and fuel economy. Undoubtedly, fleet managers should always make these items a priority.
Preventive maintenance may cost more upfront but saves money in the long run. In addition, advanced technology like telematics can notify fleet managers of potential issues, allowing them to schedule repairs quickly. Soon, this technology may predict when maintenance will be needed using AI.
Finally, always remember to optimize driver routes. Doing so can help reduce fuel costs and expenses. Use fleet management tools to plan the fastest routes, taking into account vehicle location, fuel economy, traffic, and weather. This can result in significant savings over time.