The trucking industry is in a prime position to harness the power of technology to improve and streamline management processes.
Technological advancements have made fleet management easier, more cost-effective, and safer. Getting the right solution together can ensure your fleet of trucks works harder with only a little of initial extra effort. It’s all about streamlining processes and ensuring the system works for your company.
1. Go Paperless For Logging
Paperwork and admin are usually a major hold up for drivers. They can also cause major inconsistencies due to human error if information is logged incorrectly, or incorrectly transferred to the system from written forms and logbooks. You now get tracking and logging systems that will automatically log how long the truck was on the road for, when it reached its destination, and what route was driven. All that’s required for these systems to be put in place is a software download of an app on a mobile device.
Having accurate digital logs of all route and driving stats can also help you better plan routes and timings in the future. Plus, you get real-time access to the information, which can help you make on-the-go decisions.
2. Deploy Maintenance Management
Regular maintenance on a fleet of commercial trucks is a key part of your operation. A digital management system can keep track of what has been done to a vehicle and when, as well as when services are needed, and what to change or check at each interval. This means that you always stay on top of routine maintenance. You can also ensure you have the correct parts available for changing oil, brakes, and any other parts.
Diagnostic machines that can constantly monitor the health of your trucks are another useful tool. These machines will give you advanced warning that a part could wear down, or not working optimally. You can do manual inspections based on this warning and potentially replace or fix things before they become a problem on the road.
3. Get Commercial Navigation Devices
Regular GPS and navigation tools will not be enough to help a commercial fleet of trucks maneuver to and from their destinations efficiently. Off-the-shelf devices and GPS on smartphones are designed for use by people in cars, on bikes, and even on foot. That’s vastly different to the needs of a much larger, much heavier vehicle that’s far more difficult to handle.
With a navigation device set up and designed specifically for commercial truck use, you will reduce stress on both yourself and your drivers. These devices will be able to show weight limits on roads and navigate around low bridges or other obstacles that trucks face. They can show trade routes that may not be on normal GPS systems too.
You can also invest in commercial devices that offer real-time updates on traffic conditions or road closures. You can set up notifications to ping your drivers once they reach a certain location, or if they’ve been on the road for too long.
4. Improve Communication Between Parties
A key part of managing a fleet is communication between your hub and drivers, and between your hub and those who are shipping or receiving the haul. Bottlenecks happen all the time, slowing down the efficiency of your fleet, when drivers have to wait for a shipment to be ready to load up or for a receiver to be available to offload the haul.
With a transparent, effective communication system set up between all parties, you can remove or reduce the time spent waiting around, and improve efficiency and productivity significantly. If this communication is linked to the GPS tracking for your trucks, you can even provide suppliers or receivers with regular updates on when a truck is likely to arrive.
You can take this system one step further and include proof of pickup or delivery based on geo-location. Using a geofence, you can automatically get notifications when the truck enters the area of a pickup or delivery, and when they exit that area. This will cut out the extra step of someone having to log the delivery or collection that’s occurred. You can even set this system to automatically generate further paperwork such as invoices.
Streamline And Boost Efficiency
With the right technology in place, you can boost the efficiency of your fleet by a significant margin. This will allow you to take on more jobs, improve your overheads, and still keep your drivers safe.
About the Author:
Lorie is a fulltime writer and editor with a background in logistics management and freight forwarding, covering a variety of topics and news within the industry.