Logistics is a billion-dollar industry, and to keep the wheel running, fleet managers put in an exorbitant amount of time and effort. Their efforts pay off when their company is bountiful with a decent profit. However, all the efforts can look in vain if even after all the hard work, the profits don’t look promising.
The scope in transportation is immense, and with the introduction of smart IoT solutions, achieving high levels of efficiency will soon be the new normal. However, small mistakes here and there can add up to a significant reduction in the total revenue of the company.
As a fleet manager, it’s in your hands to assess the situation and rectify it. But given the intensive task, especially if you have a large fleet, finding the problem itself can cost a lot any days before you can reach for a solution.
However, there’s a silver lining here. Some common mistakes usually go unnoticed. While you want to ensure your profits rise higher, fleet drivers may not be as ambitious and in the process end up doing things, unintentionally, that can push your running costs here.
Common Mistakes That Fleet Drivers Use
Let’s take a look at these mistakes and how you can avoid them.
1. Distraction While Driving
One of the most obvious reasons for road accidents is getting distracted. When a driver is on the road for hours without much for the company, the possibility of getting distracted climbs up, even a single ping of a notification can divert their attention from the road to their smartphones.
Despite all the technology that’s present in the vehicle, such kind of human errors cannot be tackled until we have established a stronghold on Auto-Pilot, which is still a few years away right now. While smartphones are a major source of distraction, there are others too.
This sort of problem is quite hard to tackle and quite common. That’s the reason the number of road accidents doesn’t seem to be decreasing.
Such distractions can increase the costs of operation that you were not expecting and later find no place to accommodate. Quite a financial conundrum, right?
However, there are ways to avoid it as much as you can. Firstly, you need to train your drivers and explain to them the consequences of their actions. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, and the gravity of the matter should be imparted to them.
Secondly, you can use Dashcams or fleet management systems with dual cameras with in-built Artificial Intelligence. It detects the driver’s distraction, and an in-built speaker then advises the driver to focus on the road.
2. Over Speeding
A lot of times, drivers don’t even realize they are overspeeding. An empty road doesn’t give away much about the speed after all, especially with fast cars on the highway, the truck looks to be slow.
Over speeding can increase the costs in a lot of ways. First of all, it is an offense, and you could land into legal trouble. That’s quite the profit flowing into legal formalities.
Second of all, it impacts the mileage of the vehicle. Fuel costs are a big burden, and with engine inefficiency at high speeds, you are losing a lot more fuel than you should be.
This problem can be tackled with the help of speed limiters. Installing them in the vehicles will ensure that no matter how much the drivers try, the vehicle is speed locked to a threshold and will not cross it.
3. Long Idling Time and Rash Driving
These are two major contributors to increased fuel usage. Idling time is the time when the vehicles remain stationary, yet the engine keeps running. Drivers don’t like turning off the engines for pit stops, and many such stops lead to a lot of fuel wastage.
Frequent sudden brakes and irregular speeds can be considered a part of rash driving. If a constant speed is maintained for most of the journey, the fuel usage can be brought down to a great extent.
ELDs can be pretty handy to solve this problem. The log reports will show you if your driver has been idling for long durations, and then you can take the necessary steps to avoid it. As for rash driving, AI dash cams can again be the go-to solution.
4. Longer Routes
GPS has been a boon in the technological landscape, yet some are still relying on traditional ways to find and execute their routing strategy. While this in no means is an insult to them, but technology does make things easier, faster, and more efficient.
What if you miss the board on the highway and forgot to take a left. It is not only difficult to take you to turn in a big truck, but it is also difficult to find diversions on the highway to do so. Yet again, fuel costs shoot up in the scenario, and this is a mistake that can be avoided.
You might think this isn’t a real problem; you wouldn’t want to wait until you realize that. Confidence is great, and being confident about your driving skills is what all fleet managers are looking for in a driver, but that shouldn’t translate to overconfidence.
Close calls with a truck on a highway are not unknown, and more often than not, it’s the overconfidence of the driver that encourages them to drive in the middle lane and overtake smaller and faster vehicles.
This can not only lead to accidents, but more than that, it jeopardizes everyone’s safety on the road and makes you prone to being complained about to the authorities. Your hard work to improve your CSA scores will go down the drain in a matter of seconds.
IoT sensors fitted on the fleet can generate reports on the number of close calls and help fleet managers define a driver’s pattern of driving. If it’s not up to the mark, necessary action can then be taken.
Reducing costs in this stream of business is not the easiest and will require fleet managers to make some hard decisions. Using the help of technology and digital solutions available in the market can reduce the confusion and help think with a clearer mind.
Keeping your driver motivated and keeping up their morales is also the duty of a fleet manager. When your drivers are happy and satisfied with their job, they are less likely to make these mistakes. When everybody does their job right, there’s not much that could go wrong.