There are countless jokes about working in government. Most of them revolve around how nothing ever gets done because the government moves at the pace of a snail stuck in molasses. And once a decision is made, there’s no money to do anything!
While we all know these jokes, government fleet managers are all too familiar with the reality of dealing with committees and politicians that bog down all the processes that come with the job. While every private fleet deals with similar issues, government fleets seem to deal with them on a bigger scale.
For instance, if a new telematics technology comes out, private fleets can get them installed as soon as they want. Government fleets, on the other hand, may have to wait years (or until disaster strikes) before they can take advantage of any new technology. However, there are ways to overcome common government fleet management challenges.
While these solutions may take some creative thinking and patience, they can help you run your government fleet more effectively.
Implement a Preventative Maintenance Program
Replacing worn-down vehicles in your government fleet is likely not in your current budget. In order to avoid costly repairs and having to take vehicles out of your fleet, consider implementing a preventative maintenance program. With a preventative maintenance program built into your budget, you can better prevent downtime and keep your vehicles in working condition longer.
The good news is that there are a variety of software tools out there that can help you adhere to a preventative maintenance schedule. Many of these tools will fit right into your budget, especially if you consider the savings that a preventative maintenance program will create. With this software, you can easily cycle vehicles in and out of the garage to keep them well-maintained.
If you can’t access preventative maintenance software, you can develop a simple checklist to help you keep track of the tasks your team must perform to keep things running smoothly.
Take Advantage of Telematics Data
Telematics data is crucial for every single fleet, no matter the size or purpose. With telematics data, you can track exactly where your vehicles are, and how far they travel. Data also allows you to better assess driver behavior and how vehicles are being used. Beyond these crucial aspects, you can merge telematics data with your preventative maintenance software to create a more effective service schedule for your fleet.
The right fleet management software can allow you to monitor odometer updates and automatically pull vehicles from service to be maintained. Telematics data can also provide crucial information like diagnostic trouble codes to the fleet management software so you can efficiently handle major issues as they arise.
Ensure Vehicle Inspections Are Frequent and Thorough
Sure, telematics data will tell you when a major event arises or when the odometer hits a certain number. But the most cost-effective way you can keep your government in top shape is to make sure your drivers are thoroughly inspecting their vehicles on a regular basis. By checking the body of their vehicle, as well as the internal components, you can better ensure any small issues are taken care of before they become critical.
While your drivers may be conducting daily vehicle inspection reports, they are probably doing so in a paper log. These reports are therefore often ignored or not read until a much later time. In addition, they are time-consuming and often inaccurate. Instead, government fleets should implement electronic inspections to make communication about any issues much more efficient and thorough.
There are even mobile apps that allow your drivers to easily report any issues with their vehicles, which can then be uploaded to your fleet management software. By having all of your data in one central location, any issues that arise for your fleet vehicles can be quickly and effectively handled.
Know the True Cost of Your Fleet
At the end of the day, governments care about money. If you don’t know how much your fleet truly costs, your budget could be skewed. To calculate the true cost of your fleet, you need to know how much the vehicles are worth, but perhaps more importantly, how much maintenance is costing you.
If maintenance is beginning to crush your budget, you may be able to make the argument that at least some of your vehicles need to be replaced. If you can really show different governmental committees that the upfront cost of a new vehicle will be cheaper overall than continuing maintenance on old vehicles, you can slowly upgrade your fleet and become more efficient overall.
Be Prepared for the Worst
Whether you’re a fleet manager, a politician or a driver, one thing everyone can agree on is that a vehicle breaking down on the side of the road is one of the worst things that can happen to your team’s productivity. The personnel who rely on those vehicles may be left in the lurch, and waiting too long to get the vehicle back up and running can cost you greatly.
Because of this, it’s important for every government fleet operator, from police stations to schools to municipal utility companies, to have a roadside assistance program on standby. Encore provides government roadside assistance plans to fleets of all types and sizes. What’s more, you can customize your plan to match your fleets’ needs.
With Encore Protection, government roadside assistance will easily fit into your budget, especially considering the cost of a one-off call to a roadside assistance provider. Give us a call at 1-844-6ENCORE (1-844-636-2673) or contact us online to get the coverage you need at budget-friendly rates.