How to Cut Costs for Your Fleet in 2016

How to Reduce Fleet Costs in 2016

 

As 2015 comes to a close, many a business owner is taking the time to reflect on the previous year’s budget and consider how improvements can be made in 2016. Now is the perfect time to develop methods to reduce fleet costs in the future, and we’ve assembled a few of the most noteworthy tips for fleet managers in 2016.

Check out our list of budgeting tips for fleet management below!

Reduce the Size of Your Fleet

There’s no better way to reduce fleet costs than to decrease the size of the fleet itself. The exact decrease you decide upon will be affected by the overall size of your fleet, the weight of the vehicles, and how many vehicles you can eliminate. According to Gary Hatfield and Janis Christensen of Fleet Financials, the ordinary total cost of ownership for a light-duty vehicle (less than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating) can vary from $5,000 to $8,000 per vehicle, per year; therefore, by eliminating 100 vehicles, you can cut costs by as much as $500,000 per year or more.[1]

We understand that this may not be the ideal plan for all business owners, depending on your current situation or fleet size. As you may have already assumed, the elimination of any portion of the fleet would increase the workload and operating costs of the remaining vehicles. However, the net result would still reduce fleet costs and can even help streamline the management of vehicles and drivers in the future.

Eliminate Extra Travel Miles

When considering budgeting tips for the next fiscal year, the cost of gas and the amount of miles to be traveled are significant factors. But how exactly can business owners control the amount of miles that their drivers must cover? After all, your vehicles, personnel, and product must make it from point A to point B.

Through its many recent advances, fleet management technology has provided the power to reduce unnecessary mileage. Firstly, you can allow employees to use teleconferencing and other technological resources to reduce the need for physical travel whenever possible. Secondly, the use of GPS and other similar technologies can offer improved routing and reduce the likelihood of drivers getting lost along their way. And finally, these solutions can also discourage drivers from participating in any extracurricular behaviors, such as unscheduled stops, with the knowledge that their route will be tracked and reported back to their superiors.

Increase Your Miles Per Gallon

There’s more to reducing your gas costs than simply finding the best route. Often, inefficient driver behavior can have as great an effect on your vehicle’s fuel consumption. Some of the most detrimental behaviors include hard acceleration and braking, excessive use of air conditioning, idling, and traveling at inconsistent speeds – all in all, these activities can impact fuel efficiency by as much as 33 perfect, according to the EPA.[2] By implementing certain telematics that record events such as hard braking (similar to technologies that track routes), you can further monitor your drivers to reduce fleet costs even more.

Reduce Maintenance and Crash Costs

Besides fuel, another significant impact on a fleet budget is the cost of repairing vehicles, due to crashes, breakdowns, and even general wear-and-tear. In the event of an accident or other emergency, it is paramount to have a roadside assistance program in place to ensure that the vehicle is back up-and-running on the road, quickly and affordably, before slowing business to a halt. It’s also important to have a safety management program in place to ensure that drivers are well-trained, thereby reducing the risk of accidents and injury, as well as the cost of insurance.[3] Plus, you can implement a fixed maintenance schedule that will help manage each vehicle’s lifecycle, providing reminders for the vehicle’s general upkeep and reducing net fuel consumption as a result.[4]

If You Don’t Have One, Hire a Fleet Manager!

As a business owner, you may not have the time or resources to monitor your fleet to the fullest possible extent. By hiring a fleet manager, whether internally or externally, you can employ an individual with the expertise to positively influence your fleet decisions, in regard to cost savings and much more. Not only will a large chunk of your workload be freed up, but you’ll also have reliable management from a skilled professional who can offer the most optimal budgeting tips specifically for your fleet at all times.

For more information on how to reduce fleet costs in the future, check out our article on utilizing fleet management technology to impact your ROI.

 


[1] Gary Hatfield and Janis Christensen. “10 Ways to Reduce Fleet Costs.” March 2014. Retrieved from http://www.fleetfinancials.com/article/story/2014/02/10-ways-to-reduce-fleet-costs.aspx on December 17, 2015.

[2] Hatfield and Christensen. http://www.fleetfinancials.com/article/story/2014/02/10-ways-to-reduce-fleet-costs.aspx

[3] Hatfield and Christensen. http://www.fleetfinancials.com/article/story/2014/02/10-ways-to-reduce-fleet-costs.aspx

[4] Fleetcare.com “6 Fleet Management Cost Savings Your Boss Will Love.” February 2015. Retrieved from http://www.fleetcare.com.au/news-info/fleet-beat-blog/february-2015-(1)/6-fleet-management-cost-savings-your-boss on December 17, 2015.