How to Tackle the 5 Biggest Challenges of Running a Small Fleet & Trailer Business
By SkyBitz • Published July 24, 2016 • 4 minute read
When you’re running a small business, resources and capital are usually tight, which means you need to maximize both as much as possible. Of course, anyone managing a small fleet is very aware of this struggle. You want to provide customers with the best service you can, but you also need to keep an eye on expenses and eliminate as much inefficiency as possible. Every little effort you make to improve your fleet counts and tackling these five common business challenges can help your business thrive.
1. Fleet Manager is only one of your job title’s
In a small business, managing the fleet is usually not one person’s sole role, but it should be. People wear many hats, and employees may be assuming various duties like ensuring vehicle maintenance or making sure drivers are not waiting around on trailers that are not empty. However, when you have one dedicated person managing your entire fleet, this person can tackle eliminating all inefficiencies associated with lost trailers, fuel, truck repairs, and driver compensation and compliance. SkyBitz has the technology to streamline this process, so you know exactly how productive your operation is and adjust to tighten up those margins.
2. Thousands of dollars in wasted fuel
Every small fleet business is focused on maximizing fuel costs. Idle time, poorly planned out routes, and the misuse of your vehicles on weekends or holidays can have a drastic impact on your bottom line. With SkyBitz, your fleet manager can determine the most direct routes and project fuel costs each day per vehicle, which can also trigger non-productive idle time reports so you can adjust driver behavior accordingly. As well, ensuring your drivers are not sitting in the yard waiting on empty trailers while the truck is running can seriously reduce wasted driver time and fuel costs.
3. Ensuring your drivers are productive and compliant
It’s easy for drivers to get overworked with limited labor and jobs that need to get done quickly. Again, it may even be you who needs to take on extra jobs. However, not only is driving when tired a severe risk to your drivers’ lives—as well as to everyone else on the road—but not conforming to the Hours-of-Service regulations and required ELD reporting can shut your operation down instantly.
4. Truck and trailer peace of mind
If any of your vehicles break down or you can’t find an available trailer, you can end up in a situation where your whole operation is thrown off track. It’s essential to know the location of every vehicle and trailer in your fleet in an instant. SkyBitz offers tracking solutions that not only show you where every truck or trailer is, but fleet managers can identify precisely what is in each trailer or if they are sitting empty somewhere losing money. Additionally, SkyBitz can track regular maintenance schedules of your vehicles, which eliminates manual tasks and human error or neglect. When problems arise, the fleet manager can act immediately and plan to have other trucks on the ready or allocate different trailers to pick up the slack.
5. Use data for improved customer service
Dealing with customer issues, especially relating to detention costs can be costly to a small business. You need to make sure your entire fleet is generating revenue, and that can’t happen when drivers, trucks, and trailers are not moving. Open communication is vital when interacting with your customers, and providing accurate data and images is your best bet in quickly resolving any disputes. SkyBitz offers camera and sensor technology that shows how long a trailer has been at a customer location, which trailers are still in free time, and have entered detention.
You don’t need to be a big enterprise and have tons of vehicles and trailers to run a great fleet. The trick is to make deliberate efforts to improve the fleet you already have. SkyBitz solutions help streamline the time and work associated with these challenges so you can operate a more efficient business. With the right technology and training, your team can utilize your fleet to its fullest potential, no matter its size.