The Fleet Manager's Guide to a Safe, Efficient, and Compliant Fleet

March 25, 2019

There’s no shortage of responsibilities a fleet manager in the trucking or transportation industry needs to complete in order to keep their fleet operations running seamlessly. But, no matter what your daily schedule holds or what your job description outlines, three core pillars emerge: safety, efficiency, and compliance.

In spite of their importance, these goals can be abstract—so how do you make sure you’re measuring up?

To help you get started, we’ve outlined some important metrics to guide decision-making and support the success of your fleet.


Safety

It doesn't require years of experience at a trucking company to understand the importance of maintaining a safe fleet. Novice and experienced fleet managers alike know that safety is a top concern for both truck drivers and the business at large. But how do you make sure your operating conditions are up to industry safety standards? Here are a few things to consider:

Harsh incidents

Harsh incidents occur when a driver applies more force than necessary to stop or accelerate a vehicle. Although it does not always signal distracted driving, it can be a key indicator of unsafe driving and lead to costly claims or excessive maintenance expenses. Reducing harsh incidents can help increase the safety of your entire truck fleet operations by alleviating aggressive driving and boosting public road safety.

Samsara's telematics solution can help reduce the frequency of these incidents by automatically alerting fleet managers when harsh driving does occur. Samsara also offers in-cab voice coaching to alert drivers in the moment, helping them immediately adjust their driving.

Speeding

Speeding is one of the leading causes of vehicle collisions. A reliable way to understand how safe your drivers are on the road is to monitor their speed.

Samsara AI dash cams feature automatic road sign detection that captures accurate speed limit information so fleet managers know if their drivers go above the legal limit. When a driver does go above the designated speed, a real-time alert can automatically be sent to a fleet manager. This gives fleet managers visibility into driver behavior and enables fleet operations managers to take action right away.



Efficiency

Transportation companies across the United States and beyond need to maintain efficient fleets in order to successfully run, grow, and scale their businesses. But what are the most important factors in creating an efficient fleet? A few major things to consider are vehicle idling time and how frequently your vehicles are being serviced.

Idling time

Idling refers to running a vehicle's engine when it is not in motion. Not only is this bad for the environment, but idling can be detrimental to fuel usage and wreak havoc on a vehicle's engine. To help maintain efficient fleet management operations, monitor idling and actively work to reduce any instances of it.

To help reduce unnecessary idling time, turn on Samsara engine idle alerts. You can specify which vehicles to watch, what hours to monitor them, and the amount of time a vehicle must be idling before an alert is triggered.

Preventative maintenance

Cultivating a regular vehicle maintenance schedule is key to increasing fleet efficiency and your business's bottom line. If you're a fleet or maintenance manager, invest in a preventative maintenance plan to address issues before they turn into bigger problems.

Samsara's vehicle gateway plugs directly into the engine's diagnostic port, automatically pulling engine data like fuel, coolant temperature, battery voltage, and more. Set up automatic alerts to stay up to date on any drastic changes or to simply stay in the loop on the best time to service your vehicle. Set up preventative maintenance based on mileage or engine hours, or use Samsara’s vehicle faults alert to automatically be notified if an engine fault occurs.



Compliance

There are many regulations that affect the fleet industry, but they don't need to be a source of stress for fleet managers. Here are a few things to keep track of to make sure your fleet stays compliant.

Available HOS

A simple way to stay compliant under the ELD mandate is to make sure drivers are not exceeding their Hours of Service . To do this, fleet managers need to make sure they're assigning routes to drivers with available HOS and not the other way around. This can get tricky, particularly when there are hundreds of drivers to keep track of.

Samsara's dashboard makes it simple to see how many available hours each driver has so fleet managers can confidently assign a route to a driver without worrying about approaching an HOS violation.

ELD violations

A fleet manager is typically tasked with creating a company compliance policy, but there are a number of stakeholders who have a say in its implementation. Make sure that related jobs within senior leadership, or departments like HR and legal, have the same visibility into any emerging ELD violations.

Samsara's Hours of Service Violations report aggregates outstanding HOS violations and lets you send critical information to stakeholders on a daily or weekly basis. Customers can always access real-time reports through Samsara’s dashboard, but this enables stakeholders who might be less involved in day-to-day operations to get updates on HOS violations.

Need a fleet management solution to help your fleet stay safe, efficient, and compliant? Reach out today for a free demo or trial.



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