Trailers pervade the transport and logistics industry, and on the surface they seemingly have a straightforward job. That is, to remain secured to their vehicle so that assets are kept intact until they arrive at their point of destination.

However, this does account for the various common barriers which are encountered in trailer fleets. Perhaps now more than ever, all fleets are facing challenges which inhibit their ability to stay optimised in the most important areas of the field.

Yet, an answer to this matter comes in the form of modern methods of fleet management. So that you can be ahead of the curve, we’ve put together this piece outlining the top 5 reasons to adopt trailer fleet management.

1. Trailer fleet management helps keep operating costs low

One of the primary concerns for every fleet manager is making sure that operating costs are minimised to the greatest extent possible. Fleet costs come from many angles, with one of the most significant being fuel expenses. Especially today, fuel costs are high and generally constitute the largest expenditure for a given vehicle fleet. Therefore, optimising fuel usage by reducing on-road inefficiencies is integral in order to maximise the value of fuel expenditures.

Fleet management plays a crucial role in achieving this productivity goal by providing a substantial level of oversight into operations. This degree of visibility is essential because, even at its most basic level, it enhances the efficiency of routing and dispatching. However, fleet management offers benefits beyond just asset tracking; it enables the collection of extensive datasets that contribute to improved asset utilisation. The insights garnered here comprise an array of facets, like those which refer to the statuses of trailers, including whether they are empty, loaded, or coupled with a vehicle.

2. Trailer fleet management improves driver safety

Alongside cost reduction, prioritising driver safety is a rightful concern for fleet managers. Fleet operators invest considerable efforts in ensuring their drivers' safety, which includes comprehensive driver training and the implementation of immediate in-cab feedback devices.

While the significance of these measures cannot be understated, the most proactive approach to ensuring driver safety within a fleet involves leveraging fleet data to preemptively address safety concerns before a specific job. This is particularly pertinent for trailers and involves considerations like cargo weight restrictions. Overloaded trailers pose substantial risks for drivers, underscoring the importance of adhering to weight limits set out by regulations.

Trailer fleet management facilitates this approach by digitising data for each trailer, enabling continuous monitoring of cargo loads to ensure compliance at a glance. Importantly, this practice doesn't solely impact the safety of a fleet's workforce; it has broader implications for the safety of all drivers on the road.

3. Trailer fleet management enhances cargo security

Cargo theft has surged to the forefront of fleet managers’ minds in recent times. Each year, it appears that cases of cargo theft are on the rise across the globe. Without exaggeration, this trend points to staggering losses amounting to billions for fleets worldwide.

Consequently, it has become imperative to establish preventive measures against trailer theft. Trailer fleet management can help in addressing this issue by providing accurate real-time visibility. This heightened visibility offers fleet managers peace of mind, enabling them to easily determine the locations of their trailers and the valuable cargo they contain. This becomes particularly relevant in cases where trailers remain stationary for extended periods, due to how this is when trailer theft tends to occur.

4. Trailer fleet management streamlines vehicle maintenance

Breakdowns are fundamentally at odds with the objectives of fleet managers, as they directly result in downtime. The core issue lies in the fact that an overriding majority of breakdowns stem from negligence in vehicle maintenance. Surprisingly, even tasks as simple as changing tires can lead to a complete operational standstill.

Given this reality, it becomes vital to identify and target problems such as tyre pressure issues and other faults - like brake performance - early on. Trailer fleet management is instrumental in tackling these concerns by offering an analytical perspective on the condition of your fleet vehicles equipped with trailers. Since trailers rely on vehicles for transportation, it's only natural that both components are kept fully functional and thereby roadworthy. Moreover, prioritising vehicle maintenance also has the added benefit of simultaneously improving driver safety.

5. Trailer fleet management supports sustainability

Sustainability margins are becoming increasingly pressing for fleet managers. It’s now absolutely essential that they reduce fleet CO2 emissions considerably so as to mitigate the industry’s negative impact on the environment. And so, whether your fleet places a specific focus on trailers or otherwise, you’re required to make your fleet more sustainable.

A lot of companies and businesses are embracing electrification by transitioning to a green fleet, which is undoubtedly a prominent answer. Yet still, we realise that this isn’t feasible for some at the moment, but that doesn’t go to say you can’t nevertheless make a positive contribution. Namely, trailer fleet management, as discussed, actively works to decrease the fuel consumption of fleets. As such, by adopting trailer fleet management and cutting your costs by using less fuel, you’re inherently promoting more sustainable fleet practices.

We at MICHELIN Connected Fleet are dedicated to actualising the vision we have of a more efficient, safe, secure, and sustainable industry, and our trailer fleet management solution is one of the resulting products. Our solution is leading in its integration of both software and hardware that streamlines the processes involved with attaining fleet optimisation. 

For trailers in particular, we also provide cold chain tracking and monitoring so that you can have a constant awareness of your cargo’s temperature in case it needs to be adapted for certain zones. The benefits include time savings, compliance, and customer satisfaction. If you’re interested in how our trailer fleet management can support you, then be sure to make an enquiry into our services today. For further reading, feel free to browse our resources center.