The challenge of every heavy goods vehicle (HGV) fleet is striking a balance between cost control and productivity. For practicality’s sake, a fleet must operate equally as effectively as it does efficiently. Fundamentally, this is because HGV fleets entail a significant financial demand, and so the primary responsibility of fleet managers is to optimise their operations in order to minimise the expenditure implied.
To help you with this goal, we’ve put together this article which consists of the top proven strategies to reduce HGV fleet costs that you should try.
Plan optimised routes
Fuel is undeniably one of the largest expenses associated with HGV fleets. Meaning, one of the most direct ways of reducing a HGV fleet’s cost is to plan more optimised routes which inherently eliminate any fuel wastage owing to aspects such as detouring and idling caused by traffic.
HGV route planners equip fleet managers with the tools and insights needed to determine the most efficient routes, while also enabling them to adapt to changes like weather conditions in real-time.
Monitor driver behaviour
Beyond fleet managers, it is likewise the drivers themselves who can reduce fleet costs. Poor driving habits, as exhibited by frequent acceleration and harsh braking, lead to higher fuel consumption and expedited wear and tear.
Following on from the last point, the promotion of ecodriving similarly helps fleet managers to achieve lowered costs. Ecodriving refers to the use of vehicles in an energy-efficient manner so as to reduce fleet CO2 emissions.
The sole aim of ecodriving is to decrease a fleet’s environmental impact, with a distinct focus being placed on fuel efficiency. Since fuel equates to fleet expenses, sustainability coincides with monetary savings here.
Schedule predictive maintenance
HGVs stand out in that they are dramatically more expensive to maintain than other vehicles. Therefore, to save on costs, it’s best practice to identify potential issues before they manifest as more costly repairs. Fleet managers can do this by scheduling predictive maintenance.
Predictive maintenance embodies preventative measures against breakdowns, these being wholly counterproductive for fleets. Moreover, it’s important to bear in mind that healthier vehicles improve levels of driver safety, making predictive maintenance beneficial from multiple angles. To streamline general maintenance, monitoring systems for tyre pressure and temperature, alongside brake performance, offer added support in this area.
Ensure fleet compliance
Fleet compliance is a legal requirement, and yet a surprising number of HGV fleets fail to adhere to regulations. Breaching on-road regulations inevitably leads to hefty fines and reputational damage that is difficult to recover from, harming both the short and long-term finances of a fleet.
Compliance is of particular relevance to HGV fleets, due to them incurring higher costs relative to other vehicle types. The main ways of preventing such penalties are having a fleet safety policy, carrying out routine vehicle checks, and taking action when issues are detected.
Implement a fleet management solution
Fleet management solutions integrate industry-leading hardware and software in order to form a comprehensive package tailored to meet the industry’s growing demands.
Realistically, it would be impossible for fleet managers to plan optimised routes, monitor their drivers’ behaviour, schedule maintenance for various HGVs, and ensure compliance all at once if they did not have the appropriate tools. Fleet management solutions streamline each activity so that any initial expense is entirely negated by the overall reduction in operational costs.
If you’re interested in how MICHELIN’s fleet management services and solutions can help improve the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of your fleet to bring down costs while supporting the environment, then be sure to make an enquiry today.