As fleet owners and managers prepare for 2024, budget is often at the center of the conversation. Recently, the transportation industry has seen and experienced price increases from fuel to maintenance and upkeep costs, affecting how fleet businesses allocate budgets and plan their spending.

In this blog, MICHELIN Connected Fleet offers five strategies you can adopt to reduce overall fleet costs today and ensure you are meeting your business goals and setting yourself up for success in the new year.

1. Prioritize vehicle maintenance

The first strategy is prioritizing vehicle maintenance. As all fleet operators know, regular maintenance is crucial to ensuring vehicles remain in top working order and that operational issues are identified and addressed early. When proactive maintenance efforts fall to the wayside, unscheduled maintenance events and breakdowns can occur, leading to vehicle downtime. This causes interruptions in day-to-day operations, contributing to wasted resources and increased spending. In fact, vehicle downtime can typically result in an average loss in daily revenue per vehicle.

To avoid these costly disruptions, consider implementing a preventative maintenance strategy. Rooted in connected fleet data, this kind of maintenance strategy analyzes the state of your vehicle’s maintenance lifecycle with the help of software and telematics technology. You can know when it is time for parts to be replaced or repaired, providing greater visibility into the amount of dollars needed for fleet maintenance and upkeep.

2. manage driver behavior

Next, look at driver behavior. How your drivers operate your vehicles makes a direct impact on the health and useful lifespan of your vehicles. When drivers exhibit unsafe behaviors like harsh braking, sharp turning and speeding, vehicles experience higher levels of wear and tear. This, in turn, leads to more unscheduled maintenance and increasing overall costs. Additionally, if an accident occurs, drivers can be subject to steep fines that negatively impact your company’s bottom line. Commercial motor vehicle drivers who are involved in accidents involving hand-held cell phones can be charged up to $2,750 in federal penalties from the FMCSA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). In general, distracted driving can lead to $16,000 to $75,000 in fines for a company.

To keep costs down, look to connected fleet solutions like GPS fleet tracking and real-time monitoring technology that analyzes and monitors your drivers’ behavior. These solutions give you greater visibility into how your drivers perform on the road. With real-time alerts, fleet managers can better ensure the safety of their drives and vehicles, warn fleet managers and operators of unsafe driving behaviors and cut down on costly repairs.

3. Monitor fuel efficiency

Over the past year, the transportation industry has felt the weight of increased fuel prices, as the national average of fuel costs has reached $3.60 as of October 2023. As fuel costs increase, so do business and operating costs. Fleet managers cannot accurately predict how fuel prices will change; however, by setting up a fuel monitoring system, you can better minimize your impact.

Fuel management and monitoring solutions allow you to track fuel consumption, pinpoint where it is being wasted and improve overall fuel efficiency. Not only can you monitor fuel consumption, but you can also identify vehicle issues caused by fuel system malfunctions, preventing increased repair spending and operational issues. With the right connected fleet technology, fleet managers can stop worrying about unpredictable fuel costs, better manage their consumption and reduce operating costs.

4. implement fleet tracking technology

Implementing fleet tracking technology helps boost vehicle visibility, reduces operating costs and increases productivity. Knowing your vehicle’s location is important for optimizing routes and locating which drivers are closest to new assignments. With solutions like geolocation tools, fleet managers can know when to direct drivers to new locations and capitalize on opportunities. Additionally, real-time tracking promotes driver and vehicle safety by giving fleet managers insight into incidents and preventing unnecessary fuel-spending behavior like idling and inefficient routing.

5. partner with a connected fleet specialist

Lastly, you can reduce fleet costs by partnering with industry experts. Knowing how to manage fleet costs and account for unpredicted variables can feel challenging—working with a reliable partner who understands your business needs and the industry at large is a great way to boost your operations. A fleet management partner who understands your unique and specific business goals can help identify your pain points and craft solutions tailored to your business. Vendors who take this personalized approach can analyze the budget allocated to each part of your operations and help determine what’s working and what’s not.

Connected fleet professionals leverage their knowledge through fleet management best practices, including fleet safety, maintenance upkeep, fuel management and fleet tracking. Using a consultative, collaborative approach, these professionals can identify areas requiring more attention.

rely on Michelin connected fleet

The team at MICHELIN Connected Fleet understands that reducing costs is not an easy task. With a team of connected fleet experts, MICHELIN is prepared to take a closer look into your operations, identify your needs, develop a personalized approach and present actionable insights fit for your business needs. As you start to prepare for the year ahead, consider investing in a connected fleet partner like MICHELIN, where we put your business goals first and value your long-term success.

The MICHELIN Connected Fleet team is ready to help you reduce overall fuel costs with their connected fleet solutions. For more information, call 800-358-6187 or contact us online.

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