Challenges of fleet management
Field maintenance human resources are often scarce. Forced to juggle priorities, and resorting to creative problem solving to keep assets running. It often happens that fleet management is at the top of the priority list during digital initiatives, with scarce investments in service and maintenance postponed. While this is understandable, it also involves a high risk, as fleet vehicles perform best when they receive the correct preventive maintenance.
Driver shortages have been one of the top concerns for fleet managers over the past decade. As freight demands increase in transportation and the number of new driver applicants remain stagnant, experts predict driver shortages may approach 250,000 by 2022. Recruiting drivers without the required expertise can also lead to safety issues and the need for driver monitoring systems. The technology can help monitor driver responses and safety protocols, although these systems also add complexity to fleet maintenance.
Digitalization of vehicles
The adoption of digital applications can make it possible to track vehicle routes, access data in service history to the component, maintain compliance records, and receive notifications when preventive maintenance expires. Greater sophistication of telemetry and the Internet of Things. Technology (IoT) makes it possible for all these processes and more to be tracked.
Depending on the type of fleet vehicles deployed, fuel costs can be high. Even modest fluctuations in the cost of diesel can have a great influence on the financial result of the company. Therefore, maintenance teams should be aware of fuel usage reports and alerts of possible breakdowns that can be resolved before they become more serious and cause high downtime and costs.
Extreme weather events have generated increased awareness around climate change and led to new environmental standards globally. The tightening of environmental legislation means that fleet managers must comply with the legislation, in addition to the pressure to eliminate the use of internal combustion engines. Fleet managers and service technicians must be aware of problems and formulate their own strategies.
Increasing popularity of electric vehicles
According to current estimates, electric vehicles (EVs) will reach a tipping point somewhere between 2035 and 2040, where half of all vehicles sold will be Electric. Its proliferation in the world of trucks and vans is continuously increasing.
Route optimization software can track the location of a vehicle, identify the optimal vehicle to reach the point and calculate the best route, thus achieving an optimization of human resources, fuel, reduction of fuel and maintenance costs and therefore increasing the return on investment for the company.
There is a strong correlation between driver behavior and maintenance needs. Data on when aggressive driving, excessive idling, or disabling of safety systems occurs can be used to improve training and encourage improvement. Data changes the dialogue from being anecdotal and speculative to being fact-based, allowing for better results.
As fleets become autonomous and operate digitally, maintenance teams will be part of the critical line of defense to ensure transportation and use of vehicles are safe. Technicians will not only need to inspect and ensure that backup systems and safeguards are in place, but also monitor the technologies involved in fleet operation, from dispatch to sensors that monitor brake fluid levels.