There are plenty of businesses that need or benefit from having a fleet of company vehicles, from catering companies, retirement residences, retail stores, or services like electrical work, plumbing, and more. Though you might have started with just one vehicle, once you get past the second and third, it’s a job in of itself to manage the fleet!
Here are some great tips for maintaining your company fleet to get consistent and reliable results out of them:
Do Not Get Exactly the Same Vehicle
When you have a small fleet, this might not be as big of a problem, however, once you have over five vehicles, you’re going to want to diversify if you haven’t already. Though having the same model and year of car or truck can make things easy for those operating them, maintaining and replacing them can become complicated if they are all the same. They all hit those maintenance milestones at the same time and will have many of the same flaws, if there are any. It’s also a bit easier on the cash flow when you replace a few every couple of years rather than the entire fleet all at once.
Think Truck Over Van
Though many companies favour vans for their daily use, there is much more versatility in trucks. Pair your vehicles with fiberglass truck bodies that insert onto fleet pickup trucks and are a replacement for a van, but much easier to use. Not only are they easily customizable and provide easier access and more comfortable arrangements for those using it, they are easy to remove and transfer onto another pickup truck if the one it was originally on has to go to the garage, is being replaced, etc. Also, as your business grows, the role for your vehicles could change, so this additional versatility is something that many owners appreciate as time goes on.
Get a Group Rate
Regardless of how big your fleet is, you will need the help of a mechanic. When small, you might be able to get away with the service of a local mechanic, however, once you are big enough, it might be time to hire your own. When starting out, ask your local garage for a business to business rate. Mention the size of your fleet and how it will be expanding, and every shop will jump at the chance for steady, dependable business like yours, often providing a discount as an incentive. If not, see if there are any complimentary services they can offer you, be that express turn around time on repairs, discounts on parts or oil changes, or even overflow parking if you are ever in a pinch.
Get a Gas Card
Accounting gets much easier if you operating with a gas card rather than asking your drivers or operators to keep all their receipts. Many fuel companies have corporate cards, and if they don’t, look for a local station that allows for tabs or takes such cards. It makes your accounting that much easier and makes it simpler to keep track of who is using how much fuel, etc. You’ll know for sure that your employees aren’t trying to get reimbursed for their own travel receipts! Some fueling stations are specifically designed for more industrial use and would welcome your business with enthusiasm. Just remember to instruct your employees on the policies around fueling up, however you decide to construct them.
Managing a fleet of company vehicles can seem overwhelming at first. The initial procurement surely felt difficult enough, and then enters the need of maintaining, repairing, and replacing the fleet you have put together. However, it all gets easier with time, especially if you try these tricks for successful fleet management.