Building your first fleet of lorries and delivery trucks is a big step for your business. It’s a large indication that you’re stepping up your game into a bigger world. You’re now responsible for global services and deliveries on a huge scale. It can quickly increase your company’s productivity and profits. You can reach more customers and fulfil more orders fast. As with any new aspect, the learning curve is steep.
When it comes to a fleet of vehicles, keeping costs low is key. Money can spiral out of control when you’ve got a hundred vehicles. It is important to ensure a strict procedure of maintenance, safety and efficiency. Make it a priority for your growth in 2015. You must consider the cost of fuel, repairs and training. These are all important aspects when it comes to effective cost savings. Below are our four tips on keeping a cost effective fleet.
Repair and maintenance costs can become extortionate if you’re not careful. Replacement truck parts are not cheap and neither is the labour required to fix them. You need to minimise the risk of large scale breakdown and repairs. A cost effective way of doing this is installing a maintenance programme. This will put every vehicle through intense scrutiny after a certain number of miles, or every trip. This will check tyres, fluids and filters regularly.
Of course, there will be a cost associated with this. However, it will be much cheaper than large repairs and you’ll extend the life of your fleet. If you find yourself facing an unavoidable large repair, then consider reaching out to a freight factoring company to get up front load payments to cover repair costs.
Driver training programmes
Your drivers must maintain a good knowledge of road safety and driving techniques. Keep your drivers sharp and regularly book LGV theory test. It is important that they are reminded of road laws. You should also implement programmes that teach fuel efficient driving techniques. A winter driving course is also a good idea. These courses will help reduce fuel costs and the likelihood of costly accidents and breakdowns. Teach your drivers the basics of maintenance so any immediate problems can be addressed on the road.
Computerise your fleet
When your vehicles are out on delivery, it can be difficult to monitor their progress. You need to know how long it takes between deliveries. It’s important to get a sense of the average time taken and whether it can be reduced. Employ a computerised system to monitor performance and usage of each vehicle. Try and get the data down to one figure: the cost per mile. This will take into account fuel consumption and driver habits. Aim to keep this figure as low as possible.
Driving hiring assistance
Your fleet is entirely reliant on the quality of your drivers. Use a driving hiring assistance scheme to ensure that you get the very best. Again, this may cost you a little more up front, but you’ll get the right drivers. They will be efficient, safe and cost effective.
Scaling up your business to include a fleet of vehicles is a big step. Get it wrong and you could begin to drain money. Anticipate where the big costs will come from and take the steps listed here to avoid them.