It may be the most wonderful time of the year, but Christmas is also one of the very busiest times for fleet businesses.
Deliveries aplenty to be made, extra traffic from people travelling for the holidays, and bad weather conditions all combine to make the festive period a challenge for fleet managers and drivers alike.
With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to offer some tips for effective fleet management over Christmas.
More deliveries, more urgency, more of your fleet vehicles on the road, and more traffic and other hazards to contend with. Christmas sure isn’t the easiest time to plan your fleet’s optimum travel paths. Thankfully, modern GPS-enabled telematics systems can help your drivers avoid longer-than-necessary travel time due to bad weather, accidents or unexpectedly closed roads. We offer a solution called Motrak, a brand that’s been around for over 25 years and is trusted by fleets of all types to solve precisely these kinds of problems. That’s why using it is our number one fleet management tip for the holidays.
Christmas isn’t just a busy time for fleets – it’s a busy one for those who prey on them, too. The gifting season sees more consumer goods going places than at any other time of the year, so another important festive fleet management tip is to take measures against would-be thieves.
That can mean training drivers to be mindful about leaving their trailers unattended and parking in safe, pre-approved overnight areas (ideally where there are gates, locks and security systems). However, it could also mean using the telematics system mentioned above to set up a geofencing area that will alert your HQ when a vehicle leaves a designated area.
More deliveries and cargo inevitably generates more paperwork over the holiday season. If you’re wondering how to keep your fleet stress-free this Christmas when the paperwork is piling up – why not do away with the paperwork altogether?
Using a digital solution that works across the web and smartphone apps can give your management team the ability to manage the admin side of the role from anywhere, even when they’re being called to meetings or asked to think on their feet when the unexpected happens.
In our blog on distracted driving safety tips, we mentioned that dashcams of both kinds can contribute to safer driving habits. That’s definitely something you want to feel the benefit of during the busy festive season. An inward-facing cam will make your drivers more conscious of their demeanour in the cab, while outward-facing ones will capture things like their road positioning and driving aggressiveness. Additionally, it will help them to feel secure that if an accident happens which isn’t their fault, they won’t be blamed for it. It may seem a small thing, but installing dash cams is one of our best tips for managing a fleet effectively during Christmas.
The wintery combination of cold weather, icy roads and lots of stop-starting in long traffic queues caused by accidents can wreak havoc on even the most well-kept fleet vehicles. Another of our crucial fleet management tips for the holidays is therefore to schedule more maintenance checks and also get feedback from your drivers at the end of each shift if they feel an incident might have occurred that could cause a problem – or if they just feel that something was a little off with the vehicle during their journey. At SG Fleet, we offer both fully-maintained and do-and-charge maintenance programs. And if you find a vehicle is suddenly rendered unroadworthy, we also have a short lease and rental service with 50,000 vehicles available at 500 locations nationwide.
The last of our tips for effective fleet management over Christmas is to get as much data about your vehicles as possible and use it to develop a strategic management plan – one that can adapt long after the sleet and snow have turned to sunshine and blue skies.
Our FleetIntelligence solution is perfect for this, allowing you to get all of the efficiencies information you need across categories like fuel analysis, invoicing, service schedules, delivery reports and even your overall fleet composition. Using FleetIntelligence can help Christmas fly by, while setting you up to gather the information that will transform your business to run smoother month-in, year-out. It’s not just a big part of how to manage a fleet effectively during Christmas – it’s an essential tool for managing a fleet at any time of the year.
So those are our six top fleet management tips for the holidays. Which ones are you following already – and which will you be considering in the coming weeks? Tell us on Twitter or let us know over on our Facebook page.
To learn more about anything we’ve mentioned above, call us on 0344 854 5100 or email CSalmon@sgfleet.com.