Having your own company is a huge responsibility, and if you also have your own fleet of vans, there is even more to think about! To make sure that you can run your fleet efficiently, as well as safely and within legal guidelines, here are a few things that may help you if you are just starting out…
When purchasing vehicles, don’t commit to more than you can manage. It is better to grow your business slowly and have more demand than not enough – you don’t want empty, unused vehicles sitting around doing nothing.
Maintaining Vehicles is really important. Maintenance of vehicles should be well managed, as you do not want too many vehicles off the road at one time if you can help it so a vehicle maintenance calendar will help you to organise this efficiently. Get drivers to report faults straight away by filling in a sheet at the end of their shift so that it can be dealt with straight away and prevent a bigger problem or even a safety issue developing.
Manage the efficiency of your fleet and make sure that you are getting the most from them by making sure that routes are well planned and thought out. Tracking vehicles can also be a great idea – there are lots of vehicle tracking companies that can help you with this, and you can use the data to analyse routes and see where you can make improvements, as well as being able to help customers who want to know when a delivery is likely to arrive.
Fuel is one of the largest expenses when you are running vehicles, so it is really important that you can make sure that you are getting the most from your fuel. It is good to know where vehicles are being fuelled up, and also having fuel cards for vehicles can help with this and save you money. Alongside a tracking system it is possible to manage where fuel is being used and make changes if necessary.
If you are struggling to manage all of this, as your business grows it can be a good idea to hire someone to manage the fleet for you. This can take up a lot of time that you may not have and release a lot of the burden from you. If they also have a knowledge of other things like maintenance of the vehicles, this is a bonus as then you can get quick repair jobs done in house rather than paying fees at a garage and possibly having to wait longer for repairs to be done.
One of the most important parts of your vehicle fleet is your drivers, so make sure that you engage with them and offer a good level of training. Do regular training sessions to ensure that they understand all that is required and to update them on anything new that they need to know.