Recent world events have made it more important than ever to be able to quickly respond to your clients. If your business requires your employees to go out and provide services in-house, having a reliable fleet of vehicles is critical. No matter how far you need to haul supplies, employees, and gear, the tips below can help you manage costs.
You may have employees who take a work truck home each night and have logical mileage logs. However, an employee who has a long commute or one who is not as responsible with company resources as you’d hoped can quickly lower the value of a new work vehicle.
By adding GPS tracking to every vehicle in your fleet, you can more easily manage
- mileage from your facility to the job site
- mileage from the job site to the supply store
- mileage not related to the job
If you notice that an employee is suddenly putting on a lot of miles that aren’t related to a specific job, you may need to curtail their ability to take their truck or van home. You may also be able to work out a mileage exchange or a fuel tracking program with them.
Depreciation of new vehicles can take a bite out of your bottom line. Buying a used vehicle can be a way to keep costs down, but making sure you get a quality used vehicle can take a great deal of time and effort. To make sure that your fleet dollars are put to the best use, you may want to consider leasing a vehicle from a business that specializes in fleet vehicle rentals.
According to Kingbee Vans, specialists in commercial van rentals in West Valley City UT, they say that “We live in a right-now economy… Why spend months upon months planning, waiting, and adjusting your fleet order when you have access to vans ready to go to work tomorrow through Kingbee.”
They have a point. By the time you secure a good deal for your next order of fleet vehicles, get them shipped, perform maintenance, perform upgrades, get them legally compliant, on the road, and insured? This is a tall order when your business is in a crunch. Commercial vehicle rental experts have found a thoughtful niche that allows your business the flexibility to expand and pivot when it needs.
A leased vehicle option offers a great deal of flexibility. For example, you may already be using standard work vans but want to check out a taller vehicle for on-the-job supplies. Companies like Kingbee and many others can quickly turn over a fully customized vehicle for any of your company’s needs. Shelving, racks, electrical configurations, vehicle wraps, and much more can be available to you when you’re looking to expand your fleet quickly.
If the new van layout doesn’t work, or if you don’t need it for the next job, you can start your rental contracts out for just four months. If the van works well and you need the space for the next job, you can rent it again for longer.
As you and your work foreman look over the schedule for the coming weeks, make sure that someone is also checking employee-assigned vehicles. It can be very easy to overlook simple maintenance steps, such as
- tire rotations and suspension checks
- oil changes
- other fluid checks
However, basic maintenance can quickly fall by the wayside when you’re very busy, and a large expense can result. It may be simplest to manage such maintenance by the calendar rather than by the miles. By the calendar, you can easily swap vehicles and give employees a window of time in which they will need to get the vehicle in for maintenance.
If you have a vehicle that has become untrustworthy, it may be time to let it go as is. Be honest about the concerns you have with it; the problem could be electrical or it could be using a lot of oil.
Should you take a look at the fleet parking lot and notice that one space is severely stained, do what you can to sell the vehicle locally. Shipping a vehicle to another professional can get you more money, but most vehicle transport companies are prohibited from shipping anything that drips. Unless you have the connections to drain a vehicle and ship it to the new owner on a flatbed, your best bet may be to sell the vehicle on Craigslist or a similar platform.
If you know a fleet vehicle is not trustworthy, don’t sell it to an employee. Should they have a bad experience while trying to repair it, they may become resentful.
Your business fleet has to be trustworthy. It also helps if you can quickly scale up (or down) the size of your fleet, depending on the jobs coming your way. Consider adding one rental vehicle of a larger size to your fleet to see how your employees respond.
Jeena Alfredo is a passionate digital marketer at The Business Goals. She is working with other companies to help them manage the relationship with The Business Goals for the publications.