The role that fleet managers play in trucking companies is crucial. Not only are they responsible for making sure that the business is running smoothly, but part of their job description also includes making sure that the stakeholders on different levels are happy with the company’s overall performance.
In a lot of cases, a fleet manager’s level of skill and competence has a massive impact on the company’s health. So we decided to take a look at how ELDs can help fleet managers with the gargantuan task of making sure that the company is operating efficiently.
Here is a list of some major ELD benefits for fleet managers.
1. Fleet managers can avoid liabilities.
Fleet managers can be held accountable and punished severely (in the event of an accident) when they assign more working hours to drivers than they are supposed to. In such scenarios, fleet managers can get fines up to $25,000 or even jail time should a fleet manager’s negligence cause fatalities.
ELDs can be a real help for fleet managers avoiding such liabilities and unfortunate incidents. Because ELDs can alert fleet managers and truck drivers for HOS violations, chances of drivers working beyond hours-of-service regulations become almost zero.
Also, because ELDs can monitor and detect fault codes from vehicles, it can alert the driver immediately if a truck has maintenance problems. This can minimize accidents due to vehicle maintenance problems.
2. Have their proposals approved by the management.
When fleet managers have ideas that they’d like to propose to upper management, it becomes easier for them to present their plans in a more compelling and convincing way when they have ELDs.
Since they can include reports backed by data that they’ve acquired through ELDs to solidify their points, it becomes almost impossible for anyone to argue the validity of their proposals. Proposals and ideas that aren’t just based on opinions or guesstimates are always hard to ignore.
For example, if fleet managers want to propose added training for drivers, they can easily highlight bad driving habits of their drivers with the data ELDs provide.
When the upper management can see the expenses that they are bearing because their drivers don’t have proper training, it becomes easier for them to approve the proposal. That way, it becomes a win-win for everyone.
3. Fleet managers can work more closely with shippers.
Because ELDs give fleet managers the ability to view a truck’s location in real time, they can update shippers about their cargo as often as they want, since they can readily see the information on their end.
Earlier, giving updates used to be a big hassle. The process would require fleet managers to call drivers to get the information. It becomes especially annoying when truck drivers can’t answer the phone call — and that could be for many reasons.
Another thing to note is how phone calls are very distracting for truck drivers. Instead of focusing on driving, they would need to keep on answering their fleet manager’s calls which can lead to unnecessary distractions that could result in fatal accidents and injuries.
4. Fleet managers can prove their worth.
Because of how important a fleet manager’s role is to a company, he/she needs to be able to prove his worth. He needs to be able to show that he knows what he is doing and that his impact on the company is a positive one.
Without ELDs, doing this can be quite challenging as they don’t have access to a lot of quantifiable data. For example, they wouldn’t be able to show to the upper management how much fuel they have helped the company save due to their directives.
With ELDs, fleet managers can see the exact fuel consumption of trucks in their fleet management. They would also be able to compare the performance of the entire fleet between the current month and the previous one and highlight crucial improvements.
5. Fleet managers can make conclusive decisions a lot easier.
To make better decisions, fleet managers needs to have a thorough understanding of the latest industry news and trends. Also, the more data fleet managers have, the more educated their decisions become.
ELDs can give fleet managers the data they need.
Another thing worth mentioning is how accurate the data is from ELDs. When the fleet managers have access to data that can be trusted, they can be confident that their decisions are well founded on reliable numbers and not inaccurate guesses or gut-feelings.
6. Fleet managers can set realistic metrics.
Fleet managers are goal oriented; they set metrics or objectives for the fleet to achieve to make sure that the company remains profitable and productive.
In the past, setting these objectives can be quite challenging because fleet managers do not have access to a lot of relevant data about their fleet. With the usage of ELDs, however, all of this can change.
Because of the plethora of data that fleet managers can get through ELDs, they can now set better and more realistic objectives. They’d be able to find the perfect balance between realistic goals and pushing productivity.
7. Painless and quick reporting.
An important part of fleet managers’ jobs is to send regular reports to company’s upper management. These reports often include savings or cost-avoidance reports, variable and fixed cost reports, and even for replacement or ordering activities.
ELDs can do wonders at helping fleet managers with these reports. Because ELDs have tons of important numbers data that fleet managers can look into, it means they won’t have to do much digging to obtain the information they need. With just a few clicks on their web dashboard, they’d be able to find the data that they are looking for.
When you compare that to how things worked in the past when fleet managers would need to go through boatloads of paper reports from different drivers — and sometimes have a hard time making out what’s written on the forms due to the penmanship of drivers — you’ll have a better appreciation of the convenience and efficiency that ELDs can bring to fleet managers.
8. Better relationship with the company stakeholders at every level.
Because fleet managers’ performances will drastically improve after using ELDs, they’ll have a better relationship with people in their workplace.
Since most people adopt the “Respect is earned, not given.” ideology, fleet managers are bound to win the respect of their colleagues with how efficient they are at their work.
After all, if fleet managers can help save a company thousands of dollars by optimizing fuel consumption and helping the company avoid fees resulted by roadside violations, it pretty much sends a clear message all throughout the company how a fleet manager is a force to be reckoned with.
9. Fleet managers can rally the team in the same direction.
Fleet managers are leaders. They are in the position to lead their fleet to a common goal — one that would bring positive impact not just to the company, but also to the drivers and everyone else in between.
Through electronic logbook app, fleet managers can send or broadcast messages to several drivers all at once. It makes it easier for them to bring everyone on the same page and lead everyone in the same direction.
Also, if drivers would have challenges or have issues that they’d like to raise to their fleet manager, they can easily reply with their electronic logbook apps, making it easier for their fleet manager to address their problems.
10. Fleet managers become even better stewards of the company assets.
Since ELDs can help fleet managers prevent road crashes from happening and reduce a company’s fuel wastage (among many other things), they can help their company save tons of money and improve business operations.
Also, since ELDs can help truck drivers and fleet managers with vehicle maintenance, the chances of vehicles getting broken become highly unlikely.
These are just some of the many things that fleet managers can do that would make them good stewards of the company’s assets.
11. Fleet managers can avoid unnecessary complaints.
Depending on how fleet managers perform, they can easily get complaints from their clients as well as management.
For example, if the senior management sees a sudden increase in the fleet’s fuel consumption, they are bound to ask its fleet manager about it. If the fleet manager can’t give them a definite answer justifying why there is a sudden increase in fuel consumption (because they don’t have any data points to look into), they are bound to receive all sorts of complaints from the upper management.
Also, if fleet managers can’t give updates to the shippers when they ask about the whereabouts of their cargos, this can also cause the shippers to complain.
When fleet managers have ELDs at their disposal, they can avoid such unnecessary complaints because of all the features that ELDs bring to the table. This can lead to fleet managers having a better working environment and relationships with the people they are working with.