How to improve vehicle utilisation

Every fleet manager would like to achieve 100% asset and vehicle utilization. However, the industry average is only about 50%.

That doesn’t mean you can’t implement strategic techniques to get as close to 100% as possible. Below are some techniques, but keep in mind that a quality fleet management software solution will help you maximise vehicle utilisation. That’s because in order to get the most out of your vehicles and assets, they should be connected via a telematics service provider.

How to determine your current vehicle utilisation

How to determine your current vehicle utilisation

In order to improve, you must measure your current vehicle utilisation on a regular basis – it could be daily, weekly or monthly. Jot down how many days, shifts or hours your vehicles are in service. (Note: measurement can be per day, days of the week or weeks in a month)

Then, look at the three-basic element of vehicle utilisation:

  • Driver’s available hours of service
  • Customer service require­ments
  • The allowed gross vehicle weight
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But you could also consider:

  • Are your trucks on the road less than full? If so, how often?
  • Are your trucks making unnecessary stops or staying on planned routes?
  • How long is each stop?
  • How many drivers do you employ to meet delivery require­ments?

Vehicle utilisation challenges

Vehicle utilisation challenges

Customer satis­faction

It can be challenging when your customers only accept deliveries within a certain time frame, but you can use the time wisely. Do you have additional trips or tasks, e.g. backhauls or other customers with more flexible operating hours? Now you have an opportunity to increase vehicle utilisation.

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Partially empty trucks

Consider this: your trucks do not have to operate 24/7 to maximise vehicle usage. If your truck is out all day and must make 20 stops with a 1,000-box capacity, but your customers each have 300 boxes, then vehicle utilisation is not maximised because your truck goes out partially empty. Maybe you have a smaller trailer with a 315-box capacity that you could deploy instead.

Static routes

Many fleets use static routes, meaning the same route everyday even when some stops don’t have any deliveries. This means increasing the miles and hours on route, which is not geograph­ically effective or fuel efficient. Route optim­isation or dynamic routing can help you avoid this and improve vehicle utilisation.

Solutions for optimising vehicle utilisation

Solutions for optimising vehicle utilisation

Optimising your routes each day means looking at all the stops and formatting them in a sequence which will maximise the utilisation of vehicles, assets and drivers. This might sound overwhelming at first, but as mentioned above a telematics service provider can help you automate vehicle utilisation.

A fleet management solution like Webfleet can help you maximise vehicle utilisation with more reliable ETAs, limit driving time, maximize the number of stops your driver makes and improve customer satis­faction. For more information, visit our page on Webfleet workflow management system.

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