One of the most important tasks of managing a vehicle fleet, especially a truck fleet, is establishing schedules for upcoming work. If schedules are set incorrectly, there will often be delays in the delivery of goods and increased costs due to vehicles not being in the right place at the right time. It is therefore extremely important that any fleet management system has some sort of fleet planning software as part of the package.
There are several elements to effective fleet planning, and the software must be able to build schedules from scratch, redo schedules if necessary, create schedules that ensure the maximum economical operation of the fleet, and ensure that schedules can be met without breaking any. transport regulations. This article will examine these points and what should be considered when purchasing fleet planning software.
Good fleet scheduling software should create schedules from scratch. This should give the fleet manager a long-term view of the fleet’s long-term plans and also a view of short-term operations, such as those carried out for one-time customers. The software should allow the manager to realize substantial savings through optimal fleet planning, and should present the schedules and associated savings in an easy-to-read report. The software should also display all data in graphs for easy reading.
In addition to creating the original long-term and short-term schedules of the vehicle fleet, the software should also be able to change the schedules quickly and easily when the need arises. This is almost certain to happen at some point, either due to bad weather affecting fleet running times or due to accidents and breakdowns putting some trucks or cars out of service. The software should allow the fleet manager to quickly and easily react to such incidents and reassign vehicle resources, ensuring the right vehicles are in the right place with the least amount of work.
One of the most important parts of planning a fleet is to ensure that established schedules can be met by the vehicles assigned to the job without loss of economy due to increased fuel consumption or increased vehicle maintenance. The software must take into account the optimal operating speeds and fuel consumption of the vehicles and create schedules accordingly. The last thing any fleet manager wants is increased fuel and maintenance costs due to overloading vehicles to meet extremely tight schedules.
The optimal exploitation of a fleet of vehicles has another aspect. In addition to ensuring that vehicles are performing optimally in terms of fuel consumption, the scheduling software must ensure that schedules can be met without breaking any of the many regulations that govern transport and freight transport, such as highway speed limits for trucks and the amount of time a driver can legally spend on the road without stopping. The software should do this automatically with no work needed from the fleet manager.
As can be seen, scheduling is an extremely important part of managing a fleet of vehicles, especially a fleet of trucks where delivery times are of paramount importance. Fleet scheduling software should give a fleet manager an easy to read overview, in graphical and written report form, of long and short term schedules and performance of the fleet as a whole and at a individual vehicle. Keeping the above points in mind, a fleet manager should be able to find a fleet planning software package that keeps their fleet running on schedule without incurring costs or breaking transportation regulations.