HVACR fleet managers already face many challenges to keep their vehicles and busy drivers on the road. The dramatic increase in fuel costs, part, and labor shortages, general inflation, and lingering supply chain issues have only added to the list of challenges.
The advent of technology such as GPS and fleet management software, however, has changed the formula for how HVACR fleet managers accomplish their fleet goals. Software solutions that use GPS for location-based information are being used for proactive preventative maintenance, more thorough pre-trip inspections, enhanced driving routes, and improved safety programs and driver monitoring.
Research shows that fleet managers regularly see the benefits of these technologies to accelerate their growth. According to a recent Verizon Connect Fleet Technology Trends report, 70 percent of fleet companies surveyed said they already use GPS tracking technology. Overall, 96 percent of fleet managers using GPS fleet tracking software said they found it beneficial to decrease fuel costs, lower accident costs and reduce labor costs.
These modern advances and new technology have drastically improved vehicle quality and performance, lowered costs, and improved safety. When looking for a fleet management software solution for your HVACR business, there are four ways this investment can ultimately help your business.
Start with Better Maintenance
With GPS tracking software that is part of an overall fleet management solution, you can help keep your fleet vehicles in top condition. These solutions allow you to schedule preventative maintenance proactively, which helps reduce urgent repairs and prevent drivers and vehicles from getting stuck on the road or at a job. By tracking data on engine use and mileage and setting automated alerts, you’ll be reminded when preventative maintenance is coming due, so you can be sure every vehicle is maintained properly.
As we all know, getting ahead of maintenance helps reduce issues from happening in the first place. You can also maintain a detailed record of all preventative maintenance activities performed on a vehicle within a fleet tracking system to prevent any work from being done that isn’t required, which can help decrease your overall fleet costs.
The time you spend now to develop your fleet’s preventative maintenance plan could save your company a considerable amount of lost time in the future. In addition, the money you spend on implementing a preventative maintenance plan will be small in comparison to maintenance costs associated with unscheduled, preventable repairs. In this case, a dime of prevention is worth a dollar of cure.
Boost the Capabilities of Pre-Trip Inspections
Although typically associated with long-haul trucking, pre-trip driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) are becoming another important factor in ensuring the safety of drivers and vehicles. Drivers should be provided a training guide with imagery and case studies for pre-and post-trip inspections. You can also give drivers a comprehensive list of potential risks for failing to complete an inspection and have them sign off on it, that way they understand the consequences. For HVACR companies specifically, ensuring workers check that ladders are secured, external storage doors are locked and more, can prevent potential risks and help keep drivers prepared for pre-and post-trip inspections.
Using electronic DVIRs, specifically, can help establish and enforce a standard driver procedure for pre-trip inspections. DVIRs can be completed electronically using a smartphone or tablet with features that force drivers to physically inspect the vehicle rather than just speeding through the form. DVIR walkaround features enable you to monitor the probability that a driver spent enough time walking around their vehicle for a thorough inspection.
Increase Efficiency with Better Route Planning
GPS tracking with fleet management software also allows you to cut down on vehicle wear and tear, thanks to optimized routing and better driver oversight. By improving your routing, you can reduce mileage, which can prolong the life of tires, belts, and other key vehicle components. At the same time, you'll be able to identify hard stops, starts, speeding, and other poor driving habits which cause poor fuel economy and could be sending your vehicles to the shop causing higher than-expected fleet operating costs.
And with truck GPS navigation software, drivers have hands-on tools to reduce the stress of safely maneuvering a large vehicle through unknown territory. The benefits of optimized routing speak for themselves, fleet vehicles stay on the road longer, and items like fuel costs and tire costs are reduced, helping lower your fleet operating costs.
Improve Driver Behavior by Reviewing Data
Monitoring and modifying driver behavior with tools such as dashcams can also help reduce your fleet maintenance costs. With driver management software you'll be able to identify hard stops, starts, speeding, aggressive driving behaviors, and other poor driving habits which could be sending your vehicles to the shop.
Data from driver management software can be used to help prevent crashes, which in turn can help lower repair costs due to accidents, prevent injuries and fatalities, improve fuel efficiency, and reduce insurance premiums. Fleet management software streamlines maintenance costs and processes in a variety of ways to help keep your HVACR vehicles on the road where they belong regardless of your fleet size.
Accelerating HVACR Growth with Fleet Management Tech
From increased productivity and better customer service to better routing and lower maintenance and fuel costs, there are many reasons why fleet management software is becoming the norm for fleets of all sizes. As complex challenges continue to strain budgets, fleet managers know they must not only maintain operations but improve them. Fleet management technology offers a powerful way forward, giving HVACR business owners and fleet managers the data they need to make better decisions, navigate challenges, and help improve fleet performance.
Kevin Aries leads Global Product Success for Verizon Connect, helping build software solutions that optimize the way people, vehicles and things move through the world. Working predominantly with field service businesses, Kevin spends his time understanding the problems and solutions of the service industry to improve customer experience. For additional information, visit verizonconnect.com.