What Is A Fleet Manager?

30 Apr 2019, Posted by McPherson Oil in Industry Information

Fleet management plays an important role in the logistics sector as it serves businesses such as courier, raw material delivery, and oil and gas distribution, etc. Maintaining a fleet requires logistics and operations skills as well as proficiency in fleet management software to increase efficiency across the supply chain. To support fleet management efforts, fleet managers are assigned to maximise distribution and delivery efficiencies along with reducing costs and complying with government regulations.

Simply put, a fleet manager has one of the most important roles when it comes to maintaining the performance of vehicles, managing drivers, cutting costs, complying with laws, and in turn promoting efficiency and profitability of any fleet.

Role in Fleet Management

Fleet managers are responsible for purchasing vehicles, licensing them, tracking their usage, monitoring inventory storage capacity, and optimizing fuel consumption. They focus on ways to cut costs using the shortest and safest routes, in addition to maintaining optimum health of the drivers and the vehicles.

Fleet managers play an integral role in any business’s supply chain and they have a number of job responsibilities. Here’s a look at some of the most important job responsibilities performed by a fleet manager:

1. Vehicle Acquisition

Purchasing an adequate number of vehicles based on the services their company offers, the vehicle size, fuel consumption, and its resale value. Additionally, once a vehicle’s useful life has ended, it is often the task of the fleet manager to resell them at a price point that recovers at least a part of the company’s initial investment.

2. Tracking Fleet

Acting like a walking-talking tracking machine, fleet managers are expected to have complete knowledge of the whereabouts of vehicles being operated understand their supervision. They are required to ensure driver, vehicle, and load safety and make timely checks on all other related areas of operations. While this may seem to be a very simple task to a layman, fleet tracking can actually prove to be very challenging; especially when you have over a hundred vehicles operating under your wind.

For fleet managers, GPS technology appears to be a God-send. Using the latest tracking devices and software, fleet managers are required to track their vehicles across the country, and update drivers on the best routes to their destinations which not only cuts delivery costs but time, as well.

3. Monitor Compliance with ELD Mandate

The ELD (electronic logging device) mandate requires fleet operators to log in hours of service electronically, offering businesses an easier way to track and record duty times and status. This congressional mandate that passed in December 2017,  also aims to reduce the risk of reckless driving by tired drivers; replacing paper logging with an electronic device. Fleet managers are expected to implement ELD systems in all their vehicles to ensure they have records of driving times and hours of service.   

4. Managing and Training Personnel

Skilled drivers are needed to maintain schedules and drive efficiently using the designated routes. However, if the staff is unskilled, fleet managers are tasked with providing them with on-job training to ensure that they are capable of executing their tasks in an orderly manner.

Unskilled drivers can cause fines, speeding tickets, and in worse cases, lawsuits for reckless driving. While it can often cost fleet managers plenty of valuable time conducting training sessions, it definitely helps contribute towards smoother operations in the long run.

As a part of managing and training personnel, fleet managers are also expected to supervise drivers and vehicle maintenance personnels to ensure they comply with all state and federal regulations when on the job.

5. Manage Operational Costs

Fuel and vehicle maintenance are the two main costs associated with running a fleet service. Fleet managers, being at the head of fleet operations, are expected to identify and cut down any unnecessary costs while increasing productivity across the board.