Managing a fleet of police vehicles can be challenging. As fleet managers, it is your responsibility to make sure that each vehicle is in working order and ready to roll when time is of the essence. In addition to ensuring vehicles are serviceable and efficient for officers, fleet managers are often tasked to finding ways to cut costs and inflate profits. How is this done? Here are five money-managing tips for fleet professionals:
1) Prospect Alternative Fuel Vehicles
There are many options to consider to help reduce your fleet fuel consumption starting at the beginning of the procurement cycle. According to Natural Resources Canada, a hybrid provides fuel savings of 20- 40% over gasoline-only vehicles, which is why there are several police-rated vehicles available that promote these savings. For example, both Ford and Chevrolet have released police-rated alternative fuel vehicles. Consider prospecting these options (hybrid, electric, biofuel and natural gas) to replace gasoline powered vehicles.
2) Pay Attention to Payload Capacity
Paying attention to what your vehicle can carry while staying within the manufacturers’ safety limits is crucial. Why? Loading your fleet vehicles beyond the gross vehicle weight rating can be damaging on the vehicle and can curtail its lifespan and ultimately puts your drivers at risk. Improve your payload capacity by choosing effective and lightweight options when upfitting your vehicle. When looking into equipment and accessory options, make the conscientious decision to choose materials that are lightweight and durable, such as aluminum, steel and polypropylene.
3) Reuse/Transfer Usable Equipment
When determining what equipment is required for upfitting your vehicles, consider solutions that are adaptive to vehicle modifications and are made of the highest quality. These solutions will likely outlast your vehicle and can possibly be transferred from older vehicles to new ones.
4) Conduct Routine Maintenance
Avoid possible problems/breakdowns from occurring by conducting regular maintenance on your fleet vehicles. Make sure to systematically check your fleet’s engine oils, fluids, tires, belts, hoses etc. on a routine basis to ensure that your vehicles remain in prime working condition. This will not only save you money in the long-term but will also extend the life of your vehicles.
5) Invest in Telematics
Optimize your driver operations and reduce wasted time and money by investing in data. Telematics technology provides fleet managers with GPS data and tracking such as driver distance, speed and even breaking/accelerating levels. These tracking systems provide the essential information for fleet managers to learn more about driving habits, determine maintenance schedules and boost fuel efficiency, ultimately saving budget dollars. This data also presents opportunities to educate and encourage better driving behavior.
There are many tactics that help fleet managers cut down costs, starting with choosing fuel-efficient/reliable vehicles, heeding to payload capacity, scheduling regular maintenance, and monitoring and correcting driving behavior by using telematic technology. Implementing these strategies and more can not only provide you long-term savings but can also save you time.
 Choosing the Right Vehicle. (2019, June 11). Retrieved from Natural Resources Canada: https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy-efficiency/energy-efficiency-transportation/personal-vehicles/choosing-right-vehicle/20998