Fleet managers play a pivotal role in many transport businesses. They ensure that a business’s fleets are well-managed, efficient, compliant with regulations, and safe.
They also oversee all aspects of a business’s fleet operations, including managing vehicle services, maintenance and staff. Additionally, a fleet manager is responsible for managing fleet compliance and is the one at the forefront of a fleet’s strategic planning.
A fleet manager’s duties and responsibilities have evolved in today’s modern, technology-driven world, which requires them to wear many hats within their organisation.
The introduction and advancements in fleet managing technologies have seen fleet manager job descriptions changing and adapting to use these technologies to their and their business’s advantage.
Today, let’s break down all the multifaceted roles of a fleet manager and explore how various technologies can enhance and aid their roles.
One of the most prominent and perhaps obvious duties in a fleet manager’s job description is that they have to manage a fleet of vehicles.
This vehicle management entails:
- Buying and leasing new vehicles: Fleet managers typically manage the purchase and leasing of new fleet vehicles.
- Vehicle maintenance schedule: They also create, implement and manage vehicle maintenance schedules.
- Ensure MOT and roadworthiness checks: Vehicles in a fleet have to undergo regular safety checks, which the fleet manager ensures.
- The replacement of vehicles: If a vehicle has reached the end of its usable lifetime, the fleet manager will oversee its decommissioning.
Vehicle fleet maintenance is a dominant aspect of a fleet manager’s daily responsibilities. By organising and overseeing maintenance, fleet managers keep vehicles safe and operational.
Regular vehicle maintenance ensures that your fleet is:
- Safe: Replacing broken or malfunctioning vehicle parts makes sure that vehicles stay on the road and helps prevent accidents. It also improves driver safety and keeps other road users safe.
- Roadworthy: Regularly servicing fleet vehicles ensures that tyres, braking systems, and vehicle safety features are in working condition, preventing unnecessary breakdowns.
- Compliant: Well-maintained vehicles have up-to-date registration and licensing paperwork, helping the business avoid traffic fines and penalties.
- Efficient: A serviced vehicle performs optimally, which improves fuel efficiency and helps prolong a vehicle’s lifetime.
- Cost-effective: A well-maintained fleet runs smoothly, helps control maintenance costs and better manages your fleet budget.
MOTs and Roadworthiness
Included in fleet manager duties is making sure that all fleet vehicles undergo required roadworthiness checks. All fleet vehicles should have valid Ministry of Transport (MOT) certificates.
Once a UK-registered car is more than three years old, it must undergo mandatory testing to ensure it meets strict road safety and environmental standards. These annual tests entail checking the vehicle’s brakes, fuel system, safety features and exhaust system.
Vehicles without a valid MOT certificate will rack up costly fines for a company.
These logistics specialists are also in charge of managing fleet drivers. This entails:
- Hiring drivers
- Providing training
- Supervising and managing drivers
- Monitoring driver performance
- Monitoring and managing staff compliance with company policies and regulations
A fleet manager is responsible for designing and implementing driver training programmes. This regular training ensures compliance with road regulations and boosts the safety of staff and vehicles.
A well-designed training programme focuses on vehicle operation, adhering to traffic laws and regulations, and safety procedures.
Monitoring Driver Behaviour
A good fleet manager uses a range of fleet management tools and telematics solutions to monitor vehicle speeds and fuel consumption. With solutions like our Driver Behaviour module, fleet managers can keep a close eye on how drivers are performing and even create league tables ranking the drivers in a team.
The collected data helps fleet managers identify and address bad driving habits, contributing to overall safety and compliance for the fleet.
Compliance and Legal Responsibilities
Another requirement on the list of manager responsibilities would be to ensure that the fleet adheres to industry and government regulations.
Adhering to industry regulations – which pertain to driver and vehicle licensing, employee working hours, and vehicle safety – ensures that the business, drivers and vehicles stay compliant.
Some of the most common regulations that regulate UK fleet businesses include:
- Vehicle and Driver Licensing Authority (VDLA) regulations
- Working Time Directive
- Driver Hours Rules
- The Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA) 1974
Fleet managers create and manage documenting systems and must keep records of all compliance regulations and legal documents.
To ensure compliance, a manager must ensure that these documents – vehicle registration, driver’s licences and MOT certificates – are up-to-date.
The documents must be easily accessible and readily available during an audit or in the event of an accident.
Strategic Fleet Management
One of the most crucial skills of good fleet managers is the ability to develop and implement a range of fleet management strategies.In collaboration with internal and external stakeholders, vehicle managers can use these strategies to boost fleet efficiency and profitability.
Whether it’s purchasing fuel and other supplies in bulk, negotiating special-deal contracts with vendors, or adjusting the size of their fleet to fit the business’s needs, fleet managers may have a range of strategies to reduce fleet costs.
Fuel Efficiency Initiatives
Similarly, some fuel-reduction strategies that can be implemented include:
- Encouraging drivers to use fuel-efficient driving techniques
- Purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles for the fleet
- Using telematics solutions to track and reduce fuel consumption
Technology in Fleet Management
Technology has seen a lot of advances in recent years and it continues to play an essential role in fleet and business management.
For example, fleet managers can employ telematics solutions to manage their fleets in real time, provide feedback on fleet performance, and monitor driver behaviour to take quick action in the case of poor or unsafe driving.
Telematics and Tracking
Telematics solutions use GPS technology to track vehicles in real-time.
These solutions provide valuable data that can be used to:
- Reduce fuel consumption
- Create efficient driver schedules
- Improve route planning
- Calculate driver scores and monitor driver behaviour
- Prevent unauthorised vehicle use and theft.
- Improve customer service
- Reduce insurance premiums
- Help with vehicle defect reporting
Advanced Safety Features
Modern-day technologies help improve driver safety and boost the on-road safety of fleet vehicles. These technologies include:
- 4G dash cams: These cameras can record video footage of the vehicle cabin and the road, which can be useful in insurance claims and can help improve driver behaviour.
- Lone worker protection apps: With the help of this app, fleet managers can regularly check in with lone workers on the road to protect them from any workplace hazards and risks.
Fleet manager responsibilities – which include managing fleet vehicles and ensuring they are safe, roadworthy, and compliant – play a pivotal role in the success of any transport business.
Along with these responsibilities, they also manage fleet drivers, monitor driver behaviour, and always strive to improve on-road driver behaviour, thereby boosting road safety.
To ensure that they are not left behind when it comes to technology advancements, it is crucial that fleet managers use telematics to ease their workload and improve their management skills and abilities.
Just contact Crystal Ball to learn about our range of telematics solutions to help your fleet manager better manage their fleet and drivers. Or, request a demo, and we’ll contact you to explain how our state-of-the-art telematics solutions can improve your fleet operations, reduce fuel consumption and boost your bottom line.