What are the roles and responsibilities of today’s truck and trailer fleet manager? Judging from job advertisements, the principal responsibilities are still choosing and maintaining a range of trucks and trailers to ensure that customer deliveries are made on time and according to budget.
Fleet manager’s responsibilities include:
- Truck and trailer selection. Fleet managers have to decide which trucks and trailers to buy and sell, given their company’s delivery forecasts and budget. For some, this means full ownership of their fleet. Others choose to lease or rent trucks and trailers to meet fluctuating customer demand. Leasing or renting vehicles enables them to increase their load capacity at peak delivery times without the overheads of ownership and the risk of unutilised trailer assets when demand is low. Yet others opt for a blended solution of fully-owned and leased or rented trucks and trailers.
- Fleet maintenance Keeping a fleet on the road round the clock to fulfil customer deliveries requires a scheduled maintenance and repair programme. Fleet managers in larger companies may have an in-house team of technicians to maintain the fleet in peak condition, minimise off-road time and limit unexpected repairs. Those with a smaller fleet often prefer to outsource this part of their operations to expert third party maintenance and repair providers.
- Safety and roadworthiness By law, every fleet manager needs to check that his or her vehicles are roadworthy and safe. (source: Road Safety Ireland Guide). This involves, for example, taking every vehicle through official roadworthiness tests such as the Contrôle Technique in France or the German Hauptuntersuchung test.
- Driver management Fleet managers need excellent communication and management skills to work with their drivers. Reliable, high-performing drivers can make a significant difference to the bottom-line. A fleet manager needs to equip drivers with all the tools and training necessary to optimise their company’s performance. Specialist training could include learning the latest telematics technology. A good relationship, where information is shared between fleet managers and drivers results in more effective deliveries, better route selection and preventative maintenance through drivers’ visual vehicle inspections. Poor driving can lead to issues such as speeding fines, accidents and greater fuel consumption.
- Performance management Margins are tight in the transport industry. Therefore, fleet managers can play a vital role in business success by minimising costs without jeopardising safety. At a micro level, for example, choosing the right fuel or tyres reduces cost significantly. Keeping a fleet running at optimal performance requires substantial management.
Fleet manager of the future
In large transport companies, fleet managers typically used to come from mechanical backgrounds. (source: Trucks.com) With telematics, logistics software and other technologies becoming an increasingly integral part of the logistics business, industry experts forecast that the fleet managers of the future will come from technology backgrounds and have knowledge of analytics and IT. (source: Trucks.com) In fact, the job of fleet manager is starting to look like an air-traffic control job with lots of pc screens and data coming in. Only in road logistics, all wheels stay on the ground.
Companies with smaller fleets may continue to operate without a full-time fleet manager. They may choose an employee to take ownership of a small number of the responsibilities that were outlined above and outsource the rest to outside companies.
Benefit from TIP Trailer Services
Whether you are running a large or small fleet of trailers, TIP is the ideal company to which you can outsourceparts of your fleet manager responsibilities. This enables you to focus on those aspects of your business where you add the most value.
TIP Trailer Services provides trailer leasing, rental, maintenance and repair as well as other value added solutions to transportation and logistics customers across Europe.It is a highly experienced provider of trailer maintenance and repair programmes. It offers cost savings, flexibility and access to a large team of well-qualified technicians trained in all the latest technologies operating from a network of over 70 workshops across Europe and Canada. TIP Trailer Services also runs a pan-European roadside assistance service. TIP can assist you with ensuring that your trailer fleet conforms to all roadworthiness and safety regulations.
To discuss a future partnership, please contact TIP to find out how it can help.