3 Ways Fleet Management Tools Deliver Instant Improvements

There are many things that keep fleet managers up at night, but a few questions rise to the top: How can we squeeze every last drop out of our fuel budget? What is the most efficient way to maintain our fleet? How do we ensure safety and compliance to protect our drivers and avoid fines?

With so many moving parts, fleet operations easily become overwhelming. Thankfully, modern fleet management tools offer easy-to-use solutions that make everyone’s job—from the cab to the back office—safer and more efficient. Using telematics tools to get the most out of your fleet’s data and insights empowers you to achieve instant improvements in numerous areas of your operations. For example:

1. Better Fuel Management and Reduced Operating Costs

Fuel represents one of the largest operational costs for fleets, so improving fuel management and savings significantly lowers your bottom line. Creating the most efficient routes for your drivers—including points of interest along the way—enables you to run faster, more cost-effective trips. And by tapping into real-time data to avoid construction zones or inclement weather, your drivers will not only be safer—they’ll also be using less fuel. 

Factors like drivers’ engine speeds, road speeds, idling, and cruise control all impact fuel efficiency. Analyzing driver behavior patterns and offering in-cab coaching helps your drivers instantly improve fuel efficiency. Gamified training and performance-tracking tools also make in-cab training fun for drivers while giving them immediate insight into how their actions affect fuel efficiency.

New truck technologies are designed to reduce idle time and improve fuel efficiency—even when drivers are sleeping. Automatic engine start-stop solutions monitor in-cabin temperatures, automatically starting and idling the engine as needed until a comfortable temperature is reached before shutting off the engine again, a solution capable of saving thousands in fleet fuel costs every year. 

2. More Proactive Maintenance, Less Downtime

Proactively maintaining your fleet and streamlining communication between drivers and your shop offer instant improvement to your operations and bottom line. For example, telematics tools provide real-time alerts to your drivers, like tire pressure, high-temperature notifications, and daily summaries. Sharing these with your maintenance team enables you to plan maintenance servicing to make the most of your team's time and prevent costly breakdowns. This data also offers overall vehicle health visibility for your entire fleet, helping you prioritize repairs based on the severity of issues and components impacted.

Properly maintained trucks reduce the possibility of part malfunctions during drive time, improving driver safety and lightening the workload involved with pre-shift inspections. Some fleet management tools also allow drivers to upload and share photos of their inspections directly with maintenance teams, making it easier for shop personnel to identify and prepare for addressing repairs even before the truck is in the shop. Digital third signature capture helps drivers complete their portions of the maintenance sign-off processes and get their vehicles back on the road more quickly.

3. Improved Safety and Compliance

Managing compliance is a necessary part of every fleet manager’s job, as it not only helps promote safety but also prevents costly fees from violations. Telematics tools with automated compliance reporting enable fleets to easily review the real-time status of every driver as well as log edits, violations, unassigned drive time, diagnostics, and more.

Driver safety can also be greatly improved with in-cab technologies, such as proactive alerts and feedback on potentially unsafe driving habits. This insight helps coach drivers on safer practices and also gives fleet management a better idea of which routes or drivers carry the most fatigue risk. Reducing these risks creates a safer work environment for your drivers—improving driver retention—and minimizes the potential for costly accidents, which often result in expensive downtime, litigation, and even loss of life. Camera and video technologies integrated with your fleet management tools provide an additional layer of protection for your drivers and may even prove innocence in legal cases.

Safety features that streamline in-cab communication—such as heads-up notifications, voice messages, and centralized navigation tools—help reduce driver distractions while keeping channels of communication open. They also enable your back office to prioritize specific messages for your drivers while silencing others until their vehicles are no longer in motion. Drivers can be automatically notified when they move into a geographic location with differing HOS requirements, as well. Small safety improvements like these add up to big savings by reducing accidents, downtime, and compliance violations.

How a Partner Ecosystem Expands Functionality

In a product ecosystem, a software and hardware provider work with industry application developers to offer add-ons that are vetted and approved to work seamlessly with their flagship products. This enables the company to offer additional functionality to support specific goals or address unique needs. For example, some fleets may need to improve their adherence to HOS guidelines, while others may want to streamline in-cab driver communications. Specialized apps pre-approved to integrate with their ELD tools open up new capabilities and help fleets tailor their management tools to their exact requirements.

As a leader in fleet management tools, Platform Science maintains an extensive partner ecosystem that gives fleet managers the power to customize their systems with add-on apps. These add-ons further improve operations and simplify jobs for everyone in the fleet. Here’s how:

  • Fuel Efficiency: PS Navigation delivers easy-to-follow directions right to your drivers' dashboards—including real-time updates—ensuring they always use the safest and most fuel-efficient routes. True Fuel, an add-on app from our partners at Tenstreet, provides access to patented fuel management software designed to help you and your drivers reduce your fleet’s fuel expenses by up to 10% annually through automated fuel data, in-cab driver coaching, and more.
  • Maintenance: PS Telematics offers streamlined vehicle data dashboards that remotely identify all active fault codes and eliminate the need for shop visits to determine when trucks require maintenance. Doran 360 TPMS from our partners at Doran Manufacturing is an add-on app that sends alerts for tire pressure, high temperatures, and fast leak conditions to drivers’ mobile apps, making it easy to monitor tire conditions and prevent serious potential issues.
  • Safety and Compliance: PS Compliance delivers driver-friendly inspection tools that simplify drivers’ vehicle inspection reports and simplify vehicle defect reporting, including photo capture for easier maintenance and troubleshooting. Our partners at Pulsar Informatics also help drivers remain alert and safe on their routes with Fatigue Meter, an add-on app that delivers proactive alerts based on real-time fatigue risk assessment and predictive analysis from HOS logs and safety events.

Learn more about the Platform Science partner ecosystem and suite of fleet management tools.