After coming back from the Mid-America Trucking Show, we’ve got new fleet technologies hot on our minds. After being in business for as long as we have and working with as many fleets as we do, we know all about the tight deadlines -- and, tight margins -- the industry has to deal with. Driver turnover, retention hardships, and recruiting challenges also impact the bottom line. This means fleets must get creative in how they manage budgets while also making sound investments on the latest technologies designed to make their operations more efficient.
Fleet technology is evolving at a shocking speed and knowing which ones to implement is never easy. Here are three tips you can follow when you feel you’re ready for a technology overhaul:
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
After three days at MATS, we could clearly see that there is an endless plethora of technologies and tools to choose from. Technologies designed to make fleets operate more efficiently and effectively while also appearing more desirable to potential new hires -- the sheer volume of choice is almost overwhelming. But, here’s the rub: You are not the same as the next fleet over. The technology that’s a good fit for your competitor may, in fact, not be a good fit for you.
Do your research. Gather your team, take a close look at your operations, and clearly define what you think your needs are and where the gaps lie in your business. Find the technologies that add the most value to your fleet and, ultimately, make you more competitive.
Optimize Current Technologies
You know exactly which technology we’re referring to here: ELDs. Hands down, electronic logging devices give fleets extremely valuable insight into their operations...But, only if these fleets are optimizing its usage, analyzing all the most useful data, and using it to make adjustments to their operations. ELDs may be government-issued and required, but you can’t ignore the fact that the data from these devices provide a whole new level of insight into what’s working in your operations and what isn’t.
Maintenance Is Key
Any time you purchase a new technology, it’s because you know that the long term benefits outweigh the upfront costs. Having a team that can help you set up, troubleshoot, and regularly maintain your new technology is a must. Reducing your downtime and maximizing your roll time is critical in ensuring your fleet remains profitable and sustainable for years to come.
What new technology are you planning to implement this year?