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4 Approaches to Improving Uptime in Your Commercial Fleet

How do you improve uptime while maintaining driver satisfaction, ensuring compliance and eliminating unnecessary costs? It seems like an impossible question, an endless battle, a fruitless effort. But the transportation industry is nothing if not innovative—so we have some solutions for you!

From solid fleet maintenance management programs to cloud-based TMS software, here are some outstanding processes, diagnostic tools and solutions that will allow you to improve uptime in your commercial fleet.


1. Reduce Roadside Breakdowns with a Comprehensive Fleet Maintenance Management Program

Any truck that isn’t currently hauling freight is costing you money. One of the most common (and costly) reasons for vehicle downtime? Roadside breakdowns. These unexpected repairs cost more than just funds; they can also harm your reputation and result in the loss of a customer.  

Ideally, your trucks will go from one preventative maintenance to the next with no unexpected breakdowns in between. This might sound like wishful thinking at first, but the proper telematics devices and a strong maintenance management program will enable you to catch most issues before they develop into full-fledged engine trouble or other expensive mechanical problems.

Are your trucks running as efficiently as they could be? Is your fleet maintenance program tailored to the actual needs of your vehicles? Vehicle health diagnostics like Trimble’s Tire Pressure Monitoring and Fault Intelligence provide much-needed insight into your fleet’s performance. Armed with key vehicle health data, you’ll be better prepared to efficiently maintain your fleet. And with software like Trimble’s TMT Fleet Maintenance streamlining every step of the equipment repair and maintenance process, your trucks will be back on the road before you know it—instead of stuck waiting for roadside assistance while the clock ticks.


2. Optimize and Automate Your Load Matching Process

Refining the load matching process can also work to improve uptime throughout your fleet. Traditionally, load matching requires hours of tedious manual data entry and analysis. Factor in the inevitable human error or two, and you’re left with an operation with plenty of room for improvement. It’s time to ensure that your trucks are hauling the freight that makes the most sense, eliminating deadhead miles and improving uptime.

Transportation technology like Trimble’s Dispatch Advisor helps to automate the load matching process. Not only does this take human error and hours of data entry out of the equation, but it also enables dispatchers and load planners to make more accurate decisions. Ultimately, your enterprise will reap the benefits of such software in the form of increased uptime, enhanced customer service and more. 



3. Maximize Route Efficiency

While load matching involves making sure that the right trucks are carrying the right shipments, route optimization ensures that those trucks are taking the most efficient route to get to their destination. In-cab navigation hardware, coupled with routing integration and back-office support, can help your drivers avoid out-of-route miles and stay on the right route.

Ultimately, route optimization or route planning results in increased uptime, a more productive supply chain and fuel conservation.


4. Ensure Your Fleet Is Compliant

The ELD mandate is perhaps the most prominent recent example of key directives with which trucking companies must comply; there are a whole host of others governing everything from emissions to driver scheduling. Be sure that your back-office staff are paying careful attention to renewal dates, state permits and international mandates. Otherwise, trucks in violation could quickly be taken out of service or off the road until you acquire the proper paperwork.

Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports and fuel tax reporting may seem like just more headaches and timewasters, but they result in safer fleets and more accountability—both individually and company-wide. You can even take some of the key learnings from these necessary inspection and reporting processes and use them to improve your operations. Your ELD records alone can tell you plenty about driver habits and patterns that could be streamlined.


Fleet Maintenance Management Solutions, TMS Software and More

A more efficient commercial fleet starts with an evaluation of your current performance and operating capabilities. With the right transportation management technology, your growth potential is virtually limitless. And we’re not talking exclusively about uptime, here—we’re also referring to overall productivity, driver retention and customer service, just to name a few.

At Trimble, we create innovative software and hardware solutions that reduce and even eliminate some of the most common problems facing enterprises like your own. Ready to learn more about our offerings? Contact us today. We look forward to helping you improve processes, reduce human error and strengthen your bottom line.