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trucks parked Photo: Aaron G. Marsh / Fleet Owner

Start the New Year with an in-depth review of operation

The beginning of the New Year is a good time to review, reflect and evaluate existing practices and procedures. 

Here are some areas you might want to give a closer look.

  • Vehicle specs: When was the last time you reviewed your “standard” vehicle specs? New technologies come out every day and while you may not always need the latest and greatest, it’s a good idea to look at your options to see if tweaking a vehicle spec can get you more miles per gallon, help you attract drivers or allow you to operate in a safer manner.
  • Safety training: It’s likely you do a great job with your safety training during your on-boarding process, but are you reinforcing safety throughout the year? The results of the recent Operation Safe Driver Week tell me that there is room for improvement. Law enforcement personnel issued close to 39,000 citations to drivers of commercial vehicles during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s October Operation Safe Driver Week. Eighty-four percent of the citations were for moving violations and speeding accounted for 7.4% of the violations. Clearly there is room for improvement in building a safety culture at all fleets.
  • Better MPGs: Are you doing all you can to get the most miles out of a gallon of fuel? Improving fuel efficiency is more than making sure the vehicle has the right combination of technologies on it. It also means engaging drivers in the process of squeezing every tenth of a mile out of a gallon of fuel.
  • Improved operational efficiency: The right trucks with the right trailers running the right routes is one key to improving your overall operational efficiency. Right size your fleet and look at ways to optimize routing and eliminate empty back hauls.
  • The right people: Finding and retaining people is an on-going problem for the trucking industry, yet to be successful we need the right people in the right jobs. Review your hiring, on-boarding and retention efforts. Are you doing all you can to attract and keep the best and the brightest? If not, start the New Year by revamping your hiring practices so that you can find and keep the people you need to be successful.

Most of the time we are so busy just running our businesses that we don’t have time to look at the big picture. The New Year is the perfect opportunity to take a top down look at your organization and make the necessary changes to ensure success in 2018.

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