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Take the time to re-evaluate your operation

April 11, 2023
Time spent reviewing your fleet's operations can help pinpoint weaknesses and provide opportunities for improvements.

Given the turbulence of the last several years, chances are that you have not had time to re-evaluate your existing practices and procedures. It is likely that you were too busy scrambling to find new equipment and procure the replacement parts you needed to keep your aging fleet on the road.

 As supply chain issues are getting resolved and more businesses are returning to normal operations, now is a good time to take a step back and cast a critical eye on your operation to see if there are areas where you can make improvements. 

The COVID-19 pandemic changed buying patterns for consumers and businesses alike. Make sure you have the right kinds of equipment running in each duty cycle in order to improve your overall operating efficiency. Rightsizing your fleet means that you have the correct mix of tractors, trailers, and trucks in your fleet, including the right combination of sleepers and day cabs. If possible, take a clean-sheet approach to routing to see if there are ways to optimize pickups and deliveries. 

See also: Fleets share how they’ve endured truck, trailer equipment shortages 

Given market changes and technological advancements, you need to spend time reviewing your vehicle specs. There have been a lot of safety and efficiency improvements in the past several years and if you are still ordering trucks based on the specs you always used, you could be missing out from a fuel efficiency and safety standpoint. 

Now is also the time to begin looking at some of the alternative-fuel options that are becoming available. While there is no one right answer when it comes to alternative-fueled powertrains, there are powertrain options that work in a variety of duty cycles. Begin your exploration now as regulatory and societal pressures are continuing and you could end up losing business if you cannot demonstrate a commitment to sustainability. 

This is also a good time to look at improving the fuel economy of your traditional diesel trucks. Diesel is part of a cleaner transportation future and there are many fuel-saving devices that you can spec that will give you significant fuel savings with a good return on investment. 

See also: The importance of KPIs for performance gains 

The last area to review is your hiring, onboarding, training, and retention efforts. Having the right people, with the right skill sets in the right position will improve your overall efficiency. Review what you are doing to attract and retain the best and the brightest. Make sure you have development plans for each employee and have reviewed their career path with them. 

Time spent reviewing your operations is time well spent because it can pinpoint weaknesses and give you the opportunity to make improvements across your operation.

Jane Clark is vice president of member services for NationaLease. In this position, she is focused on managing the member services operation as well as working to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups. Prior to joining NationaLease, Clark served as area vice president for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Cos., Pro Staff, and Manpower Inc.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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