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Vehicles not being used? The time has come to optimise your fleet

Long holiday weekends in May, summer holidays, winter break: quiet periods for your vehicles are an opportunity to focus on improvements that are difficult to prioritise in normal times. How can you keep your vehicles secure when they are not being used? How can you make the most of these quiet times?

Read our advice on organising these periods of inactivity, prioritising what you do and making the most of the features offered by a fleet management solution to make a success of your fleet over the long term.

Secure parking: an overriding requirement 

Does your fleet spend the night in a car park or at a depot? Ensure your parking is secure

  • Check that your drivers’ schedules are aligned with your vehicles’ periods of inactivity to ensure they have a parking space and avoid extra costs.
  • Check in advance of these periods that systems to guarantee secure parking are working properly: personnel badges and access, surveillance systems (CCTV, security guard, lighting), insurance.

Are your vehicles kept parked outside? Ensure security-conscious driver behaviour

  • Teach your drivers parking best practices based on the vehicle and the location (on roads, on construction sites, in private garages, etc.).
  • Inform them of permissions and/or restrictions on vehicle use during the period (see also section 4 of the car policy concerning usage).

Enable GPS tracking to prevent malicious acts or improper use

Fitting your equipment (vehicles, HGVs, machinery, property) with GPS trackers  means they can be monitored effectively in periods of activity but also when they are not being used.

  • GeoFencing alerts can detect movements outside a defined perimeter (e.g. a car park or depot) and counter the risk of theft of property or fuel.
  • ChronoFencing alerts warn of movements made outside normal hours.

You can opt for the positioning system that is right for you by defining the monitoring parameters suitable for your needs within your fleet management solution (types of property, time periods and geographical areas covered).

Servicing your vehicles

The longevity of your fleet is dependent on proper maintenance of your vehicles. Periods of inactivity are the ideal time to carry out repairs and preventive maintenance.

  • Do a quick inspection of the condition of your vehicles: mileage, fluid levels, equipment, tyre pressures. Even if these checks are regularly performed throughout the year, a one-off general audit is recommended.
  • Take the opportunity provided by these periods to schedule required maintenance: repairs, technical checks, etc. A fleet management solution enables you to organise these activities better, giving you an overview of the condition of your vehicles (mileage, service history, problems detected, etc.). It also enables alerts to be scheduled for the next service dates.

Revising your car policy

Car policies are often underused, sometimes due to a lack of time to spend on documentation. It is not uncommon for them to contain only the rules on vehicle allocation, use and management. Yet when properly used, a Car Policy is a strategic tool for your fleet management: it can foster autonomy in your drivers by making available all the information they need on a mobile app, for example, saving you significant amounts of time on administration.

Make the most of quiet periods to revise this effective tool, making use of its full potential:

  • Refresh the documentation made available to drivers on the rules to be followed while they are not working: best practice for parking safely at home, rules on the use of company vehicles, driver obligations, restrictions on use outside work, what is covered by the insurance, etc.
  • Enrich the FAQ by answering any questions that your drivers may ask (what to do if…).
  • Check the list of useful contacts they will need when they are back at work (contact at head office, repair garages, etc.).

Gaining an overview of vehicle activity

Quiet periods for your fleet allow you to spend time analysing vehicle activity without any interruptions. A fleet management tool is the ideal aid for this, offering a 360° vision of your fleet’s activity.

  • It enables you to pass a fine tooth comb over the usage data associated with your drivers’ activities: routes, mileage, fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, risky driving behaviours.
  • It offers keys for understanding these factors by summarising the information in reports. This is an opportunity to assess performance based on the targets you have set (reduction in excess speeds, emissions, fuel consumption, etc.).
  • This level of analysis makes it easier to identify areas for improvement to work on and know which to prioritise: optimising rounds, eco-driving training, investing in road risk prevention, etc.

Don’t yet have a fleet management tool? The next quiet period may be an opportunity to start implementing a fleet management solution and exploring its activity management assistance features.

Drawing up a fleet appraisal

The time is here for energy transition commitments. In view of the latest regulatory developments, more and more fleet managers are considering a switch to electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Quiet periods can provide an opportunity to spend time on an electrification appraisal. What this entails:

  • Identification of the vehicles eligible for these engines, based on actual usage data (Can be done in the Ocean solution)
  • Estimation of the costs of switching to electric. (Can be done in the Ocean solution)
  • Integration of vehicles into your journeys and rounds schedules* based on the location of charging points. (Can be done in the Ocean solution)
  • Support for drivers on making the switch, particularly on battery charging best practices.

*(Can be done under our partnership with the Praxedo solution)

The fleet appraisal tool implemented by Ocean supports you with all these tasks by using data from the current combustion engine vehicles and electric/plug-in hybrid vehicles newly integrated into your fleet.

Finding out about the latest trends

Perhaps this is the moment to read that article you bookmarked weeks ago?

Quiet times for your fleet are a chance to read up on the latest in fleet management:

  • Update your regulatory monitoring: changes in legislation, future rates, new standards, taxation… there is plenty to keep abreast of!
  • Consider adopting management best practices recommended by other fleet managers.
  • Keep an eye out for new industrial and technological developments supporting fleet management and future topics for mobility (Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, alternative energies, new mobilities, etc.).

At Ocean, we regularly share brief articles on topics relevant to fleet managers:

  • On our blog:
  • On our LinkedIn page:
  • In our Flot Info digital magazine:
  • By subscribing to our monthly newsletter on our website (bottom of the page).
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