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Increasing Utilization and Driver Efficiency

Optimizing fleet utilization and driver efficiency is a key component of successful transportation companies. Taking time to review data and metrics can help fleet managers understand whether a vehicle is being used safely, efficiently, and to its full potential.

Underutilized assets are a lost revenue opportunity. Leveraging the right asset management software will help you run a successful and productive fleet company.

What Is Utilization and Driver Efficiency?

Fleet Utilization and driver efficiency metrics provide insights into your key assets – your vehicles and your drivers. Reviewing fleet utilization reports can help you understand if vehicles are being used properly, by the right drivers, and how to avoid unscheduled downtime. 

Underutilized vehicles can increase operational costs and poor driving behaviors can lead to increased fuel costs. Fleet Utilization helps fleet managers easily identify drivers that are using more fuel, routes that are less productive, and vehicles with higher maintenance costs.  Utilization is key to increasing efficiency and in turn, profitability. 

Here are several benefits driver efficiency and utilization reports can yield: 

  • Lower fuel costs
  • Reduced emissions 
  • Improved productivity and safety 
  • Predict maintenance costs 
  • Overall fleet performance improvement 

How Are Utilization and Driver Efficiency Measured?  

A fleet efficiency report includes data about each vehicle in the fleet, such as: 

  • Mileage
  • Hours of Service (HOS) 
  • Fuel consumption 
  • Routing 
  • Maintenance 

Additionally, the report will review driving behavior.  

Dash cams and telematics can also tell fleet managers how drivers are accelerating and braking, or speeding habits, which provides insight into whether the vehicle is being operated to its full potential and how much unnecessary fuel is being consumed. 

How To Increase Utilization and Driver Efficiency

Increasing utilization and driver efficiency requires you to conduct a careful review of key performance indicators (KPIs) for your fleet. Here’s what you should be paying attention to when reviewing fleet analytics data from your telematics and asset management software.

Reviewing Utilization Costs and Revenue

To understand your fleet’s efficiency, you’ll need to review the cost per mile for every vehicle as well as the revenue that those miles generate. Each metric that you follow will serve a different purpose, but it’s important that you not only look at the fuel efficiency of a vehicle to decide whether or not you should continue using it. 

You’ll also want to review the maintenance costs, as well as how much revenue the vehicle generates. While reviewing costs and revenue values, take time to look at the number of empty miles and the downtime for the vehicle. That way, you can seek out opportunities to increase efficiency overall. 

As you review the information for each vehicle, here are some key metrics to track: 

  • Revenue Per Truck: Take your total monthly company revenue and divide it by the number of vehicles in your fleet.
  • Revenue Per Mile: Divide your total monthly revenue by the miles all vehicles have driven.
  • Cost Per Truck: Divide your total monthly transportation expenses by the number of trucks in your fleet.
  • Cost Per Mile: Divide your total monthly transportation expenses by the number of miles driven that month.
  • Vehicle and trailer utilization rates: Divide the total fleet mileage capacity by the actual mileage covered over a period of time.

Tending to these metrics can provide you with insight into your company’s averages. From there, you can evaluate each truck and driver based on these baseline metrics. Doing so will help you separate those that exceed expectations, from those that fall short.

Other important metrics that are helpful to track consistently include: 

  • Fuel economy
  • Truck yields
  • Utilization rates
  • Wasted miles
  • Maintenance costs

Streamlining Operations To Maximize Productivity

To learn more about how productive and efficient each driver is, you should divide the prospective route mileage assigned to a driver by the actual miles that they drive. You’ll have coaching metrics that you can share with your employees as well to set clear expectations for the driver. Doing so will help you create and implement improvement plans to help all drivers learn how to be efficient.

Streamlining operations requires reviewing additional key metrics, including the following:

  • Out-of-route miles
  • Inefficiency patterns
  • Poor scheduling
  • Inefficient routes

To learn more about how productive and efficient each driver is, you should divide the prospective route mileage assigned to a driver by the actual miles that they drive. You’ll have coaching metrics that you can share with your employees as well to set clear expectations for the driver. Doing so will help you create and implement improvement plans to help all drivers learn how to be efficient.

Take Advantage of Technology

Transportation technology and data-driven insights can aid in the process of building more efficient operations in a variety of ways: 

  • Building more fuel and time-efficient routes
  • Alerting a driver to delays 
  • Optimizing vehicle uptime and maintenance 
  • Maximizing every mile by reducing deadhead miles 
  • Coaching drivers on vehicle efficiency 

Integrating fleet management software with a telematics solution is the best way to gather data and improve operational efficiency. The more analytics and information you have in one place, the more efficient your operations will likely be. 

Enhancing the Driver Experience for Increased Efficiency 

High driver turnover rates and driver shortages can disrupt your operations, as well as your customers. Constantly having to recruit, interview, and hire drivers only for them to leave shortly after being hired is expensive. Creating and maintaining a successful driver retention strategy starts with alignment between what your drivers want and what you’re able to provide. 

Investing in technology to make driver’s routes easier, providing ongoing driving behavior metrics, and increasing safety and compliance can go a long way to keeping drivers happy and productive. Video intelligence and dashcams, fleet telematics, and transportation management systems play a big role in streamlining transportation operations and improving retention. 

Optimize Your Fleet Business

No matter which type of fleet you manage, reviewing vehicle utilization and driver efficiency will provide you with key insights that can help you increase productivity, safety, and profitability. This can also ensure that you get the most out of every dollar you spend on your vehicles and your drivers. But to get started, you’ll need a good foundation, starting with software that can track and report the details of key metrics.

FAQ

How Can Driver Efficiency Be Improved?

To improve driver efficiency, you should optimize routes and schedules, agree on delivery windows, constantly review traffic updates, reroute as needed, cluster deliveries in the same area, and use multi-trip logic.

What Is Driver Utilization Rate?

Driver utilization rates compare the capacity of a driver with what the driver accomplished during that period. This is generally expressed as a percentage of how much of their capacity the drivers accomplished.

What Is the Importance of Vehicle Utilization?

Vehicle utilization tells you whether your fleet’s capacity meets or exceeds your business’ logistical needs. Most businesses will not achieve a 100% vehicle utilization rate, but the higher the rate, the more efficient your business will likely be.

Streamline your fleet management business with Trimble Transportation

Trimble Transportation is committed to connecting and simplifying the world’s supply chain while empowering customers. Whether you're a carrier, intermediary, or shipper, Trimble can help you streamline operations, maximize business performance and increase profits.

Streamline your fleet management business with Trimble Transportation

Trimble Transportation is committed to connecting and simplifying the world’s supply chain while empowering customers. Whether you're a carrier, intermediary, or shipper, Trimble can help you streamline operations, maximize business performance and increase profits.