Heavy-vehicle transport managers have key functions that must not be neglected if they want to ensure the efficient running of their fleets
Managing and controlling a fleet of heavy-duty trucks and buses is an extremely important job, and one that has a direct effect on a company’s sustainability and profit. To maximise the efficiency of the operation, the transport manager must carry out the following key job functions in a professional manner:
Immediate action and rectification must take place to fix any costs that are higher than the set standard. Special attention must be given to all the variable costs. An escalation clause should allow for a rate adjustment when the price of fuel fluctuates.
Manage vehicle maintenance
All company vehicles must be well maintained, roadworthy and safe to operate in accordance with the manufacturer’s standards. Workshop production, efficiency and effectiveness must be kept at optimum levels.
Manage company drivers
Company drivers should be motivated, controlled and managed. Work that has been well done must be recognised and rewarded. Drivers must be carefully selected and meet all required driving standards for the vehicles that they will be driving.
It is important that drivers do not work excessive hours and that they attend regular training. Driving licences and professional driving permits must be checked monthly to ensure that they are valid and have not been endorsed or cancelled. Action must be taken against drivers who consistently commit traffic offences.
Monitor vehicle loading
Ensure that vehicles are not overloaded, that the mass distribution is correct and loads are well secured.
Record all accidents
All incidents that take place must be recorded, controlled and measured to ensure that any necessary action is taken to ensure that the incident is not repeated.
Monitor all vehicle breakdowns
The causes of all vehicle breakdowns must be analysed, and steps must be taken to ensure that a solution is found to eliminate a repeat of the same type of breakdown. Keeping good records will assist in measuring the effectiveness of the fleet’s maintenance programme.
Control and monitor all outsourced work
The quality of outsourced work must be completed on time and suppliers must be paid on time once the work has been inspected and approved.
Setting company vehicle policy
All drivers of company vehicles must adhere to the set standards. Vehicle replacement should take place in an optimum timeframe to ensure that the company gets the full expected economic life from the vehicle. Regular and accurate vehicle management reports must be submitted.
The transport budget for the company must be monitored and controlled. All transport costs must be kept within the budget limits.
Motivate your team
The team should be happy and motivated. They should enjoy their work and respect and maintain the vehicles that they drive.