Masons: Can Fleet Management Software Help Your Business?

Words: Dan KamysWhether carrying brick, stone, supplies or workers, masonry businesses can rely on vehicles to help deliver the right products and services to their customers. Using those vehicles to their full potential can help your business thrive and increase bottom-line profits. GPS fleet tracking is one tool that can help you get the most from your vehicles, in spite of the rising costs of fleet ownership many masonry businesses face. Here are some ways to use fleet tracking systems to improve business functions.
  1. Lower Vehicle Maintenance Costs: Maintaining your vehicles, especially those vehicles that carry heavy stone and other equipment, is one of your biggest expenses. By investing in fleet management, you can lower the costs of maintenance. Your GPS system can help in two distinct ways: First, many GPS fleet tracking systems have maintenance updates built into their designs. This allows you to stay on top of oil changes, tire rotation and brake maintenance, helping you avoid costly repairs down the road. Second, by effectively utilizing the GPS system, you can stop unnecessary driving or idling of the vehicles. This leads to reduced wear and tear on the system, and less maintenance as a result.
  1. Limit Personal Use of Company Vehicles: Every business owner who has a fleet of vehicles knows the reality that drivers are not always using business vehicles for business purposes. It's just too tempting to swing by the grocery store and pick up that gallon of milk before returning to the shop after finishing a job. In fact, the practice is so common that around 87 percent of fleets allow some personal use of company vehicles - within set guidelines. Once you have established guidelines about how company vehicles should be used, you can use your GPS fleet tracking to enforce them. Your system will reveal, in real-time, where company vehicles are located. If you notice that your vehicles are stopping for side jobs or trips to the grocery store, you can take measures to stop these behaviors. This provides two benefits: First, it protects your business from liability that may occur when a truck bearing your logo is not where it is supposed to be and an accident occurs. Second, it will limit side trips, which use fuel and increase vehicle wear and tear.
  1. Route Drivers More Efficiently: In a masonry business, you will be sending drivers all across town to the various jobs that come your way. Unfortunately, traffic and road construction can cause unexpected delays. GPS fleet tracking allows you to route drivers around these types of delays so they can arrive in a timely manner to the current job. If time is not of the essence for routing, you can set up the system to route drivers based on mileage, so drivers take the shortest possible route from the shop to the jobsite.
  1. Reduce Fuel Costs: Fuel costs may be lower than they have been in years, but you still need to take measures to reduce wasted fuel, and GPS fleet tracking can help. You can reduce fuel costs in several ways, including:
  • Stopping excessive idling. Often, drivers leave the vehicle running without even thinking, and this idling uses fuel with no benefit to your company. A medium, gas-powered truck can burn almost a gallon of fuel an hour when idling, so this waste adds up. Your tracking system will provide alerts if idling is a problem for your drivers.
  • Improved routing also helps lessen fuel waste by avoiding traffic jams or excessively long routes.
  • Improved maintenance may allow vehicles to get better miles per gallon, and thus reduce fuel costs even further.
  1. Improve Mobile Worker Productivity: Finally, fleet management makes mobile workers more productive. Workers who are out in the field and know their activities are tracked are going to work harder to be on time, finish the job in a timely manner, and return to the shop as scheduled. More productive workers mean more money in your pocket and more success, as a whole. If you are looking for a proven way to improve your bottom line and increase customer service in 2016, consider investing in fleet tracking programming. With a little bit of accountability and the right software, you can turn your fleet into a productive asset to your masonry business.
Robert J. Hall is president of Track Your Truck, a leader in GPS vehicle tracking systems and software for small and mid-sized companies.
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