Owning an Auto Transport Fleet
In auto shipping, a fleet owner owns a number of vehicles that transport automobiles to a wide range of different areas. In the day and age when gas prices are high and people have to continually relocate for employment reasons, the fleet within the auto transport business is suddenly becomes a very important part of many people’s lives. If it were not for the use of fleets in the auto transport industry, automobiles would not make it to multiple destinations in a timely fashion. For example, if three customers contact an auto shipping company to transport their vehicles to three different locations throughout the country, one or two trailers are not going to be able to take care of all three shipments in a timely fashion, especially if they are already scheduled to go somewhere completely different. This could result in long waits for customers and loss of business. Instead, the company employs a number of vehicles that are scheduled to take on several locations through strategic planning of their routes. This means the shipping company can take care of shipments in a timely fashion, which is good for business. But the fleet owner must know how to plan shipments and ensure the smooth operation of the entire fleet in order for it to be successful.
The fleet owner has to keep track of all of the vehicles within their fleet in more ways than one. It isn’t just a matter of loading the trailers with goods and sending them to a specific destination. The fleet owner has to keep track of truck maintenance schedules, mileage, find the most fuel-efficient routes that will still allow deliveries to arrive on time, purchase new vehicles when the time is right, know the location of the vehicle at all times, record hours worked by drivers, and track all expenses incurred by the fleet.
To help with these responsibilities, many fleet owners employ a fleet management system to help them keep track of the many different tasks involved with owning a fleet. As part of that fleet management system, each driver in truck fleets may be given a fleet card that allows them to purchase gas and take care of maintenance that must be performed while the driver is on the road. When using a fleet card, the times in which the card can be used can be determined by the fleet owner to avoid misuse of the card. The fleet owner is also able to easily track the mileage on the vehicle since the mileage is recorded at the gas pump each time the card is used. The fleet owner may also opt to track the vehicles in their fleet via GPS to make sure that the driver is not straying away from the predetermined route.
However, whether or not a fleet owner uses a fleet management system doesn’t take away from the fact that these things must be monitored. Deliveries have to be made on time and in the days when gas prices are reaching all-time highs, it is important that the fleet owner map out and authorize what they believe to be the most gas efficient routes. They still have to keep track of maintenance schedules and determine when the best time to replace a vehicle within the fleet is. All of this may make it seem like there are a lot of responsibilities within the job because there is, but it is a rewarding job in that the fleet owner is always finding and utilizing new ways to operate the fleet within a budget as to not interfere with the profitability of the business. This makes the fleet owner’s responsibilities the anchor of the auto transport business.