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Mastering Fleet Asset Management: A Guide

Fleet Asset Management

For fleet companies, an ”asset” refers to a vehicle or a piece of equipment. On a construction site, assets can include bulldozers, backhoes, pavers, tractors, and excavators.

Acquiring these assets to make up the fleet is merely the first step. Once the assets are on the job site, they also require management, concerning their transportation, usage, maintenance, and resale.

A well-made fleet asset management plan helps fleet managers get the most out of their fleets, boosting productivity and efficiency on the job site. While some managers use a manual approach, most prefer using fleet asset management software like Trackunit, which has all the tools they need to get their jobs done efficiently.

In either case it’s important to have a comprehensive plan for fleet asset management. Here’s what it should look like.

What is fleet asset management?

To start, let’s look at fleet asset management and what it comprises. Think of fleet asset management as everything involved in overseeing the assets in your fleet. Managing your assets allows you to streamline the job site processes and understand your fleet’s lifecycle better.

Nowadays, many fleet managers use relevant software to keep their assets in check. The good thing about software is how it connects people, tools, equipment, vehicles, and facilities on a site, giving fleet managers a comprehensive view from the same platform.

That’s mainly why the number of fleet management systems in use increased from 5.8 million units to 12.7 million in just a space of five years from 2015 to 2020.

Why is fleet asset management important?

Managing any asset, whether it’s a piece of equipment on the construction site or a financial instrument in your portfolio, gives you an insight into its performance, lifecycle, and necessary maintenance. Here are some other reasons fleet asset management is a must-have for off-road and construction fleets.

Lowers costs

One way a fleet asset management solution lowers cost is by automating processes. You won’t have to hire as many employees as the system will do most of the tasks previously done by human employees.

Similarly, you can get updates about equipment maintenance in real-time. As a result, there won’t be any delays in maintenance and repairs, preventing breakdowns and reducing downtime.

Better operational visibility

Let’s say you have three excavators on site, and they are used between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you’re managing these excavators correctly, you can get real-time updates about their use and location.

For example, you’ll be able to see where the excavators are on the job site. Were they used after hours? Did the drivers leave them where they were supposed to?

As a fleet manager, you shouldn’t have to physically run around the job site to check if the excavators were returned. Fleet asset management systems keep track of assets deployed, their location, use, and maintenance requirements.

Better asset use

Balancing workloads is an integral part of fleet management. You do not want to underuse or overuse any asset because both scenarios can incur unnecessary costs.

With the information a fleet management system provides, you can make informed decisions about when to deploy heavier machinery or offload a job site due to the inability of an asset.

Crafting a fleet asset management plan: Step-by-step

When you create a fleet asset management plan, know that some steps will take place once while others should be ongoing and may require periodic reviews.

Step 1: Prepare and audit

While many people relate audit to financial accounts, an audit can also be an official review of any process or system.

Start with a comprehensive audit of your fleet and all assets associated with it. These could include:

  • Vehicles
  • Equipment
  • Tools and supplies

List all related information like serial numbers, model numbers, cost of each asset, age, and so on. It’s best to arrange all the assets based on a hierarchy.

Put the value, location, and cost of each asset in front of it. For example, if you’re arranging assets by a cost-based hierarchy, the more expensive equipment should be at the top.

Step 2: Track assets

Now, use the audit data to check if the vehicles are fit for the job. Have they been maintained or serviced recently? When does the warranty expire?

You should also note the repair costs an asset has incurred in a certain period. Looking at these factors will help you determine if an asset should be on the job site or be replaced.

Step 3: Categorize assets by use and job need

If you have to group assets every time a new job comes up, you’ll waste a lot of time. Instead, categorize assets based on their use suitability and job need.

For example, make the following groups for construction site equipment:

  • Earth-moving equipment
  • Earth-compacting equipment
  • Hauling equipment
  • Hoisting equipment
  • Conveying equipment

Then, put assets in each group according to their use case. When you have to deploy assets for a job, you’ll quickly know which group to send.

Step 4: Assess the risk strategy

Investopedia recommends devising a strategy to reduce the impact of business risks since avoiding them altogether is not a possibility. In fleet asset management, the strategy revolves around assessing the procurement, maintenance, and disposal of assets.

For instance, inspect the condition of equipment before purchasing it. Is it in good shape? How long will it last?

You should also review performance levels, production capacity, and repair histories of potential assets. Doing so will give you a good idea of the potential risks, giving you room to plan for their mitigation accordingly.

Step 5: Collect data

Finally, you must collect real-time and ongoing data about your assets. Reporting and analyzing these data will allow you to conduct compliance checks and trend analysis. Fleet management software can be incredibly useful in this regard.

Takeaway

Fleet asset management can be exhaustive, but it’s not something you have to do alone. Invest in a reliable fleet management system to make the process easier and more efficient for your business.