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For the First Time in 5 Years, Fleet Costs Are Up

Running a Commercial Fleet Isn’t Getting any Cheaper

According to Automotive Fleet’s 27th Annual Operating Cost Survey, factors such as fuel costs, replacement tires, and maintenance are contributing to a gradual increase in fleet expenses. 

Fuel alone makes up approximately 60% of a commercial fleet’s operating costs, making it an important variable to track when calculating operating costs. Over the past 15 months, fuel prices have risen to a 4-year high. As you might imagine, this has had a huge impact on profitability. 

In 2018, the average fuel cost for a mid-size vehicle was between $99.7/month (avg. 24,000 mi. per year) and $178.92/month (avg. 80,000—100,000 mi. per year). That adds up to to 80% and 70% of total operating costs, respectively.

The climbing price of crude oil has also resulted in more expensive replacement tires, as it serves as the main component in tire manufacturing. With gas and tires—the most important commodities for a fleet—increasing in cost, it’s near impossible to maintain the same operating income as previous years.   

Higher wages have also put pressure on the commercial fleet industry’s profitability. Increases in both driver salaries and repair-related labor have whittled away at the profit margins of fleets.

Fleet Tracking Technology Can Reduce Costs

As operating costs climb, the most obvious solution is to eliminate unnecessary runtime of your vehicles. Idling, speeding, making unplanned stops, and other time-wasting activities directly relate to wear and tear on your vehicle and burnt fuel. 

In other words: wasted money. 

With Fleet Tracking Technology, fleet managers are more informed about the driving behavior of their employees and have more control over their daily operating costs. By using GPS systems, managers can monitor their drivers and tell if time (and money) is being wasted by deviating from the planned route or idling too long at a pick-up location. GPS systems can also determine the speed of a vehicle, letting managers know if drivers are going too fast, which burns more fuel and results in an increased chance of an accident. 

In addition to fuel and replacement tires, maintenance repairs make up a huge part of fleet operating costs. Fleet Tracking Technology encourages safe driving behavior and reduces the risk of an accident, which in turn lowers repair costs. Live dashcams and vehicle camera systems allow you to “ride along” with your drivers and determine whether or not they are participating in reckless or risky driving behavior. 

When you notice such behavior on the live feed, you can notify drivers and correct it before an accident occurs. As your fleet goes through long periods of time without incidents, you’ll start to see your annual operating costs continue to lower. 

At Safety Track, we help you protect your fleet with live dashcams and state-of-the-art GPS systems. By using our products, you’ll be able to increase driver safety, reduce operating costs, and ultimately—save lives. 

To learn more about our line of fleet safety products, please visit our page.  

Written by Corey Singleton

"As a business owner, I put big money into sales and marketing without ever really knowing what results I was going to get. Tired of this ambiguity, I decided to create a new kind of sales support company: one that provides a guarantee.

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