When managing and coordinating a fleet of vehicles — what’s known as fleet operations — there are those variables you can control and those you cannot. You can use route planning and preventive maintenance to boost efficiency and save costs. But you’ve also got unpredictable weather conditions to deal with — and we want to dive deeper into that weather impact on operations.
The Importance of Fleet Operations
Fleet operations refers to all management activities for a group of vehicles that a business owns or operates. These vehicles transport goods to manufacturers, distribute products to stores, or move products in the supply chain.
Whether a business operates a small or large fleet, fleet operations carry weight. Well-managed fleet operations help businesses make the most of their resources and increase productivity. In doing so, they also help control costs in relation to vehicle maintenance, fuel consumption, and more.
Weather and its Direct Impact on Fleet Operations
There’s no shortage of unpredictable weather conditions businesses have to contend with: heavy rainfall, snowstorms, and heat waves, to name a few. In each scenario, there’s a weather impact on operations.
As the roads become more slippery, drivers cautiously reduce their speed. If the rainfall is heavy enough, roads may even be closed, prompting drivers to find an alternative route.
Reduced visibility in a snowstorm makes driving more hazardous and slows down drivers on their route. Cold temperatures also strain a vehicle’s engine, increasing fuel consumption.
In extreme heat, a vehicle’s engine is prone to overheating. Overheating can reduce a vehicle’s performance or cause a breakdown at worst. Tire blowouts are also more likely to occur in extreme heat.
Tools to Mitigate Weather Impact on Operations
While weather may be unpredictable in fleet operations, there are tools to reduce its impact. It’s a matter of the actual vehicles and how they’re tracked.
Equipment for Vehicles
If you haven’t already, think about equipping the vehicles in your fleet with all-weather tires. They make it easier for drivers to handle their vehicles in the rain and snow.
In an area with heavy snowfall? Make snow chains available to improve vehicle traction and reduce the risk of vehicles getting stuck. Drivers will have better control of their vehicles if they run into any slippery terrain.
Fleet Route Optimization Software
Fleet route optimization software like Azuga Routes helps keep drivers on track despite severe weather conditions. With real-time dynamic routing, fleet managers and drivers will instantly know if a traffic condition changes. This could include a road closure or a weather event causing an impact on the road.
One of the other benefits of the software is routes are automatically updated with optimized routes. Rather than having to call a manager from the road, a driver can simply follow the new route they’re provided with to avoid closures and other road issues. Not only is this a more efficient resolution, but it’s also a much safer alternative since drivers don’t have to be distracted by the phone.
Help Your Fleet Navigate Severe Weather Conditions
Weather will always be a variable of fleet operations that is beyond control. Yet, that doesn’t mean fleet managers can’t get out in front of the weather impact on operations. With fleet route optimization software, small and big businesses alike can help their drivers quickly pivot when harsh weather hits, in the safest manner possible.
See what Azuga Routes can do for your fleet operations. Request a demo.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is fleet operations?
Fleet operations accounts for the management of a group of vehicles that a business operates or owns. Management activities include acquiring vehicles, maintaining vehicles, overseeing drivers, and planning routes, to name a few.
How does weather affect fleet operations?
Severe weather conditions can disrupt the efficiency of fleet operations and cause delays in delivery. Harsh weather can also cause damage to vehicles and put drivers at greater risk for accidents.
What is fleet route optimization software?
A fleet route optimization software helps businesses of all sizes plan for and optimize the routes their fleet takes. By improving fleet logistics, the software helps make operations more efficient and cost-effective.