Breakdown and recovery

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Every vehicle is always at risk of breakdown when on the road. That’s why drivers should be aware of the right steps to take when faced with a vehicle breakdown. Every company, and fleet managers especially, should provide the necessary information to their drivers on what steps to take in case of a breakdown to ensure recovery.

A breakdown in the middle of nowhere can cost your business due to lost time and delays in delivery. As a vehicle or fleet owner, it’s wise to invest in the best vehicle recovery service and coverage for your fleet. It is one of the best decisions you can make for your fleet and drivers' safety.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps to take when selecting the best vehicle recovery service in your area. Let's dig deeper into some factors you should consider most when choosing a breakdown and recovery service and cover for your commercial fleet.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Vehicle Recovery Service 

Modern automobiles are quite complicated and come with some unique technology. It’s often difficult or impossible to fix some vehicle issues unless you reach out to a mechanic or specialist who is familiar with the vehicle in question. Here are some factors you should consider before making that call.

1. What are the coverage options?

The first essential question you should ask your recovery service provider is the extent of their coverage. It’s usually smart to find out if the company is willing to offer their services in every part of the country, because you don't know exactly when and where your vehicle will be broken down.  

Confirm how far their services can extend and whether the company provides towing trucks in such areas. For instance, if your company is in the UK, you should determine if the services extend to Ireland and other islands in the region. The best post breakdown and recovery provider should be available in most parts of the country.

2. Does the company employ accredited technicians?

Another factor to consider when choosing a recovery service provider is the expertise and qualifications of their team. The company should have a dedicated and professional team of field technicians to handle your vehicles on site.  

Since modern vehicles include complicated technology, the technicians you choose to work on them should be qualified and familiar enough with modern car engines to handle any issues in your fleet. The technicians should also be well trained and have an in-depth understanding of modern vehicles.

Note: You should always find out whether the company has a team of qualified technicians and mechanics with enough experience to handle brake failure and ignition problems that can arise in your vehicle, and can cause serious safety concerns. 

3. Is the company available 24/7?

You don't know when your drivers are going to have a breakdown. It could be in the middle of nowhere delivering an urgent order to your customer in the countryside. In that case, you should be able to contact your recovery service provider for a fast response. Find out the method of contact the company uses and whether they have an emergency response team in place before sealing the deal.  

It is important to determine if you can reach the company through direct mobile phone calls, emails, messages, and landline calls. The company should have a dedicated and committed customer care team to respond to all your inquiries on time. Another factor to consider is whether the company has a dedicated mobile service app to access its services remotely.  

Most fleet recovery companies offer a GPS enabled app that signals your location in case of a breakdown. This will save you time when you want to explain your exact location to the field technicians. You can also use the mobile app to find the nearest service center to take your vehicle.

4. What different services does the company offer?

Different breakdown recovery companies offer different plans for their customers. In most cases, the breakdown plan is manual.

That means you can only access recovery services 2-3 times every year. For that reason, when choosing a recovery service provider, you should find out if they provide extra services at a lower cost. This will help you save a lot of money on some technical vehicle repair services.  

5. How old is your vehicle?

You should always consider your car age when choosing a vehicle breakdown and recovery plan for your fleet. Most service companies will normally shy away from offering coverage to older vehicles because they are more likely to break down.

If you have a running recovery plan with your service provider, you can sometimes renew it up to a decade from the year of car purchase. That said, you should confirm if your service provider allows for renewal of coverage for aging cars.

Since older cars attract expensive recovery pans, it’s also best to consider the cost of each plan the company offers before you buy one. Some service providers will also require that you service your car regularly to keep it in good shape. This is not a bad idea, but when the company sets the servicing intervals too close, it might be quite expensive on your side.

Final Thoughts 

When managing a commercial fleet, it’s clever to prioritize an affordable and reliable vehicle recovery plan to ensure your peace of mind. Many companies offer fleet recovery plans, and you should always shop around for the best in the market. To ensure your vehicles are always safe on the road and reduce regular breakdowns, you should also train your drivers on fleet safety.

Azuga offers you the best enterprise fleet tracking software you can use to keep track of your vehicles and ensure they are in good shape while on the road. This way, you can save money on repairs, breakdowns, and recovery.

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Fleet Dispatching

If you manage a fleet, you probably already understand the delicate dance that is fleet dispatching. If not, you may not realize just how crucial this process is to the success of any fleet-based business. 

What Is Fleet Dispatching?

Simply put, fleet dispatching is the process by which commercial fleet drivers are sent out into the field to make deliveries, service customers, and handle other business-related tasks. But it involves so much more than simply telling drivers, “you go there.” Good fleet dispatching may also involve considerations for traffic conditions, road hazards, driver skill sets, customer preferences, and onboard equipment. When done correctly, it’s a skillful juggling act that helps a business reach its daily goals. When poorly handled, it can be a disaster for all concerned.

What Is a Fleet Dispatcher?

A fleet dispatcher is a person in charge of scheduling and arranging dispatch for a commercial fleet. Small fleets may have a single dispatcher to manage all calls, while larger enterprise fleets may employ an entire team. 

A fleet dispatcher must clearly understand schedules and routes, job proficiencies, fuel management, fleet maintenance, and regulations related to hours of service and other fleet compliance issues. A good fleet dispatcher knows the drivers in the fleet well and can anticipate their scheduling needs and which jobs they are most suited to handle. Fleet dispatchers must be masters of communication and have elite organizational skills.

Fleet Dispatch Software from Azuga

Fleet dispatching is as much an art as a science, and it can be overwhelming at times. The best way to support the fleet dispatchers on your team is to give them tools and technology that make the job easier. Fortunately, Azuga offers the answers to all of your fleet dispatching conundrums

Our GPS Fleet Tracking software can keep track of all the vehicles in your fleet along with large equipment and other assets. Dispatchers can use this information to see which vehicles are nearby when a job pops up. What’s more, we offer top-notch route optimization tools to help guide drivers around road construction, accidents, and other hazards that might prevent them from getting to their destination on time. We can even help you schedule routine maintenance, promote road safety, and automatically deliver dispatch notifications to drivers in the field. 

Learn about all the ways Azuga Fleet can help your commercial fleet stay productive and efficient while simplifying maintenance schedules and creating a culture of safety on the road. Schedule an Azuga demo today!

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Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, such as a residence or a retail store. This step must be as quick and efficient as possible to ensure that customers are satisfied, and products move as much as possible. What is last mile delivery, and how can businesses perfect it? 

Steps of Last Mile Delivery

There are five steps to last mile delivery to go through to ensure it is accurate and efficient. 

  1. Enter orders into a centralized system
    You've been tracking the order all along. At this point, the customer is most likely also tracking it through a tracking number. It’s essential that you track the order to know precisely where it is if they have any questions along the way. 
  1. Orders arrive at the transportation hub. 
    Last mile delivery begins at this step. From here, the business must ensure that the order gets to the customer as quickly and efficiently as possible. 
  1. Designate delivery personnel. 
    Designate delivery personnel to deliver the parcel using a last-mile logistics solution. 
  1. Load orders onto delivery vehicles. 
    Scan each item before loading them onto the delivery vehicles. This is an important part of tracking as it updates the sender and the recipient as to the order's status. You don’t want anything to get lost along the way. 
  1. The order reaches the recipient. 
    Once the order reaches the customer, the last mile delivery process is complete. Be sure to update the tracking information to indicate the item has been delivered. 

Last Mile Delivery Challenges

Big-name companies like Amazon and Walmart are replacing last mile delivery with middle mile delivery. With middle mile delivery, the company owns the fulfillment, so the delivery process goes from the port to the fulfillment center. The problem with last mile delivery is that it is expensive: it can account for 53% of a shipment’s total costs. Supply chain inefficiencies are increasing as need grows, and so costs are only going up. It’s vital to optimize last mile delivery if you want to use it for your business. 

How to Optimize Last Mile Delivery

Technology is the answer to optimizing last mile delivery. Route planning software, for example, can minimize delivery costs and cut the time that it takes to deliver. Auto dispatching also helps to cut down on mistakes and time. Finally, gathering data and getting detailed reports can help identify problems in your operations and tell you how to improve upon your weaknesses. Fleet management software like Azuga offers all of these features and more to help optimize your last mile delivery options. 

Conclusion

Last mile delivery is still the standard way smaller businesses do their deliveries, and Azuga makes it possible to keep last mile delivery, even while competing with big retailers. Find out more about Azuga by reading our blog or visiting our website.

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Last Mile Carrier

Last mile carriers are the shipping companies that carry out last mile deliveries. Examples of last mile carriers include UPS, FedEx, USPS, and regional carriers. Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, which may be a residence or a retail store. Last mile carriers offer many benefits, which we will outline below. 

Tracking

Many last mile carriers allow customers to track their package on a map or see how many stops away it is. Other providers give customers a very specific estimated arrival time. Previously, it could only be estimated within windows of several hours, so this is an impressive and essential feat for customer service. 

Ability to Communicate with the Driver

If anything is needed when delivery drivers are on the road, it used to be impossible to get in touch with them. Now, apps allow customers to communicate directly with their drivers to update them on any changes that come up during the delivery window. 

SMS Updates

One benefit of tracking drivers is sending SMS updates if a package is ever delayed, and even update customers on when it arrives so they can plan their day accordingly. They no longer need to worry about expensive packages being lost or stolen, since they can pick them up right away. It’s ideal for keeping customers updated and satisfied. 

Delivery Ratings

Customers can rate how their deliveries went and leave feedback that delivery companies can use to improve their methods and improve customer service even further. Customers appreciate their voices being heard, and companies need to hear how their employees are doing. 

Conclusion

Last mile carriers are an integral part of the last mile delivery system. Last mile fleets must have the technology to track delivery drivers and update customers with necessary information. Azuga offers this technology and more to help streamline operations and keep everything running smoothly with the entire last mile delivery process. Find out more on our website.

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