How to Determine if a Fleet Management Company Is Right for You

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Medium to large businesses have the potential to reap massive benefits from working with reputable fleet management companies (FMCs). As a fleet owner, understanding what to expect from organized management is the first step towards enjoying optimum benefits. Each FMC is unique from the other, and understanding their offerings should guide you to choose the best one.

What are Fleet Management Companies?

Fleet management companies oversee a host of essential tasks on behalf of a commercial fleet. They handle fleet maintenance and general performance to improve business productivity, work towards fleet safety, and minimize operating costs.

Truck fleet management is a process that takes a hands-on administrative approach, enabling companies to work with fleet vehicles to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and ensure full compliance with government regulations. Fleet management also helps with tracking mechanical diagnostics and monitoring driver behavior. Special fleet management software makes it possible for FMCs to track vehicles from a central point, but essentially, it helps to ensure proper vehicle use.

Determining the Right Fleet Management Company – Key Benefits to Guide You

A committed FMC takes company priorities seriously and takes good care of your fleet. Look for a company with the sole goal of improving the efficiency and performance of your business. Every fleet owner draws a list of priorities. Some intend to reduce their cost of ownership or fuel costs, while others want more efficient fleets or both. It is the responsibility of fleet management companies to identify the most strategic solutions for client needs.

Does Your FMC Reduce Costs?

The purchasing price of a vehicle is often seen as a good deal, but in reality, you are always paying extra for the dealer to earn some commission. But how can a fleet management company ensure you get the best deal? Existing relationships with manufacturers and dealerships ensure brokerage fees are minimized, resulting in lower vehicle purchase costs, and ultimately much lower total ownership costs.

That’s not all – a good fleet management company can save you money on fuel and fleet maintenance costs, as well as other expenses related to running your fleet. Reducing your total ownership cost allows you to direct your money to other equally important budget items.

Does Your FMC Provide Efficient Management and Support?

Handling fuel costs, upgrades, and general maintenance can take a lot of time if you manage your fleet on your own. Getting overwhelmed means the job won’t be done satisfactorily.

Delegating those duties to fleet management companies comes with huge benefits to the company. First, it frees up the person or team previously responsible for fleet management, allowing them to dedicate their energy to other areas.

Secondly, fleet management companies are afforded the platform to implement unique solutions for business. For instance, companies without proper tracking for fuel and other service fleet costs can benefit from innovative solutions only available from these companies.

How to Choose the Right Fleet Management Company

There are several aspects that businesses should look for when sourcing the ultimate fleet management company. Below, we take a comprehensive look at the qualities to consider when choosing the right partners, and the criteria to use.

The Ideal Fleet Management Company Must Be Flexible

Fleet management companies operate differently, and while some might be open to making changes in their operations to incorporate varying customer needs, others are too rigid. Clients need partners who are flexible and willing to listen to their preferences.

Flexibility could also mean the ability to respond to emergencies quickly. For example, in the event of a roadside emergency, clients need to know that their FMC has someone working to get the vehicle back on the road.

To help you identify a flexible fleet management company, ask the following questions:

  • What process do they use to deal with unexpected issues for clients?
  • What communication medium do they use to communicate with their clients regularly?
  • How do they deal with complex client requests?

The Ideal Fleet Management Company Has Expertise with Your Business Type

Truck fleet management is a broad industry, and not every FMC will be able to meet your needs. Some specialize in areas that do not match yours, and they may not be the ideal partners for your type of business. A company that primarily works with long-haul fleets won’t be a good choice for a local service business and vice versa.

Seek answers from the start. Ask the sales representative about their area of expertise and talk with them about what you do. Some of the standing principles of fleet management are consistent across industries, but understanding specific industry needs and trends gives FMCs an edge in terms of reducing operating costs.

During your first interaction with the FMC sales representative, ask the following questions to determine their understanding of your specific industry:

  • Do they have experience dealing with fleets in your industry?
  • Ask for case studies to show their experience and success in fleet management in your specific industry.
  • Request referrals or testimonials from previous clients in your industry.

The Ideal FMC Values Client Relationships

Most businesses are apprehensive about handing over control of their fleet. There is always the doubt that the FMC you approach may not quite be up to the task, and would not be able to fulfill their promises.

To that effect, establishing a strong client-FMC relationship – by checking in regularly, following through on promises, and ensuring that the client is content with how their fleet is managed – is an essential quality of a good fleet management company.

To help you determine the kind of client relationship to expect, here are important questions you must find out:

  • How they would describe their relationship with their clients.
  • What a client would tell a colleague regarding the relationship they have with them.
  • How they determine whether a client is content or unhappy with their services.

Customer service is paramount in successful fleet management, and your FMC should be willing to train your team on how to use their GPS fleet tracking platform.

Potential Pitfalls of Outsourcing Fleet Management

We discussed some of the benefits above, but it wouldn’t be fair to skip over the very real negatives of using a fleet management company. 

The main one to watch for is the lack of integration within your firm. The drivers communicate with each other in a certain way and have camaraderie. Having outsiders manage them may cause social friction, and there are some insights that won’t be picked up from the outside.

Additionally, there are considerable benefits to having someone in-house that knows how your company works. When new deals come through or there are changes happening in processes within your company, this person will be able to observe and react, rather than waiting to be updated as a fleet management company would. 

The final problem is the lack of accountability that fleet management companies have. An in-house operator feels more obligation to do a great job and will pay more attention to risk and costs. This is in sharp contrast to someone who doesn’t know your team and likely has several other fleet clients to juggle. 

Azuga – The Ultimate Solution for Fleet Management Companies

Azuga offers plenty of fleet management solutions, all of which use technology to facilitate more efficient operations. These products include fleet and asset tracking.

With Azuga GPS fleet tracking software, fleet managers can easily track their vehicles wherever they are. Also, they collect valuable data through special vehicle diagnostics that make maintenance and reporting easily manageable. The devices collect data every step of the way, including driver actions and alerts, which enhance driver efficiency and road safety.


Finding the right fleet management company that is flexible to your specific needs is a massive step in your business. A company that shares your business goals and invests its energy and resources to help you achieve them is what you should look for, no matter how much time you spend. Profitability is not everything without the peace of mind to deliberate on other essential aspects of a business.

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What is Fleet Data?

Tracking fleet data is vitally important to running a fleet in any industry. Any kind of data can be tracked, from where vehicles are, to what assets a company has on hand, to the safety of drivers and vehicles. All of this information is important for fleet managers to know to make their fleet effective and productive. What is fleet data, and how can it help fleets be more effective?

Fleet Data for Vehicle Maintenance

Keeping up with vehicle maintenance is one of the best ways to keep vehicles on the road for the long haul. With how much time fleets spend driving, wear and tear on a vehicle is inevitable, but fleet managers can reduce this by harnessing telematics and maintenance alerts. Telematics can tell managers when a vehicle has engine trouble or when a driver is being rough on the brakes or idling too much. Managers can also set up maintenance alerts so they do not have to try and remember when each vehicle needs routine maintenance. Preventative maintenance is crucial to a vehicle’s longevity and will help it stay on the road for years to come. 

Fleet Data for Safety

Any fleet’s top priority is safety. Drivers and vehicles are integral to a fleet business’s entire operation, and ensuring that they do their jobs safely is a huge part of a fleet manager’s job. Luckily fleet data can track driver behavior and determine if drivers are behaving safely behind the wheel. Telematics can track actions such as hard braking, rapid acceleration, distracted driving, and speeding. When drivers display any of these behaviors, they will receive an alert. If the behaviors continue, the system will alert the fleet manager, who can then choose to get in touch with the driver. Accidents can cost thousands of dollars, and days of lost time for businesses, so avoiding them is crucial for companies to succeed. 

Fleet Data for Asset Tracking

Asset tracking is terrific for preventing theft, but it is also ideal for fleet managers to keep track of what they have on hand in their warehouse. Often, assets and equipment sit unused in a warehouse, taking up space that something practical could be occupying. With asset data, fleet managers can determine what assets the fleet does not use and get rid of them, making room for something that will be more beneficial for the company. Furthermore, knowing what’s on hand prevents double-purchasing, which saves the company money as well. 


Tracking fleet data is essential for keeping a fleet productive and effective. It is all part of a fleet manager’s job. Luckily, Azuga has many tools to help with tracking fleet data. Reach out to the experts at Azuga today to find out how to get started gathering data today so that you can do the best for your fleet.

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Record of Duty Status

Each driver is required by the law to record a driver’s duty of status every 24 hours, using the structures stipulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A record of duty status (RODS) can also be referred to as a driver’s log. It allows drivers to record details such as date, vehicle number, totals driving hours, the total number of miles driven within 24 hours, carrier’s name, a 24-hour period starting time, address, driver’s certification/signature, and remarks. 

Records can be maintained using an electronic logging device (ELD), using an FMCSA approved automatic on-board recording gadget, or even manually on a grid. Logs must be validated at all times by indicating each change in a duty status.

Exemptions to Record of Duty Status

A RODS is mandatory as part of Hours of Service (HOS) rules, which applies to commercial vehicles (CMVs). However, a few cases of short-haul carriers are exempt from maintaining records of duty status. 

Company policies may be different, but the FMCSA only expects drivers to record time and location after every stop.

Since the introduction of the ELD mandate, several motor carriers are leaning toward electronic logging devices to maintain their records of duty status automatically. Companies were given until December 16, 2019 to update automatic on-board recording devices to the latest ones, meaning there were also some exemptions to the ELD Rule.

Exemptions to RODS regulations include the following:

  • Drivers driving within a radius of 150 air-miles
  • Drivers of CMVs driving within a radius of 150 air-miles, who do not need a CDL, and at the same time operate within a radius of 150 air-miles of their daily reporting locations.

For drivers to qualify for the exemption, they must meet all the requirements stated by the regulations. Failure to meet even one of the requirements means all HOS rules apply.

Electronic Logging Devices

A driver must produce ELD records when requested by a safety official, either immediately, or within the permissible time if the motor carrier operates from more than one terminal or office. A motor carrier is supposed to retain a back-up copy of all ELD records for at least six months.

Only carriers or drivers falling under the exempted categories may use other recording methods, which may include automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs) to maintain driver record of duty status.

Submitting and Retaining Driver Record of Duty Status Paper Logs

Being exempted from the ELD rule does not mean you are automatically exempted from the HOS regulations. A driver is required to submit original paper log sheets to their respective carriers within 13 days after the completion of their trips. The driver retains a copy of all RODS for the previous seven days, which must be produced on request for inspection at the time they are on duty. Drivers must also sign all hard copies of RODS.

Electronic HOS Regulations

The idea behind mandating the ELD rules was to provide accurate, consistent, and accessible methods of logging driver hours of service, and simultaneously create a safer working environment. The new measures were intended to ensure drivers took necessary breaks and rested appropriately, and to ensure they remained alert while driving. Making the switch from manual processes like logbooks to electronic hours of service tools makes it easier for businesses to keep up with the FMCSA requirements.

However, the implementation of electronic logging devices does not change the fleet manager’s responsibility to track off duty or driving hours. What it does require is that you make use of a log tracking device and software system.

Who Should Comply with ELD HOS Logging?

The HOS rules apply to drivers operating CMVs such as school buses and semi-trucks. For a vehicle to be classified as a CMV, it must fulfil the following:

  • Weigh above 10,000 pounds
  • Have a combined weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds
  • Be used for transporting 16 or more persons, including the driver, or nine or more passengers for commercial transport purposes
  • Transport goods classified as hazardous and require placards

If a vehicle meets the qualifications above, it is required by the law to comply with HOS regulations and to maintain decent hours of service log. 

Common Hours of Service Violations - And How to Fix Them

Besides ordinary traffic violations and unsafe driving, it is common among drivers to fail to comply with HOS regulations. Hours of Service compliance counts as one of the core basics of CSA, and maintaining a low score is often a result of piling frustrations.

The ability to fix problems associated with hours of service is the most crucial way to keep safety scores in check, and helps in controlling the frequency of roadside inspections.

Below are the most common violations of Hours of Service and how you can fix them.

Clerical Form Errors

When entering data manually, issues like mathematical errors, poor handwriting, the omission of essential information, and many other mistakes, may arise. These are issues that can be minimized by implementing an electronic system that automatically fills in the required data when it is needed. Tired drivers can easily leave out essential data, which could be deemed a violation of the hours of service regulations.

Not Updating Statuses

The driver record of duty status graph shown on a log must always be up to date, showing each detail of changes. Forgetting, or simply failing to update duty status is common among drivers and leads to severe roadside inspections. It is mostly due to drivers failing on their mandate to remain vigilant by changing statuses.

It is easy to fix this recurring problem with the simple touch of a screen. All drivers have to do is to indicate the time their shifts start, and to change their status to off-duty when shifts end. Electronic logbooks are designed to detect when a vehicle is stationary or in motion, and gives accurate data at all times.

No Records of Duty Status

Failing to properly maintain your RODS and not maintaining logs for seven days is a violation that can lead to hefty fines. Drivers of companies running smaller vehicles may not be aware of what is required of them, but they must check with the relevant authorities. Inspectors ask for records of the previous seven days. Therefore, drivers must not misplace any record whatsoever.

Partner with Azuga for FMCSA Compliance

Azuga works with you to deliver customized solutions for fleets and drivers. It doesn’t matter the size of your fleet, Azuga offers the right products and technology to duly maintain drivers’ records of duty status and keep you compliant with the hours of service regulations.

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What is an Enterprise Fleet?

If you utilize company vehicles during the course of business, you might want to familiarize yourself with enterprise fleet management and maintenance. Operating a fleet can be a challenge. Luckily there are things that you can do to make your life a lot easier. In this article, we will answer what is an enterprise fleet? Plus, we’ll outline four key tips you should know about enterprise fleet management and an additional three tips about enterprise fleet maintenance.

What is an Enterprise Fleet?

An enterprise fleet, simply put, is a fleet of vehicles leased or owned by a business. Automotive Fleet Magazine defines enterprise fleets as commercial entities with 15 or greater vehicles. A wide range of businesses operate enterprise fleets. For example, delivery businesses and many businesses who do on-site service calls or have representatives travel to meet with clients have enterprise fleets.

The enterprise fleet industry is huge in the United States. Automotive Magazine recently released a report that outlines the number of cars and trucks that are leased or owned by enterprise fleets in the United States. Fleets in the U.S. leased 431,000 vehicles last year and owned 204,000 vehicles. There are a total of 727,000 trucks being leased by enterprise fleets and 1,860,000 trucks are owned by them.

In some areas, enterprise fleets are also made up of vehicles that are privately owned (or leased) by employees but used for business purposes. These are known as “grey fleet” vehicles. 

Tips on Enterprise Fleet Management

Enterprise fleet management can be a challenge. It’s a fast-paced job that requires you to stay on your toes. Fleet managers are often responsible for drivers and accountable to management. Below are four tips on how to excel in enterprise fleet management:

1. Create Instructions for Enterprise Fleet Vehicle Acquisition and Disposal

When a business lacks purchasing and disposal guidelines for fleet vehicles they may be giving up thousands of dollars through inefficiencies. Consistency is very important in enterprise fleet management.

Your company should look into bulk purchasing and understand the right time or number of miles at which to best sell a vehicle. Enterprise fleet managers should spec out options for fleet vehicles and assemble a purchasing plan. In addition, they should gain insight into the optimal time to dispose of fleet vehicles.

2. Be Proactive When it Comes to Safety

Fleet drivers face a whole host of distractions and safety hazards on the job. Great fleet managers know how to get ahead of things that might become problems. Invest in safety before accidents happen.

Investing in safety may look like hands-free devices for your drivers, installing an app that monitors driver behavior on their phones, or an in-cab camera that oversees drivers while they’re on the road. Ultimately, being proactive about safety will save your company money in the long run.

3. Set Performance Goals for Drivers

Many fleet managers find it useful to incentivize drivers to perform well. Drivers may be encouraged to achieve higher fuel efficiency or perform vehicle inspections regularly. No matter what goal you set, you should hold your drivers to a high-performance standard.

Driver behavior monitoring makes it simple to set goals and encourage safe driving habits. Actionable goals help managers encourage drivers to improve their driving habits. 

4. Continually Educate Yourself on the Enterprise Fleet Industry 

The best fleet managers know that the fleet industry is constantly changing and it's vital that managers keep up. Top fleet managers join industry associations, read trade publications and blogs, and overall keep up with what is happening in the industry.

Often fleet managers will discover new technologies to adopt when reading up on the fleet industry. This helps them keep ahead of the competition. With so much information readily available online, it’s never been easier for fleet managers to keep up-to-date and ahead of the curve.

Tips on Enterprise Fleet Maintenance

Fleet maintenance is integral to running a top-performing enterprise fleet. Here are three tips on how to excel at enterprise fleet maintenance:

1. Know Your Total Cost of Ownership

Pay attention to your maintenance costs and make note when they start to rise because of a vehicle’s age. Make sure you comprehend the warranty coverage provided by the manufacturer and the way it impacts the vehicle’s total cost of ownership. Those who excel at enterprise fleet management understand trends in the used vehicle market, the residual value of fleet vehicles, and the best time to sell fleet vehicles to obtain a cost-effective enterprise fleet.

2. Properly Spec Fleet Vehicles

A vital part of fleet maintenance is performing specs on vehicles. It’s important that this job is performed well. You should be aware of the demands your fleet vehicles will face. Make sure to outline vehicle usage.

The danger is that under-specing a fleet vehicle can lead to maintenance issues down the line that could put a dent in your budget. On the other hand, an over-spec’d fleet vehicle can also increase costs. Great fleet managers know the criteria involved with specing (operating conditions, what’s being carried, usage, etc.) and try to make theirs as accurate as possible.

3. Perform Preventative Maintenance

One of the most important things to understand about enterprise fleet maintenance is the cost savings involved in preventative maintenance. Well-maintained fleet vehicles are less likely to require unscheduled downtime or repairs. Some examples of preventative maintenance are general vehicle safety checks, oil changes, and tire rotation, and inspection. Make sure to perform these activities on a regular schedule.

Good enterprise fleet management practices help leaders in the fleet management industry achieve more. Take your fleet to the next level when you implement smart technology like Azuga Fleet™. The Azuga team is here to help boost your fleet’s productivity, improve safety, and save you hundreds each year. 

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