Mileage Log

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Mileage logs are not only kept by commercial drivers. Many others who must drive as part of their job — such as ride-share drivers — also keep a mileage log for tax purposes at the end of each tax year. 

It's important to understand that mileage logs, per the ELD mandate, are no longer sufficient evidence of HoS for commercial vehicle operators. They must now use electronic logging devices (ELDs) to record their HoS, as well as their on- and off-duty times. However, paper mileage logs are important to keep current in the event that an ELD becomes non-functional. 

Not only will a mileage log help to back up data that could be lost when an ELD goes down, but it can also be essential for reporting accurate driving and mileage records to the IRS for both vehicle operators and the companies they work for.

The Essential Value Mileage Logs Provide 

While it may be enough for some companies to simply estimate (or in some cases guesstimate) the mileage of each of their vehicles, it can be a dangerous practice. If your business is audited by the IRS, without detailed records of drive times and mileage, you could lose an entire year's worth of mileage deductions, costing your company thousands of dollars. If you are a smaller business or 1099 contractor, the likelihood of being audited is much higher. This makes logging mileage with precision even more important.

To this end, keeping an accurate record of the miles you drive every single time you get behind the wheel is absolutely essential. If you are a larger company, a mileage log can only be used to back up information that should be recorded by the ELDs in your fleet. But for those running a smaller fleet to operate their businesses, a mileage log app may be a better option than keeping manual records. Let’s take a look at what a mileage log app can offer your small- to medium-sized business:

Automatic tracking of your mileage: With a mileage app, you can create and pull up the routes you use most often, and the app will detect when you are on this route. It will then automatically determine and record the mileage for that trip, helping you classify that particular drive time as an expense to your company more accurately. 

  • Determining work hours: The best mileage apps will also record the amount of time it takes you to get from one point to another. It will then track the time it takes you to get to your destination, and in some cases, these apps will even do the work of multiplying the drive time by your hourly rate, giving you the exact cost of the drive time for you to later record in your timesheet or invoice. 
  • Integration with spreadsheet tools and accounting apps: Many mileage log apps integrate well with spreadsheet tools like Excel or Google Sheets. This allows you to easily track your mileage for a given period, such as a day or week, for invoicing purposes. What's more, these apps will also integrate well with accounting tools like Quickbooks, making it easier for you to expense your mileage as you track it in a spreadsheet.
  • Rideshare driver integration: Many mileage logging apps work well for rideshare and gig drivers. The apps allow them to track the profit they will accrue along with their hourly revenue. Some mileage apps also enable these drivers to chat with other currently active drivers to get recommendations on which locations are most active, helping them maintain the highest hourly drive times and rides.

Hang on to Your Mileage Log Records 

Whether you are a large enterprise fleet or have a single driver and just one vehicle, you must hang on to your mileage records for no less than three years. That's because the IRS could notify you of an audit, and usually, these can go back as far as three years. 

However, if you run a large fleet of vehicles, all of your mileage records and other driver data should be backed up on your ELDs. These ELDs will integrate with GPS fleet tracking software for your operation, streamlining your efforts to maintain records that are accurate and backed up daily for as long as you want or need to keep them. You can then easily retrieve the data for the IRS or any other entity that may need to review your records. To learn more about how Azuga can help you maintain accurate mileage through ELDs, GPS fleet tracking, and field service management software, visit us today at www.azuga.com.


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Multi-Drop Route Planning

A multi-drop route planner is a process that plans a route for a driver to make more than two deliveries in multiple locations. It uses vehicle routing software to collect and analyze thousands of data points and determine the best delivery route. This route planning software can plan, re-route, and reschedule without causing any danger to the driver, environment, or business. It considers many factors, such as the number of distribution centers, warehouses, or residential areas a driver has to visit, resource availability, and driver safety. 

How Does Multi-Drop Route Planning Work? 

The route optimization software tracks the vehicle while factoring in when deliveries need to arrive. Of course, a human being should ensure that everything has been planned out properly, but the process should be automatic. Both this person and the system should look at distances, travel time, and fuel consumption. 

Once a route is set, the route optimization software compiles data to choose the best vehicle and driver depending on the delivery. It uses data based on the route and the client’s needs. At this point, it also considers the driver’s hours and weather conditions to determine how much time is needed. These systems need to work in real-time to ensure that managers and clients can connect with up-to-date information. 

Benefits of Multi-Drop Route Planning

There are various benefits to multi-drop route planning. It maximizes productivity, keeps fuel costs low, promotes driver safety, and helps businesses stay compliant with federal driver hour regulations. Your business will save money by using its drivers effectively and not using as much fuel. 

Where to Get Multi-Drop Route Planning Software

If you’re looking for this software, you don’t need to search any further! Azuga’s route optimization software allows for multiple stops. It provides the best routes based on historical data, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and machine learning that helps it create the best routes for you in real-time. See what you can do with route planning software by trying out a demo today!

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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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