The days of using pen and paper to manage a large fleet of vehicles are long past. If your business relies on a fleet of delivery trucks for its day-to-day operations, then software to track and manage those vehicles is an absolute must. Because the business needs of carriers vary so much, the market for software applications that manage truck fleets has become massive and there are more options than ever.
Not all fleet management software is created equal, however, and the features that you should look for will vary based on your business needs and target price point. Below are some of the features that are commonly available in fleet management applications. You should consider which features are most useful for your business so that you can select a software package that fulfills your company's needs without paying for features that are unnecessary for your business.
Telematics and Routing
Many newer pieces of fleet management software act as digital dispatch assistants, allowing you to track your trucks via GPS and helping you plan routes. Software with these features will generally allow you to log the routes of your trucks as well, which can help you to determine where problems exist in your current routes and where improvements can be made. Some fleet management suites can do two-way integration with the GPS units installed in vehicles as well, allowing you to create routes in the software that your drivers can download.
Mobile App Support
Do you need to keep track of your fleet even when you're away from your desk? Several high-end fleet management software packages offer multiple apps which provide you with just that capability. The features found in the mobile apps will vary from software package to software package, but in general you can expect to at least have basic tracking and management capabilities. These apps are not necessarily intended to replace the desktop software, but they can help keep you up-to-date when you are not at your desk.
Fleet Maintenance Support
If you are still keeping paper maintenance logs, then you know what a hassle it can be. Using fleet management software to keep track of the maintenance state of your trucks will help save your business time and money. Truck fleet software packages that offer this feature will allow you to keep detailed logs of routine maintenance intervals as well as non-routine service work. Not only does this make it easier to track expenses and plan for downtime, having detailed service records will also increase the resale value of your truck fleet.
Fleet management software can manage more than just your routes and trucks. Many packages also offer driver tracking features. These features will generally allow you to keep track of driver licensing and log time and routes for drivers. This can be great for managing accountability and keeping track of driver performance.