(Nearly) everything you need to know about fleet management

Your guide to successful service vehicles

Is your service fleet driving you to success?

Your service vans impact so many aspects of your field service business. Be sure your fleet management skills are up to par!

Let's make sure your vans are as pro-looking, functional, and secure as they can be. We gathered information from the experts to provide you with the very best resources and advice.

If you'd like even more help, download the free checklist Are Your Service Vans Driving You to Success? You'll learn how to protect the tools in your van, how to brand your vehicles to attract more customers, and more.

What You'll Learn

Track Your Engineers for Better Performance

Do you know where your vehicles are right now?

Keeping tabs on your service vans with real-time vehicle tracking has many benefits. GPS tracking can:

  • Keep your engineers safer.
  • Save money on vehicle maintenance costs.
  • Charge the right fees for every job.
  • Make sure your engineers aren't using your vehicles after hours.
  • Cut down on rough driving and speeding tickets.
  • Recover your van if it's stolen.

We researched the best posts, articles, and websites on vehicle tracking to help you get started.

Get Up-to-Date on the Tech

Before deciding whether to use a GPS vehicle-tracking system for your fleet management, learn the basics of what it is and how it works. Is it right for your business? These resources will help you decide.

4 Ways GPS Tracking Can Improve Your Small Business's Day-to-Day Operations - Entrepreneur.com

Key quote: 'GPS tracking solutions are the future for mobile workforces. If you’re not using one of these systems, then you are not maximizing productivity and eliminating unnecessary costs and expenses. So, GPS tracking is a simple solution that will allow you to reap immediate benefits and grow your company accordingly.'

4 Surprising Problems Solved by GPS Tracking for Field Service Engineers - Commusoft Business Blog

Key quote: Tracking your engineers makes them accountable for the success of the business. It's not just them rolling around town on their own—they can see that the way they drive, the routes they take, and their on-time record impacts the entire business. And the better the business does, the more they might get paid!

Vehicle Tracking System - Wikipedia

Key quote: 'Other vehicle information [that the device tracks and sends] can include fuel amount, engine temperature, altitude, reverse geocoding, door open/close, tire pressure, cut off fuel, turn off ignition, turn on headlight, turn on taillight, battery status, GSM area code/cell code decoded, number of GPS satellites in view, glass open/close, fuel amount, emergency button status, cumulative idling, computed odometer, engine RPM, throttle position, GPRS status and a lot more.'

Top Benefits of GPS Tracking Software: Your Business With and Without Software Tracking (Infographic) - Software Advice

Key quote: 'With GPS Tracking: By completing more work orders per day, lowering fuel costs and simply running a more efficient business, you can grow your bottom line.'

4 Crucial Fleet Tracking Features that Solve Field Service Challenges - Capterra

Key quote: '[Fleet tracking] gives you the ability to better respond to customer emergencies. If a customer calls with an urgent request, you’ll be able to direct the vehicle closest to them so they can get there as quickly as possible.'

5 HVAC GPS Tracking Software Benefits That Boost Revenue - Software Advice

Key quote: 'Few things are worse for an HVAC company than dispatching an ill-equipped technician to an appointment. That’s why the mash-up of real-time inventory management, routing and dispatching capabilities these systems offer is so valuable.'

Real-Time Vehicle Tracking (Feature) - Commusoft

Key quote: 'Dedicated GPS trackers can accurately measure driver behaviour, green driving indicators, and safety data. With enhanced insight into these areas you can be aware if your field service engineers are speeding, excessively cornering, or excessively braking, all of which can negatively impact your vehicle’s condition and increase associated costs.'

Getting Your Engineers on Board

When your engineers find out you're implementing a real-time vehicle tracking system, they may feel it's because you don't trust them. While 30% of employees admit to falsifying the amount of time they work, the majority of your engineers are where they're supposed to be, doing what they're supposed to do.

These posts show how you can track your engineers without breaching their trust.

Managing Driver Behaviour: Incentives — FleetNews

Key quote: 'There is a range of incentives fleets can use to reward specific behaviours, such as extra holiday, cash, vouchers, eligibility for a vehicle upgrade or simple recognition. [...] [C]ompanies must decide whether they wish to reward excellence, or improvement, which may be very different things.'

Here's Why You Need to Track Your Engineers — Commusoft

Key quote: 'In large field service businesses with dozens of employees, no one questions why they need to track their engineers. If you want to grow your business as well, tracking your engineers is considered a smart business decision—not an unnecessary imposition on your employees.'

Can You Monitor Your Employees’ Time Without Insulting Them? — Huffington Post

Key quote: 'If you’re losing sleep over that employee who you feel is “cheating the system” by showing up five minutes late every day, look at the big picture. When you refocus your attention on work output rather than the number of hours an employee occupies a desk, you may discover time isn’t as important as you think.'

Read This Before You Use GPS to Track Employees — Paychex Worx

Key quote: 'Policies should be drafted to carefully explain the legitimate business purpose for monitoring and the circumstances under which the monitoring will take place. After a well-crafted policy has been written and reviewed for compliance with applicable laws by an attorney,  distribute the policy and obtain written authorization from employees that they have received and understand it.'

How to Help Your Employees Accept GPS Tracking — ForConstructionPros.com

Key quote: 'It’s important for fleet managers to listen to the objections employees have about GPS tracking and debunk the myths to alleviate concerns. Fleet managers should also explain that using GPS tracking is not about a lack of trust; it is about incorporating tools that will create better results for the business.'

Protect Your Service Vans Against Tool Theft

Tool theft costs field service businesses like yours thousands every year—and even drives them out of business.

Luckily, tool theft has come to the forefront of the field service industry's attention, with many businesses and industry organizations working to implement harsher punishments for tool thieves and help tradespeople protect their tools.

Here are the best resources to help you safeguard your tools—and your business.

What You Don’t Know About Tool Theft—And 10 Tips to Decrease Your Risk - Commusoft

Key quote: 'Despite what you may have read in the media and from security businesses, there's no security measure that will stop a truly determined thief. You won't find that one magic lock, alarm, or cage that will solve all your problems.

If you can't prevent thieves from breaking into your van, the next best thing is to dissuade them from trying, or at least slow them down. Here's what the experts recommend.'

Tool theft costing Britain’s tradespeople nearly £100m a year - Business Advice

Key quote: 'According to the findings of a Freedom of Information request, obtained from various police constabularies by Trade Direct Insurance, stolen equipment cost UK tradespeople £94,521,600 in 2016 alone. Further, the average insurance claim for stolen tools added up to around £1,200 – over a week’s work for the typical day rate of £210 for a tradesperson.'

How Safe Are Your Tools? Take This Quiz and Find Out - Commusoft

'Can you thwart a devious tool thief? Find out how safe your tools are by taking this quick quiz. Don't worry about getting any wrong answers—we explain the answers and offer tips at the end.'

Security tips for commercial vehicle drivers - The Telegraph

Key quote: 'Skeleton keys – which can be bought legally online for as little as £20 – have been blamed for the surge in thefts, but by fitting extra security equipment, such as slam locks and trackers, their effectiveness can be limited. Moreover, make it as tricky, noisy, and time-consuming as possible for would-be thieves to ransack vans.'

What do you use to mark your tools? - Vehicle Accessories

Key quote: 'Our advice would be to use more than one method of marking your tools, such as engraving and spray painting. That way, you can ensure your tools are easily spotted when they get "borrowed’"on site, and can be easily identified as your tools by the police if they are stolen.'

Tool Crime. Deserves Time - Petition Created by Lee Watts

Key Quote: 'I want this petition to reach Parliament to demand new laws that impose a minimum 2 year sentence on those convicted of vandalising vans and stealing tools. Also, we need a system that ensures any victim will be reimbursed for their loss in full immediately to enable that person to carry on working.'

White Van Scam - The Sun

Key Quote: 'Take care when parking outside hardware stores and builders merchants, as there have been reports of thieves waiting there to target tradesmen’s vans.'

Attract Customers with Your Service Fleet

What's your service fleet saying about your business?

A dirty, poorly branded, or unbranded van tells customers you also do shoddy work—while a clean, well-designed van serves as a mobile billboard that will generate jobs.

Importance of Mobile Truck, Van Marketing - TruckingInfo

Key quote: 'According to a study performed by the American Trucking Associations, a vehicle wrap on a typical trailer makes 10 million impressions every year. Another study found that fleet graphics give 101 impressions per mile traveled. With so many opportunities to get eyes on your advertising, adding graphics to fleet trucks or vans can go a long way toward boosting brand recognition.'

8 Vehicle Signage Experts Share Their Best Tips on Service Van Design - Commusoft

Key quote: "No one ever walks up to the driver of a blank van and asks for their business card."

Branding Your Vehicle: The Ultimate Guide - Handyman Startup

Key quote: 'If your goal is to generate new business, the most important thing is to clearly say what you do and how to contact you.  If you are handyman, the word handyman better be big and in the customer's face, especially if it’s not in your company name.  It needs to be very obvious what you do and how to contact you.'

Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Great Vehicle Wrap Design - Roland

Key Quote: 'The most effective vehicle designs are colorful and dynamic but they typically show a high-level of sophistication in composition and design. It’s always preferable to be simple and obvious with your design, so eliminate noisy backgrounds and unnecessary clutter to allow the message to stand out.'

Branded Cars: The Surprisingly Effective Marketing Tool That Makes Business Vroom, Vroom - Grasshopper Blog

Key quote: 'You absolutely MUST play nice on the road. Tail-gating, honking, cutting people off, speeding, and running red lights are always repugnant, but especially so if you're in a company car.'

Best Car Cleaning Tips and Tricks - Family Handyman

Key quote: 'A car hurtling down the road at 60 mph becomes a dartboard for any crud in the air. Your vehicle’s clear coat deflects some of it but can hold the sharper grit. Washing removes the surface dirt, but clay-barring is the only way to pluck out the embedded stuff. Buy a clay bar kit (one brand is Meguiar’s Smooth Surface Clay Kit), which includes a lubricating spray and several pieces of synthetic clay.'

Caring for Your Vehicle Graphics and Wraps - 3M

Key quote: 'Soften difficult contaminants such as bug splatter, bird droppings, tree sap and similar contaminants by soaking them for several minutes with very hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry. Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) (two parts IPA to 1 part water) or denatured alcohol may also help. Spot clean the contaminants. Do not use rough scrubbing or abrasive tools, which will scratch the film. Wash and rinse off all residue immediately.'

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