After some careful consideration, you’ve finally decided to invest in your own fleet. A fleet can work wonders for almost any business ranging from easier distribution of your services to making your business seem more appealing than your competition. However, fleets are an investment that must be handled properly. In this article, we’ll be covering everything a new fleet owner needs.
The Mandated Technology
After you’ve acquired your group of select vehicles, the first thing you need to do is make sure they’re equipped with the proper safety technology. There are rules and regulations set by the DoT and FMSCA that every fleet manager needs. And the technology listed below are among them:
- Electronic logging devices – These are what allow you to see what occurs both in and out of the vehicle such as when the car was first turned on and how it turns.
- Tachographs – This works similarly to ELDs, except they go more in-depth of the speed of the car.
- GPS tracking devices – A GPS is what you’ll use to keep a constant watch on your drivers. They allow you to see where they are at any given time.
Out of all the listed equipment, none are as important as dash cam installation. Dash cams are cameras that are placed on the dashboard facing toward the windshield. It records the entire trip of your fleet vehicles. The reason why this is so important is because of how unpredictable the road can be. You never know when an accident can occur, but having footage of it can protect you from liability claims. Not only that, but without any kind of visibility of your driver’s excursions, you could be wasting both time and money.
MC and USDOT Numbers
In addition to preparing your business for the digital world you will need to be sure that you are following all the guidelines and regulations for operations. In many fleet articles, you often see how they reference the guidelines set in stone by the DoT and FMCSA. However, they don’t usually go into much detail. Another requirement every fleet owner needs are MC and USDOT numbers. A USDOT number is what gives every company a vehicle an identity, so to speak. Pretty much any commercial vehicle, albeit one that delivers products or transports passengers, has this number. An MC number is basically the same thing, except it’s used for trucking companies.
Just as you would purchase car insurance for your own personal vehicle, you’re going to need to protect your fleet as well. You might be thinking that it’s going to cost a fortune to insure every single vehicle in your fleet. And although this is true, that’s not how you insure it. Instead, you want to purchase fleet insurance. This insurance allows you to cover multiple vehicles on a single policy, which helps lower costs and makes sure every vehicle is maintained in a timely fashion. An unspoken benefit of fleet insurance is that you can easily add more vehicles at any given time. This also applies to cars you want to remove.