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Blog September 2023 Updated April 2024

Optimize Your Fleet: How Compliance Tracking Drives Improvement

Maintaining your fleet involves adhering to a host of regulations and while ensuring compliance mitigates risk, can it also help you improve productivity and reduce costs?

Bob Hausler

Vice President Transport, North America, AMCS

Working closely with fleet managers is something AMCS Fleet Management Consultants do on a daily basis whether we are helping customers improve their processes, train new staff, or establish performance standards. As a result, we see first hand the day-to-day issues faced by fleet managers. 

Plenty of new trends pose a challenge, but one issue that raises perpetual concerns is compliance. Today, fleets of every kind are required to comply with rules and regulations, as well as adhering to the latest legislation. It’s a constant struggle to keep up to date and it can often feel like just ‘one more thing’ to deal with, but tracking compliance can have some surprising benefits. 

Far beyond basic safety, tracking and reporting fleet compliance can actually help you reduce costs and improve productivity.

What is Fleet Compliance and Why Does it Matter?

At first glance, compliance might seem like a straightforward issue. It is essentially the act of being in alignment with relevant guidelines, regulations and legislation, with the goal of keeping your drivers and vehicles safe and within the law.

By carrying out specific checks and recording evidence of the results, you can demonstrate that your vehicles are roadworthy and ready to do the job expected of them. This might include documenting:

  • Maintenance and repair
  • Safety inspections
  • Licensing
  • Registration and permits

Naturally, safety and risk management lies at the heart of compliance as a means to reduce accidents and avoid fines, however, effective compliance tracking can do much more than this. 

Implementing strategic checks and monitoring compliance provides opportunities for greater visibility and improved management, whether that’s meeting operational and financial objectives, reaching strategic goals, or simply avoiding costly, unplanned downtime.

How Does Fleet Maintenance Software Support Compliance? 

With access to information about your entire fleet in a single location, fleet management software is an essential part of fleet compliance. 

It provides a searchable way to record all kinds of documents relevant to fleet compliance with a vital evidence trail to demonstrate that essential checks have been carried out in accordance with regulations. When it comes to risk mitigation, for example, fleet management software delivers a central repository for documents on drivers, vehicles, insurance and repairs. 

Vehicle maintenance is another important component, with fleet maintenance software offering practical ways to structure and implement a fleet maintenance program comprising checks, servicing and inspections. Here, a data-driven approach to compliance ensures fleet managers can not only adhere to standards such as recording DVIRs, but also set and drive standards such as calculating and keeping within a fuel budget. 

Adhering to External Regulations

So, where do we start with the tracking process? The first step is to identify who is driving the request for compliance and what requirements are mandated. Depending on where your fleet operates, this means ensuring that your vehicles meet or exceed any national standards and regulations. In the US, for example, this involves adhering to regulations set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Not only does this stipulate daily driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR) to identify defects or deficiencies, but it also dictates how long you are required to keep maintenance records. This means all inspection, repair and maintenance documentation should be kept for at least one year, and for six months after a vehicle is sold or retired from the fleet.

Combine this with the need to store licenses, permits and data on drivers and the records can start to mount up. Fortunately, AMCS Fleet Maintenance software has the ability to track all maintenance activities, driver requests and permits by vehicle. 

There is also no limit to the number of years that AMCS Fleet Maintenance can keep records on each unit, ultimately providing an easily accessible and complete history to prove fleet compliance and avoid potential fines for non-compliance.

Achieving Internal Requirements

Next, let’s move beyond legislation to look at compliance with any internal requirements set by your finance department or management team. Perhaps you want to track parts pricing, requiring you to verify that new units meet the specification included in the bid or purchase order? Are you renewing units in line with established parameters for cost-effective replacement? Or maybe you need to stay within an approved maintenance or fuel budget? 

Using fleet maintenance software to create vehicle checklists and to track and monitor specific maintenance targets, you can easily resolve queries such as these. Access to accurate data not only supports more effective decision making, but it can also help to:

  • Improve cost analysis
  • Reduce asset breakdowns
  • Minimise unplanned maintenance 
  • Cut fuel consumption

With the tools to implement a preventative maintenance program and monitor fleet performance, AMCS Fleet Maintenance Software offers a real opportunity, not only to drive safety standards, but also to reduce costs and boost profitability.

Tracking Success With AMCS Fleet Maintenance

Accurate and efficient reporting lies at the heart of any compliance program. To help you achieve the required level of precision, AMCS Fleet Maintenance allows you to track and report on various parameters with granular detail.

Recording and monitoring compliance within preventative maintenance guidelines, for example, can offer useful insight. In addition to meeting any service agreements regarding costs and downtime, it can help to address issues around repeat repairs or repairs under warranty.

Via AMCS Fleet Maintenance, fleet managers have access to a full repair history using Vehicle Maintenance Reporting Standards (VMRS). This universal coding system is used to obtain and sort maintenance data in a structured way to help you purchase, operate and maintain equipment in the most cost-effective way.

With an easy method to track and interrogate data, you can work to improve cost per mile at both the fleet and vehicle level, performing fuel and lifecycle analyses to reduce operating costs, increase productivity, and solve those common issues that negatively impact fleet performance.

As these examples demonstrate, compliance tracking is about so much more than simply meeting legislation and avoiding fines. By setting up your system to focus on strategic requirements – and training staff to track information correctly and consistently – you can surpass compliance criteria, delivering the data required to go beyond compliance and proactively drive continuous improvement. 

For more ideas on how to reduce costs, improve safety and increase productivity, take a look at how AMCS Fleet Maintenance can support your fleet.

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