Beating Fleet Manager Stress

Compliance challenges, tight timelines and lean resources can result in overwhelming stress for a fleet manager. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Published On: 07/26/2021
Fleet manager meeting with drivers
J. J. Keller Industry Consultant Tom Bray

Written by:

Tom Bray

Sr. Industry Business Advisor — J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

The year 2020 challenged safety professionals like never before, and this was confirmed in a J. J. Keller Center for Market Insights survey. Fifty-two percent of respondents in the survey ranked their job as extremely or very challenging. That’s a significant number and one that we all need to take seriously.

Comments include themes all too familiar with many fleet professionals:

  • Multiple responsibilities

“…Compliance, safety, and keeping up with all that’s involved, and also hiring and keeping qualified people.”

  • Inability to proactively address safety 

“…having the required amount of bandwidth to be proactive and less reactive.”

  • Lack of time to train and keep accurate records

“…interruptions, work is continuous and is never fully complete.”

Overcoming Compliance Challenges

The survey also revealed that limited time and resources frustrate fleet managers’ abilities to stay in compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The compliance challenges included:

  1. Compliance Knowledge — 63% struggle to stay up-to-date on the regs and understand how Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulatory changes impact their business.
  2. Awareness of and Visibility to Driver Compliance — 77% wrestle with knowing when a driver is non-compliant; if drivers are using the correct HOS exemptions and complying with HOS limits; tracking vehicle inspections: and knowing which drivers are most non-compliant.
  3. Recordkeeping — The struggle is real for 47% of respondents who say it’s most important to have organized and accurate files in one place so compliance can be proven.

When these compliance challenges meet the realities of tight timelines and lean resources, the result is overwhelming stress and, unfortunately, non-compliance with regulations and/or company policy. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Reduce Your Compliance Workload

Speaking from experience, I can state with complete confidence that using a cloud-based fleet management system (FMS) can alleviate the stress of many of these challenges. So here are my recommendations on what to look for to ensure you get a compliant and comprehensive FMS.

  1. It should cover the gamut of FMCSA requirements – including hiring, driver qualification, alcohol and drug testing, vehicle maintenance and legalization, accidents, training, and fuel tax. These are the tasks that take up the bulk of your time.
  2. You should have the ability to organize, track, search, and share files electronically. No more hours at the filing cabinets and copy machines. J. J. Keller® Encompass even keeps records of files shared with a previous employer.
  3. It should provide notifications of driver or vehicle compliance tasks – like certifications, renewals, inspections, training, etc.
  4. It must prioritize the compliance tasks that are overdue or coming due. Let’s face it— you need to attend to the fires first. For example, the Encompass dashboard notifies you of compliance fires, like a driver with an expired DL, an out-of-service (OOS) vehicle, or a driver who just ran out of hours.  
  5. You should be able to customize your recordkeeping based on the types of trucks you use, drivers you have, and the company-specific policies and procedures you have.
  6. It should offer the ability to import and export your data through APIs.

Having an FMS is all about reducing stress and saving time for the fleet manager. They are an essential part of the operation. And if you’re the fleet or driver manager taking care of these tasks, it’s time to make your case for getting a fleet management system.

Automate DOT Compliance with J. J. Keller® Encompass

Let’s face it. Disorganized records are a liability. Therefore, your company needs a comprehensive fleet management system to run an organized and compliant operation. Talk with a compliance specialist at J. J. Keller and learn how the Encompass® Fleet Management System can reduce stress and improve your compliance.

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Change The Way You See Your Fleet

The J. J. Keller Encompass Fleet Management System is the only fleet management platform that provides guidance backed by nearly 70 years of trusted DOT compliance expertise. Add connected technology like ELogs, dash cams, and vehicle tracking devices whenever you're ready.

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