Fleet News

Using data to maximise uptime

The best way to run an efficient fleet is evolving, with careful route optimisation, high vehicle utilisation and access to actionable data all essential tools to leverage.

Dale Eynon, director, DEFRA Group Fleet Services, told Fleet and Mobility Live delegates about the power of data and how he uses it to improve the uptime of his fleet.

He said: “Telematics drives a lot of this – a lot of the stuff you have to do around optimisation and utilisation is driven by telematics. We know which vehicles we can convert to electric because of their routes, using data.

“We can also start fitting in routing maintenance and inspections based on that data and by linking to our service provider so they know when the vehicle needs servicing and can order parts to minimise downtime.”

To improve utilisation, Eynon says its important to first establish how you measure it. This could be mileage, hours, days or whatever is most important to your business.

A focus on planned downtime can ensure vehicles are kept in the best possible condition, to avoid unexpected breakdowns. But to manage this effectively often requires a suitable partner.

Eynon said: “In our group, everywhere in our contract where they are servicing one of our assets it has to be within 15 miles of where the asset is based. We include mobile servicing and depot servicing. If we can do it overnight, even better.

“Look at what your service package is with your supplier – does it meet your needs and if it doesn’t go back and see what else they can do.

“You need to set out what you want your supplier to do based on your fleet. No two fleets are the same. They might offer you a vanilla package that you need to alter. Talk to your supplier, find out what they can do and what works for you.”

Most of Eynon’s 6,000 vehicles get an annual service and a six-monthly inspection, which will pick up most major faults. He says if you wait until something breaks, it costs more money and takes more time to rectify.

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Once registered, watch Optimisation and utilisation: Managing downtime, embracing uptime here.

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