Weighing Your Options through Fleet Upgrades

You have a job to do, and so do your vehicles. And when it’s time to work, you need to be able to trust those vehicles to keep your drivers on the road and be an effective part of your workforce.

One easy way to put trust in your fleet is by having the right vehicle for each job in the first place. Sounds simple, but as your business evolves you may find yourself with outdated vehicles that no longer align with job responsibilities. When was the last time you really took stock of your vehicles?

Let’s take a real-world look into how a misalignment between vehicle specifications and job responsibilities can get expensive.

Exhausted by Fleet Costs

We recently observed an escalating trend in operating costs for one of our clients specializing in hospitality management. Their 1,200 vehicle fleet of cutaway, cargo and step vans was experiencing increased wear and a consequent increase in maintenance spend.

We visited three of the client’s locations to study how their vans were being utilized, and understand the root cause of the problem. The ARI team studied details that often get overlooked on a regular working day, including:

  • The amount of payload each vehicle was transporting
  • How employees were distributing cargo loads within the vehicle
  • The types of vehicles being used for each job

We were able to see that a percentage of their fleet vehicles were being used improperly, shortening their usable lifespan. At the same time, a number of vehicles were being underutilized.

Balancing the Scales

Our mission was clear – to keep the fleet size the same, choose the right chassis for the job, and design upfitting specifications to create better weight distribution. We presented the client with several options for consideration.

After reviewing ARI’s recommendations, the client decided to move forward with a two-prong approach:

  1. Replacing the current walk-in vans with a heavier GVW specification and ordering more than 150 new units
  2. Revising cutaway van specifications to include new interior folding shelving, and applying this new design to approximately 20 units

While the size of the new vehicles didn’t shift dramatically, the new weight and shelving options improved the weight distribution within each vehicle and across the entire fleet.

Although upgrading to walk-in vans with a higher GVW involved a higher acquisition cost, the increased capacity means that the vehicles will no longer suffer from damage and resulting downtime caused by overloading.

Take the Load Off

With the weight issues resolved, ARI’s client is excited to move into the future together. We’re working on a collaboration now that will evaluate fuel options to further enhance their new and improved fleet, making them more efficient and adding even  more value for the long run.

It’s easier than you think to build results into your fleet. It doesn’t take long to realize that the cycle improves with time. Start by reading our whitepaper on managing the supply chain process.