The Best Software, Fuel Cards, and Tips for Managing a Construction Business

Whether you are a small or large business, even the seemingly simplest of fleet management tasks can use up lots of your time and exhaust you. As your fleet grows, tasks that may have been just manageable and forgettable with a small fleet can quickly become overwhelming, particularly when your fleet operates in a time and safety-critical industry like construction.

However, by properly maintaining your fleet, having systems in place, and using construction equipment fleet management software in the right areas, you could stand to save a lot of time, money, and stress by reducing your workload and saving yourself headaches.

With the correct fuel cards, construction equipment fleet management software, and processes in place, you can turn what is often an exhaustive task into something seamless and pain-free.

The Benefits of Good Construction Fleet Management

A properly managed construction fleet delivers many benefits that would otherwise not be realised; it doesn’t just save you money.

Enhanced Asset Visibility

With the right fleet management software and tools, you can gain a complete and comprehensive overview of the costs and performance of your equipment and assets in a single centralised system. This aids decision making and allows you to see things for what they are in real-time.

Improved Fuel Efficiency

By monitoring fuel economy, integrating fuel cards, and keeping your vehicles properly managed and maintained, you can dramatically improve your fleet’s fuel efficiency. Improved fuel efficiency means that your vehicles travel more miles per gallon leading to raw savings on fuel expenditure in the long term.

Compliance with Regulation

Operating a fleet isn’t just a case of procuring vehicles and handing over the keys to your drivers; there are a great many regulations and laws that you and your fleet must comply with. Proper maintenance helps you keep on top of these, avoid financial penalties, meet your duty of care, and stay completely legal.

A Reduced Level of Risk

Keeping your fleet maintained and having good records of audits, tests, maintenance, and accidents, amongst other things, helps you manage risk and cover your own back if fleet construction equipment and/or vehicle-related accidents do occur.

Playing Your Cards Right

While fuel cards are not an example of construction fleet equipment management software, they are a must-have for any business that operates a fleet of vehicles.

Whether you’ve only got one van or whether you’ve got 100, fuel cards are crucial. Fuel is a major and unavoidable cost for any business with its own fleet and fuel cards offer the simplest and most cost-effective way of procuring it. With the right fuel card comes a huge range of offers and benefits that your bottom line can benefit from directly.

Construction fleet managers turn to fuel cards for:

  • Competitive pricing on fuel;

  • Fraud prevention features and tools;

  • Real-time monitoring of driver activity and mileage;

  • Simple, HMRC-friendly billing;

  • Simplified accounting and taxes; and

  • A reduced admin burden, amongst other things.

Since fuel makes up a huge chunk of most companies’ costs, having a straightforward solution that helps manage this cost is a major benefit to businesses both small and large.

Choosing a fuel card comes with its own challenges, though. There are many different types of fuel card, fuel card providers, benefits, pros and cons, and other elements to weigh up before you settle on one. Some cards, for example, can be used simply as a fuel-only debit card whereas others collect and provide you with valuable data.

With cards on offer from the likes of BP, Shell, Esso, AllStar, and others, it is important to do your research and pick the right one. To make your life easier, we have compiled our own series of fuel card reviews and guides of all the major brands—check them out after you have finished reading here!

Five Crucial Fleet Management Tips for Construction Fleet Operators

Fleet managers oversee complex fleet operations on a daily basis. As a company’s bottom line grows, the fleet does and the potential to manage it effectively alongside this growth is huge. Below are five tips and best practices which, when applied appropriately, can make a huge difference.

1. Get ahead of potential problems—act, don’t be reactive

It is never a bad idea to get ahead of any potential safety problems. Be proactive and ask yourself “What if?” instead of waiting for something to happen before you act. If you wait for an accident or near miss to take place, then your fleet drivers or the company itself could pay a huge price.

Telematics, driver monitoring tools, and construction fleet equipment management software may seem like unnecessary expenses, the alternative—a bad accident or a PR disaster—is always going to cost you more. Furthermore, by being able to see and understand what your drivers are doing when you are not looking, you can stamp out bad behaviour and habits before they manifest into costly incidents.

2. Keep comprehensive, well-organised records

Fleet managers must keep files and reports properly organized. This not only allows people to access them quickly when they need to, but it can be also used as evidence of good fleet management done ‘by the book’ if an audit was to ever take place or evidence had to be submitted following an accident.

Not only that, having well-kept files with vehicles numbered uniformly helps reduce staff admin burden, too—it makes looking up vehicle information a lot easier.

3. Set clear driver performance expectations

And incentivise your drivers by rewarding good performance, too.

Whether you set performance benchmarks for high fuel efficiency, performing their own vehicle inspections and low-level maintenance, or driving smoothly on the road (e.g. through the monitoring of acceleration, speed, and harsh braking using telematics), holding your drivers to account for their actions on the road and providing incentives for those who perform well can make a real difference.

The potential savings on fuel, maintenance, and general wear and tear that are achieved when drivers know that their performance is being monitored can soon add up, particularly in larger fleets.

4. Measure metrics and keep information on record

How else are you supposed to monitor progress if you have no information to use as a reference? Data and metrics are very important. At the same time, you need to be measuring the right things otherwise you are just going to end up with a whole bunch of nonsensical numbers.

A few key metrics to keep your eyes on include a vehicle’s cost per mile, your fleet’s average cost per mile, total cost trend, and operating cost. Monitor and measure data that has a direct impact on your fleet so that you can see how things change over time and make changes that will make a real difference.

5. Use fleet management software and tracking tools

There are lots of these available on the market and there are also lots of reasons to use them. Aside from monitoring your drivers, fleet management software and tracking tools help you keep track of driver habits, fuel purchases, fuel economy, vehicle location, upcoming maintenance, MOTs, and a whole host of other things.

Many software providers include handy online dashboards, too, where you can monitor everything in real-time 24/7.

Comparing What’s Available

Whether you are interested in fuel cards, telematics, software, or anything else commercial fleet-related, you can compare a range of different providers and their products at iCompario.

iCompario is operated by fuel card experts with over 30 years’ industry experience. By using their powerful online tools, you can quickly compare a range of fuel cards, telematics, and other useful tools alongside offerings from different providers.