As a fleet manager, you are responsible for staying within your budget for vehicle upfitting as well as controlling the operational costs of the fleet throughout the year. You can get the most out of your budget by adopting a “reduce, reuse, recycle” mindset.
Reduce Budget Bloat
You can decide which items in your upfits are the most important for your fleet vehicles and keep your budget allocation strong for those to ensure that you can get premium quality products where they will serve your fleet best. There may be some items that are less important, such as storage solutions, where you can use a less expensive alternative without compromising services or safety.
For first responder vehicles, compare all of the lighting options. As long as the light bars operate properly, are easily seen at night, and the light controller is easy to use, then you may not need the most expensive models. Look at your other lighting options, too. Do you actually need all of the lighting options you used last year? For example, did the running board lights provide you a great service on your police vehicles, or could you do without that extra cost?
Consider LED lighting. LED lights are much brighter than other types of lamps, providing superior visibility. They also reduce wear and tear on your electrical systems so they can function smoothly longer.
Reusing Products & Reducing Operating Costs
When you are getting the most out of your budget, consider reusing some of your fleet vehicles products. For example, if you spearhead a tire retreading program, you can retread your radial ply tires and add about 120,000 miles of use to those tires at approximately 35 percent of the cost of new tires. Additionally, checking the tire alignment and the air in the tires can return significant savings on fuel consumption as well as extend the life of your tires.
Fuel represents a fleet’s highest cost. Optimize your upfits by making certain that the drivetrain, engine, and tires maximize your fuel efficiency. You can add some aerodynamic features to your fleet to help in this area. Each 10-percent reduction in air resistance can increase your MPG by approximately 5 percent.
Do preventive maintenance on all vehicles to avoid expensive repairs in the future.
Consider stripping your lighting features and any other items off retiring vehicles and placing them on your new ones. Make certain that your installer is checking each and every component to make sure it operates properly and can be used safely before installing it on a new vehicle, and consider purchasing new wiring and controllers if they are nearing the end of their lifespans.
You can easily recycle products from a retired upfit to a new vehicle upfit. For example, instead of purchasing new fully rugged Panasonic computers, you can transfer them to your new fleet and have any upgrades in the software installed. This allows you to extend the warranty on your mobile computers and laptops at a very low cost. It is always worth speaking with your authorized reseller, however to help you asses the remaining life on your current rugged computer solutions.
When you are ready to sell your retired vehicles, shop around to make certain you get the best price available for them. You can offer fleet vehicles to employees. Often, the person who has driven the fleet vehicle over the years will be glad to purchase it because they know it’s been kept in great shape and will have an extended useful life. You may sell vehicles individually or place them on a consignment lot rather than selling them at an auction, which usually brings a low price for vehicles.
These techniques can help you get more out of your fleet’s budget by saving on vehicle upfitting and day-to-day expenses. If you’re looking for trustworthy, top-quality public safety vehicle upfitting services and products, contact Keltek today.