The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Fleet Managers

Posted by Reza Tavassoli on 6-Jun-2019 7:37:00 AM
Reza Tavassoli

The business world was rocked when Stephen R. Covey, the author of the best-selling book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change,” said, “Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential.” Industry leaders, managers, and entrepreneurs everywhere quickly realized he wasn’t only talking about people but also describing the primary factors limiting a company’s growth.

For fleet managers overseeing complex operations daily, this is even more, especially when one considers their potential includes all their company's assets and abilities. The unused potential to manage your fleet more effectively while growing your bottom line is massive, and with the help of our customers, Coencorp has identified some habits that highly effective fleet managers practise. When applied diligently, these best practices can help you optimize your workforce productivity and improve your bottom line. Taking lessons from leading fleet management system (FMS) customers worldwide and notable fleet professionals, we have compiled a list of straightforward principles that will improve your fleet operations and make your fleet manager a lot more effective in the process.

Act Don't React - Plan Ahead on Your Driver's Safety

With so many distractions and safety hazards forConference Room of fleet managers over a conference table discussing Strategy your drivers, it is always a good idea to get ahead of any potential problems. Ensure your Preventive Maintenance (PM) program is integrated into your FMS to prevent as many incidents as possible. If you neglect your PM and wait for an accident or near miss, then your company and employees may face more significant costs in shutdowns, overtime repairs, medical expenses, as well as legal and insurance expenses. Consider this before deciding that the cost of hands-free devices, driver behaviour monitoring equipment, or a vehicle data unit (VDU) seems unnecessary because the alternative will always be more expensive. Be proactive by understanding what your drivers are doing with a fully integrated FMS system and peripherals that give you a clear picture of what’s happening. 

Managing Vehicle Maintenance Should Be Easy and Accessible

People inheMechanic Working On Bus in the maintenance garagerently look for the easy road. If you want your drivers to maintain routine vehicle service and maintenance, you need to make Preventive Maintenance (PM) scheduling and reporting as effortless as possible. We’ve seen all forms of office boards and many paper trails used to keep fleets on schedule, but the times are changing. Cloud-based fleet management software with mobile accessibility and automated features such as engine warnings and service reminders are now the key to a successful vehicle maintenance program. Simplify your fleet management by making it mobile, automated and accessible to those who need it on your team. 

Set Your Criteria for Optimal Vehicle Purchasing and Disposal

Trackable criteria are critical. Without clearly defined guidelines, varying departments and locations may buy vehicles subjectively and keep them for as long as they see fit. Without volume purchasing and insight into the correct time/mileage for selling vehicles, your company could leave money on the table. Take the time to spec out vehicle options to meet the requirements of your fleet and put a purchasing plan in place. These specs may change over time as more efficient vehicles become available, but having easy access to the usage models in your FMS will make the plan more efficient and help you optimize vehicle replacement. old half ton truck


Some of our customers regularly share detailed data collected in the FMS with their drivers to incentivize them to do a good job. The drivers see what the fleet manager sees and are empowered to change their habits to achieve higher fuel efficiency, perform regular PM on time, or improve driving performance. This may not work for everyone. However, holding your drivers to a clearly demonstrated performance standard will make your fleet more efficient. Fuel savings from better driving habits and adequately running vehicles really add up across an entire fleet. With driver behaviour monitoring, promoting safe driving habits and implementing targeted training cost-effectively is even easier. Create actionable goals for your drivers to inspire safer, more responsible driving habits.

Collect Accurate data on Everything that Matters.

Executive Managing  Fleet of trucks and shipping containers

Metrics are essential and can help monitor progress, but they can slow down your decision-making if they aren’t measuring precisely what you need. To be on top of your fleet operations, you must define what you need, measure it accurately, and display it clearly for easy access during reporting. Moreover, you can’t effectively improve upon operations when you don’t have a clear picture of what’s wrong or right. In other words, monitor and measure specific data that directly impacts your fleet. According to our customers, the most common metrics give solid insight into vehicle performance and fleet performance overall. They include fuel costs, mileage, load weights, fluid usage, and idle times.


Instant, 24/7 access to your files and operations history is easy and safe with a cloud-based FMS. There are no excuses for not knowing where your fleet information is stored. Move your fleet documents to the cloud and find your fleet information instantly. Invoices, work orders, receipts, accident reports, photos, vehicle records, and more can be kept in one central digital location, accessed from any mobile device, and reviewed on a user-friendly dashboard. Welcome to the modern era of fleet management.


Fleets are constantly evolving. It’s imperative to keep up! Join industry associations, read trade publications, follow blogs (like this one), and consider plugging into more professional-oriented social media feeds like LinkedIn to stay on top of what is happening in fleet technology.

As You Read Up on New Technology, Don't Be Afraid to Ask About It

Our team has enjoyed seeing SM2 users grow their operations by integrating new technologies and best practices. Alternative fuels are a reality that may be cost-effective for your current fleet, but the possibilities don’t stop there. With electric vehicles and the possibility of automated fleets, understanding a fleet's behaviours is now more critical than ever. The same goes for data collection technology, where you can make educated decisions about return on investments if you have accurate data for your vehicles. In this age of business intelligence (BI), everything you need to be a fleet management expert is right at your fingertips, especially if you have taken advantage of the availability of an adaptable, automated, and fully integrated FMS.  

What are your keys to success in fleet management? Leave a comment on this post.

Topics: fleet fuel management, fleet maintenance, preventative maintenance, fleet management, driver behaviour, vehicle tracking, real-time data