Fleet maintenance software boosts safety, efficiency for businesses

Equipment maintenance software is a useful resource for fleet owners who may struggle to keep up with changes to federal safety guidelines regarding heavy-duty trucks. Commercial carrier organizations have several responsibilities, but keeping vehicles in good working condition is one particular issue that often gets overlooked. When managers of small and midsize businesses must meet stringent delivery deadlines to keep their customers happy, they may feel as though they can't pay adequate attention to other issues affecting their operations. Avoiding variables such as severe weather and busy traffic also makes it harder for transportation firms to evenly divide their resources every day.

CSA rules require better organization on the part of fleet managers
That's why automated fleet maintenance software can help these companies comply with changing federal regulations without negatively impacting the efficiency and reliability of their ongoing shipments. According to a recent article from Fleet Owner, streamlining the vehicle upkeep process is one of the most important aspects of staying up to speed with complex rules from the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The publication interviewed a variety of trucking professionals to determine the effects of regulations such as the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program that the FMCSA originally introduced in 2010. Many of these industry experts agreed the CSA initiative hasn't necessarily changed vehicle maintenance rules for commercial carriers so much as it has altered the compliance and inspection process.

In other words, fleet owners shouldn't have to worry about investing in any new and expensive safety equipment in the near future. However, introducing advanced technology such as maintenance software will go a long way toward making it easier for managers to organize, schedule and oversee their vehicle upkeep efforts. Those are the issues that will ultimately have an influence on any firm's ability to continue transporting goods as normal while still passing routine inspections and ensuring the safety of drivers.

Routine inspections limit the occurrence of weather-related vehicle issues
Aside from CSA compliance, equipment maintenance software will also allow fleet owners to be more prepared for adverse weather conditions. For the second time in only two weeks, parts of the East Coast and South experienced a major ice storm that left highways and streets in poor shape for automobiles and heavy duty-trucks. Transportation officials in Georgia, who were largely unprepared for a previous storm that created unprecedented traffic jams outside Atlanta, took more preliminary measures to mitigate the effects of this most recent wave of snow and ice. For example, The New York Times reported that many local school districts decided to suspend classes until the weather improved. As a result, there was much less traffic on the road during the storm's most intense periods.

Most commercial carriers have no choice but to continue operating during severe weather conditions. Food suppliers often face a sharp increase in demand in anticipation of snowstorms, as residents scramble to stock up on groceries.

"We usually stock only at night, but we have been stocking day and night," Sylvia Bishop, the customer service manager at an Atlanta-based Kroger grocery store, told the newspaper. "It's like a home football game or something."

Maintenance software can come in handy for small and midsize businesses that are responsible for meeting deadlines no matter what the conditions. A separate article in Fleet Ownerrecommended that commercial carriers invest in resources that make it easier to plan ahead and mitigate potential problems. Routine vehicle inspections and attention to mechanical issues will also ensure trucks run as safely as possible when the roads are slippery or covered with inches of snowfall. A roadside breakdown in extreme cold can put drivers in danger. A missed delivery deadline can also lead to fewer profits for a transportation business in the long run.

It can be hard for the owners of small and midsize enterprises to keep track of every small detail that goes into a shipment. Automated tools allow both managers and employees to have full view of the safety and reliability of their vehicles, making it possible to comply with federal rules and maintain efficient process on a daily basis. Companies will also be more prepared to handle any obstacles that arise in the future.