Fleet management tools help companies navigate roadways at reduced cost

Transportation management software is a fleet manager's best defense against the costs associated with operating vehicles on deteriorating road infrastructure. The state of highways, bridges and city streets has a significant impact on the lifespan of heavy-duty trucks. These factors also have a tendency to influence business performance. For example, driving over large potholes on a regular basis can damage the integrity of tires and even disrupt a vehicle's wheel alignment. Such effects can create substantial maintenance costs. Most fleet owners already divert a portion of their budgets to routine upkeep, but poor infrastructure can magnify these expenditures.

According to the 2013 "Report Card for American Infrastructure" released by the American Society of Civil Engineers, many states have room for improvement when it comes to making their roadways more accommodating to traffic. In Illinois, motorists pay a collective total of $2.4 billion each year in extra maintenance costs arising from driving on streets or highways that are in desperate need for repair. Other states are having similar issues. The report found 73 percent of roads in Connecticut are ill-equipped for heavy traffic.

Trucking companies should consider the following options for avoiding these issues in the future:

Fleet maintenance software
One approach for managing the many issues related to poor infrastructure around the country is to invest in technology that makes the inevitable vehicle upkeep process as easy and efficient as possible. With maintenance software, fleet managers can establish more effective routines that reduce overhead costs. For instance, companies can use these tools to take a more preventative approach rather than simply waiting for mechanical issues to arise on their own.

Route optimization software
Changing driver behavior is another effective solution. It's going to take a great deal of time and effort for the U.S. government to take real steps toward improving infrastructure around the country. A recent article in the online publication Truckinginfo reported that legislators are currently debating whether to preserve the existing Highway Trust Fund, which is financed by a federal fuel tax. If these discussions continue without resolution, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association warned that 63,000 bridges across the U.S. run the risk of being structurally compromised.

Route optimization becomes a useful tool for fleet owners who will want to avoid these bridges if the Highway Trust Fund ends up disappearing and the bridges continue to be used without repair. This technology provides managers with more visibility in terms of choosing the safest and most efficient routes for their daily deliveries.