In a previous article, we explored how fleet managers can glean valuable insights from the airline industry. Airline accidental prevention techniques, for example, show remarkable strides in reducing accidents. Nowadays, the frequency of airline accidents is almost null. On the other hand, fleet management still grapples with a significant number of incidents.
The core takeaway here is that safety needs to be, of course, part of a much stricter prevention routine. The importance of dynamic and active warning systems for fleet drivers cannot be overstated. These have the potential to make lorry routes considerably safer, both for drivers and other vehicles on the road. Similarly, providing personalised driver training, just like pilots receive personalised training, can help tick all the boxes for safe behaviour on the route.
Here, this article delves further into the lessons that fleet managers can learn from airlines, extending beyond safety measures to operational excellence. Airlines are known for their exceptional records, and there is much to be gained by examining their practices closely.
Personalised stimulators for training
Before we explore other areas of interest, let’s reiterate the significance of dynamic and personalised training, as highlighted in the previous article. Airlines invest heavily in cutting-edge technologies that provide real-time data on aircraft performance. Similarly, fleet managers are already using advanced telematics and vehicle monitoring systems. However, these systems are not used to their full potential, as they can further enhance safety and optimise fleet performance if managers can turn useful insights into actionable driver behaviour and vehicle health plans.
Furthermore, airlines prioritise personalised training using simulators for their pilots and crew. Which recognise the vital role human factors play in safety. This begs an important question, namely, how do fleet managers provide targeted training to their drivers: Are there simulators available? The current answer is no, but it would make sense to introduce those in the driving training module. A well-trained driver is not only safer on the road but also more efficient, contributing to cost savings and improved customer service.
Long-term servicing schedules
One lesson fleet managers can take from airlines is the adherence to long-term servicing schedules without exception. Airline service their aircraft ahead of deadlines to accommodate complex travel timings and responsibilities. They also maintain multiple servicing stations at different airports to ensure that maintenance can be conducted efficiently.
Truck fleet managers can apply this principle by establishing strictly servicing schedules for their vehicles. Regular maintenance, conducted ahead of deadlines, can ensure that lorries are in optimal condition for their demanding schedules. Having multiple servicing stations strategically located can reduce downtime and improve operational efficiency. This proactive approach not only extends the lifespan of the vehicles but also enhances overall fleet reliability.
Ordering replacement materials in advance
Airlines order replacement materials well in advance to ensure the safety and reliability of their aircraft. This practice extends to bulk replacement materials for normal wear and tear items like tyres. Orders are typically based on flight schedules, allowing replacements to be made ahead of the deadline, particularly before long trips or tight schedules.
Fleet managers can learn from this approach by adopting a proactive stance toward replacement orders. Keeping a close eye on wear and tear components, such as tyres, brakes, and engine parts can prevent unexpected breakdown and costly delays. Additionally, bulk replacement orders with a trusted supplier, such as a specialist tyre shop, can also come in more cost-effective than ordering single items separately.
Besides, ordering replacement materials ahead of schedules based on the anticipated mileage or usage can significantly reduce the risk of unplanned downtime.
Scheduling routes years ahead
Airlines plan their flight schedules years in advance, even if these schedules are not released to the public. Currently British Airlines has the full flight schedule planned until 2050, for example. This forward-thinking approach helps in scheduling maintenance and servicing stops efficiently. Fleet managers can derive substantial benefits from a similar strategy in the trucking industry.
By scheduling fleet itineraries well ahead of time, truck fleet managers can achieve several advantages. Firstly, it allows for cost-saving through optimised routes and reduced fuel consumption.
Secondly, it enhances customer retention by ensuring timely delivery and consistent service quality.
Finally, more importantly, it boosts the overall efficiency of operations, reducing idle time and enhancing both the utilisation and the necessary maintenance scheduling for all assets.
The aviation industry’s exceptional record for safety and operational efficiency provide valuable lessons for truck fleet managers. Can adopting these best practices transform the fleet industry and enhance safety, cost reduction, customer satisfaction, and overall operation effectiveness? One thing is for sure, the wisdom of the airline industry may be the key to transform the image of the fleet sector.