The UK fleet sector has grown dramatically over the past 10 years, with fleets seeing a 42% increase in volume. As such, more and more companies are hiring for fleet management jobs. The role of the fleet manager is vital within fleet-dependent companies. In general, fleet managers are responsible for the management, organisation and operation of a fleet. This means they’re responsible for tasks ranging from acquiring new vehicles and selling old ones, optimising vehicle routes, claims processing and much more.
This article will provide an overview of what a typical fleet management job entails, the qualifications needed to become a fleet manager and which employees fleet managers should be expected to collaborate with within the company.
Why Companies Need a Fleet Manager
Fleet managers are professional multitaskers. They collaborate with a number of company employees and external specialists to ensure the fleet runs smoothly every day. Fleet costs are one of the largest expenses for companies with a mobile workforce.
Fleet managers help companies save money by maintaining vehicles to avoid unexpected breakdowns, optimising routes to avoid heavy traffic areas and reassigning jobs when vehicles are in the shop or drivers are unavailable — just to name a few of the critical roles of a fleet manager.
Without a dedicated fleet manager, companies will have to distribute these tasks amongst multiple employees. This can lead to an increase in costs, an inefficient fleet and unnecessary stress for employees who aren’t fully qualified for the role.
Ways to Become a Fleet Manager
There’s no clear-cut way to become a fleet manager. Most fleet managers are promoted to their position after working their way up the company ladder, oftentimes starting with an apprenticeship and learning the ropes from there. Because fleet management jobs require such a broad skill set, learning the ins and outs of the role while on the job makes the most sense for aspiring fleet managers.
With that said, it’s also possible to acquire the skills needed to become a fleet manager through higher education courses and similar training programs. For example, a degree in logistics is a good starting point for someone interested in managing a fleet someday.
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The Most Common Tasks of a Fleet Manager
The exact fleet manager job description will vary based on the industry, the size of the fleet and the type of vehicles. However, the following list of fleet manager tasks should give you a better idea of the type of work a fleet manager is responsible for.
- Fleet analysis, reporting and optimisation
- Owner liability and traffic safety
- Driver’s licence check
- Vehicle maintenance and services
- Maintenance of vehicles and driver files
- Vehicle purchase, leasing and selling
- Fuel card checks
- Fuel consumption
- Cost controls
- Mileage supervision
- Claims processing
- Contract management and insurance
- Pool vehicle management
- Communication with drivers
- Repair processing
- Tyre management (summer/winter)
Fleet Manager Qualifications
No two fleet managers have the exact same qualifications. What one company needs from a fleet manager will differ based on the size and type of fleet, the industry and so forth.
In general, fleet managers need to have a mind for business. They must be able to assess which vehicles are economically viable in the long-run, what the best way to finance a fleet is and when it’s time to sell unneeded or underperforming vehicles.
Moreover, fleet managers need to have basic tax and legal knowledge. Ownership liability, vehicle insurance and tax regulations are just a few of the tasks they’ll be responsible for. They also need to have some technical skills. While they don’t necessarily need to know how to change the oil in a car, they do need to know the basics of maintaining vehicles and keeping them roadworthy.
Another key qualification of a star fleet manager is managerial skills. Fleet managers interact with drivers daily and need to be comfortable explaining new regulations, reprimanding poor behaviour and reassigning tasks as needed.
Who Fleet Managers Collaborate With
A fleet management job is highly collaborative. Fleet managers oversee a fleet to keep operations running smoothly, but they rely on a number of individuals to see specific tasks through. Some of the people fleet managers should expect to collaborate with include:
- Drivers: Are coached in best driving practices, vehicle inspections and more.
- Technicians: Must be kept informed about vehicle maintenance schedules and any damage that needs repairing.
- Business owners: Work together to increase bottom line, optimise fleet and address insurance claims.
Want to Make the Fleet Manager Job Easier?
Fleet management jobs are multi-faceted and call for a diverse skill set. Fleet managers are responsible for the safety of a company’s vehicles and drivers, the acquisition and sale of vehicles and various tax and legal requirements.
Fleet managers looking to streamline their workload and better optimise their fleet need to invest in a digital fleet tracking system, like Fleet Geo. Fleet Geo records past routes, mileage and real-time locations of fleet vehicles and saves all of this information digitally so it’s easy for fleet managers to categorize and review later on. To learn more about Fleet Geo and the ways it will save you time and money, contact one of our customer service representatives today.