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Fleet management: automating driver and vehicle

How mobile apps facilitate data collection and documentation

Managing staff and resources is a demanding task. Haulage companies and logistics service providers often have to manage this over many kilometers in order to successfully process their orders. Mobile apps that record and document data support them in this. Through this digital fleet management, companies can simplify many time-consuming processes and make them economical.

Profitable and legally compliant: these are the most important requirements for the deployment of drivers and vehicles in transport and logistics companies. To meet them, fleet management must control processes that often still involve a lot of paperwork. This includes maintenance and care of the trucks as well as personnel deployment planning in accordance with the regulations on driving and rest times. To do this, fleet managers must not only recognise how to increase yields. In order to comply with legal regulations, they must also fulfil comprehensive documentation obligations for their fleet. In many areas, they benefit from flexible data collection through digital solutions and mobile apps:

  • departure control
  • vehicle maintenance
  • accident management
  • consumption control
  • data backup of the digital tachograph
  • monitoring of driving and rest times

In logistics, mobile software solutions accelerate the documentation of the operations of an entire fleet without repeated data entry. This makes it easier for fleet managers to monitor resource efficiency and account for their drivers' working hours quickly and without errors.

Vehicles

Fleet management keeps trucks operational

(Daily) Mileage, distances travelled, fuel consumption, tyre pressures and tread depth: fleet managers need a lot of information directly from the trucks to maintain and care for the vehicles. Gathering this information manually and transferring it to the IT systems would not only be extremely time-consuming and inefficient, but also prone to errors. For truck drivers, on the other hand, checking these factors is part of the job. If they record the data in mobile apps from which the information is transferred directly to the fleet management system, on the other hand, the process becomes much simpler and the potential for errors is reduced. In addition, the corresponding workflows for the departure check as well as the individual tours ensure that all relevant factors are actually collected, stored, documented and archived. If they are connected to the vehicle telematics, the apps can also provide the data from the digital tachograph, i.e. from both the driver card and the mass memory, for remote download. This saves the fleet manager time-consuming on-site checks, while the transport company or freight forwarder automatically fulfils its legal documentation obligations. In addition, the mobile apps also simplify the recording of damage in the event of accidents with photo documentation, the course of the accident and contact data as well as insurance information of possible accident participants.

Drivers

Trip and tour documentation simplify fleet management

Due to their important task, drivers are at the centre of transports. This also entails a great deal of documentation obligations for them:

  • departure check with driving licence check
  • driving and rest time
  • weekly driving time
  • weekly rest period
  • certificate of non-driving times
  • working time (not behind the wheel)
  • loading and unloading times
  • cleaning and maintenance times
  • times for customs clearance
  • journey times abroad

This information is of double importance for the transport company: from the time recording, the fleet management learns how it can deploy a driver in the further course of the week. In cross-border transport, the driver's remuneration is also determined from the journey history. According to the EU Mobility Package and the Posting of Workers Directive, valid tariffs must be applied in addition to minimum wages. Furthermore, social security for drivers must be paid in the country where they have carried out the majority of their loading and unloading operations and where they have spent at least a quarter of their working time. Expense claims are also closely linked to the places of deployment. The service provider must document and archive all this data. A task that can only be done via mobile apps and digital data capture without enormous administrative effort for the fleet management staff.

Conclusion

Modern fleet management works digitally

Determining costs, creating deployment plans, accounting for wages: The tasks of fleet management require a large amount of networked information. Those who can evaluate it particularly quickly work efficiently. In times of more stringent social regulations, documentation requirements are also gaining in importance. Only those who can comprehensively document their working methods are really on the safe side. Mobile apps create this required transparency in passing, so to speak, while stringently guiding the processes of logistics service providers, freight forwarders and transport companies with digital workflows. In this way, the software automates a large number of the tasks of fleet management and makes the administration of the vehicle fleet highly efficient.

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