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Unlock Efficiency: Fleet Management Solutions for Small Fleets

By Julie White May 30, 2024

Many small fleets are juggling customer demands with limited resources. Fleet management software is a valuable tool to help managers streamline operations and prioritize efficiency, even with a small fleet.

How big is a small fleet?

What makes a small fleet is subjective, but small fleets are generally defined as fleets with fewer than 50 vehicles. There are a number of benefits related to operating a smaller fleet in the modern industry landscape. Small companies have fewer vehicles and assets to keep track of, which also allows for lower overhead. Another benefit of smaller fleets is the opportunity for faster growth. 

As these businesses continue to grow, small fleet managers deal with similar issues as mid- and large-sized fleets, in addition to some unique challenges. For example, responding quickly to customer demands is a critical need, and a defining characteristic, of small fleet businesses. Just like their larger counterparts, small fleets are looking to technology to address these challenges and make an impact in their business.

What challenges do small fleets face?

In Verizon Connect’s recent Fleet Technology Trends Report, small fleets (1-49 vehicles) made up 42% of the respondents. Almost 80% of all respondents cited increasing costs as their top fleet challenge, followed by the driver shortage or lack of quality workers, and meeting customer demand.1 In an era of rising costs, small fleets are using technology like fleet management solutions to find new ways to control costs and generate revenue. The top three cost savings areas fleets using a GPS tracking system saw were:

  • Fuel costs
  • Accident costs
  • Labor costs

Those surveyed also noted the top goal achieved by fleets using a GPS fleet tracking system was improved productivity, which saw the largest increase year-over-year of any goal, from 50% to 55%.1 From fuel savings to streamlined maintenance, the following are some of the ways a telematics solution can help streamline fleet management, improve operating efficiency and support your bottom line.

See why Verizon Connect was ranked as a leader for small business fleets for the 11th consecutive quarter by G2, a peer-to-peer software review platform.  

How small fleets can reap big benefits from telematics

1.  Keep an eye on fuel economy and idling

Knowing how to accurately track fuel costs can be a big challenge for small fleets, even if they have been in business for a long time. Constant changes in oil prices, duties and other taxes can further complicate the situation. However, with the right data and best practices, small fleets can win the fuel battle.

Monitor. Measure. Educate. Repeat. These steps can be your key to affect a positive change in fuel economy for your business. Monitoring fuel usage, measuring the data, educating your drivers, and repeating these steps consistently. Start to change the way you think about fuel economy by:

  • Integrating your fuel cards with the fleet management software and running reports to analyze total fuel spend per vehicle, as well as all fill-up locations.
  • Leveraging reliable fuel transaction data to track miles per gallon.
  • Pinpointing causes of high fuel consumption, such as unauthorized fill-ups, to help eliminate fuel slippage, also known as stolen fuel.
  • Enforcing fuel-saving habits and reducing fuel-wasting behaviors and fuel fraud to ultimately reduce overall fuel costs.
  • Putting an end to idling by monitoring vehicle idle times, inoperative vehicles and engine status by identifying which drivers are engaging in fuel-wasting activity.

With data collected from a GPS tracking solution, you can tackle the most important first step, that is, monitoring your fuel consumption, frequently and accurately. This allows you to understand a variety of factors that impact your fleet’s fuel costs, enabling you to implement an ongoing fuel management program to help support fuel efficiency.

2.  Stay ahead with smart maintenance

For small fleets, taking even one truck out of rotation can lead to a scheduling disaster that results in loss of productivity, which in turn affects your customers and bottom line. When it comes to managing the health of all fleet vehicles, preventive fleet maintenance is the most important step.

Telematics as a fleet management solution can help streamline maintenance processes for routine updates, such as tire rotations and oil changes, as well as bigger fixes. This helps to manage expenses and keep all vehicles in operating condition. With telematics, small fleet managers can efficiently keep track of maintenance schedules, freeing up time to focus on other operational activities.

From generating vehicle maintenance alerts, to improving preventive maintenance program accuracy and controlling costs, here are some of the maintenance benefits of fleet tracking technology:

  • Engine diagnostics: Access current battery voltage, coolant temperature, powertrain malfunctions, intake valve issues, oxygen sensor problems and more. Monitoring these diagnostics helps to identify issues before they result in major breakdowns.
  • Engine hour tracking and driver behavior data: With engine-hour tracking and driver behavior data, you can get a better picture of your vehicle’s health. Telematics also enables you to detect behaviors that accelerate vehicle wear and tear, such as hard cornering and rapid acceleration.
  • Service records tracking: Receive proactive reminders for routine maintenance and automatically track vehicle service and completion dates. 

3.  Prioritize driver and vehicle safety

Safety is a top concern for small fleet managers and drivers. Telematics helps prioritize driver safety by monitoring the location and speed of every fleet vehicle. The technology also provides real-time audio alerts when it detects unsafe driving such as distracted driving, tailgating or tiredness. Managers can set alerts based on dangerous driving conditions such as rain or snow or set a lower-limit speeding alert when vehicle wipers are active.

Telematics also helps support drivers in emergency situations by leveraging live location tracking to enable a faster, more efficient emergency response. When used in conjunction with Integrated Video’s coaching dashboard, managers can view video clips of harsh driving events within minutes of an incident. These can then be used to coach drivers in safe driving practices, while at the same time rewarding those drivers who are performing well.

4.  Utilize smart dispatching and see improved utilization

For small fleets, flexibility and agility are critical. Telematics allows small fleet managers and operators to quickly locate the nearest worker with the right skills and vehicle for a job, reducing per-mile costs. It can also help to plan routes, optimize travel, and manage a workforce.

Telematics data also lets you identify which equipment and vehicles could be getting you a better ROI, and which should be sold or relocated. Finally, telematics helps managers improve responsiveness during emergencies and unexpected events, enabling you to quickly change vehicle routes and schedules at a moment’s notice.

Verizon Connect is advancing small fleets

For small fleets especially, technology needs to be easy to use across the organization. From installation to operation, Verizon Connect delivers on ease of use and admin for users. Our platform is flexible and scalable to grow with your fleet’s needs and we’re backed by a dependable network so you can access accurate fleet data when you need it.

Fleet management technology is the next step in your small fleet’s journey. Here are signs that your business is ready for telematics. Download this free eBook now.


1 https://www.verizonconnect.com/fleet-technology-trends-report/

Julie White

Julie is an experienced product management professional with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry in a variety of customer-facing and technical roles. She is skilled in product management, business analysis, product ownership, enabling sales and customer support management.

Tags: Cost control, Data & Analytics, Fuel cost management, Vehicle Maintenance, Safety, Fleet utilization, Productivity & Efficiency

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