A fleet owner’s business is all about performance. Having the right people, processes, and equipment in place is key to a successful operation. So are tools. In today’s industry, truck drivers need both traditional tools and electronic devices to stay competitive and efficient.
So how can fleet owners better equip their drivers to do their jobs most effectively?
Whether it’s a short or long haul run, a driver prepared with his own toolbox helps to sustain optimum operating conditions, stays safe and keeps business moving.
Here are Five Must-Have Tools to keep on hand:
- Tire Pump – At the very least, you should carry a pressure gauge, but ideally, a tire pump with a pressure gauge and a light is best. A tread-wear gauge and thumper are good for regular checkups and a tire iron could help in remote areas.
- Breaker Bar or Lug Wrench – These tools are great for loosening tight nuts or gaining extra leverage. If you have the wrench, but not the bar, improvise by using a pipe to wrench handle to make the job a little easier.
- Flashlight – You don’t realize it’s value until you need it. There are waterproof models powered by shaking, designed for extreme temperatures. A headlamp style will keep your hands free and if you go with the standard battery operated version, be sure to carry extra batteries.
- Utility Knife – This compact tool can come in handy for everything from checking tire tread to making a repair or making your lunch. If that’s the case, you might want to have a Leatherman, too.
- Screwdrivers – There are many different sizes and styles. If you have a ratchet screwdriver with a variety of heads along with a set of flatheads and a set of Phillips, they should cover most jobs.
Tools of technology can make life easier and work more efficient out on the road. A recent survey by American Truck Business Services revealed that 79 percent of truck drivers use a Smartphone and nine out of 10 download applications.
Here are Five Must-Have Apps to keep in hand:
- TruckSmart – Everything you need to know about TravelCenters of America (TA) and Petro sites within 250 miles from where you are. This app lists amenities at each location, provides current fuel prices and lets you book a parking spot or a shower, all before you arrive.
- Camscanner – Tired of digging through or misplacing documents and needed receipts? With a variety of features, scanning and archiving or sharing important papers can be done in the snap of a photo. More accurate record keeping saves time and money.
- Fuelbook – Maximizing fuel efficiency can quickly add up to savings. This fuel price locator app updates rates six times a day, so choosing your next stop is simple. If you need more than fuel, it also lists services and parking availability at each location.
- Weatherchannel – Driving is challenging enough without unfavorable weather conditions, but it can be a little less stressful with this app on your radar. Real-time weather reports, including hourly, three- and 10-day forecasts, emergency alerts and pattern trackers all help to plan your best route.
- Skype – Being on the road for long periods means being away from familiar faces. With instant messaging, voice and video calls, this app lets you stay connected with family, friends and company contacts until you get home.
Not everything will be fixable with the tools you have on the side of the road and network reception won’t always be trouble free. However, as a fleet owner, it can bring peace of mind to know that your drivers will have everything necessary to get their jobs done safely and efficiently—at least until they can get to the nearest garage or service center.
As a fleet owner, we understand the challenges of keeping vehicles on the road and everyone safe. Partnering with a fuel distributor equates to superior products and professional services—another must have for your business toolbox.