Fleet Director's Column

By FLEET e-news posted 12-12-2023 10:56


By Marc Sibbald – Director IPWEA FLEET

Preparing your fleet for 2024

It’s funny how December can be one of the busiest months of the year when you realise there’s things on your ‘To Do’ list still to complete. For most Fleet Managers in 2023, there’s probably two that are pending. One would be considered critical; the other involves electric vehicles.

The first critical task that could be outstanding relates to the 3G network shutdown which will make most older telematics systems obsolete. IPWEA Fleet and industry suppliers have been spreading the word for 18 months to encourage organisations to take action on this issue. However, as the deadline approaches, so many fleets are still using 3G hardware with no plans to upgrade it before the June 2024 deadline (some areas will be shut down earlier).

Electric vehicle transition plans are the other item on the unfinished list in 2023. This hasn’t stopped the rollout of electric cars, trucks and mowers to satisfy the demands of stakeholders and political influences. Though without a detailed EV transition plan, a rollout of zero emission vehicles will stall in the ‘trial’ phase for several years.

In 2023 I’ve been fortunate to talk with Fleet Managers almost every day about these issues and others impacting the efficient, effective and safe management of fleet assets. The underlying problem is the lack of a plan.

At IPWEA Fleet we refer to a Fleet Asset Management Plan (FAMP), as outlined in the Plant and Vehicle Management Manual (PVMM), as the most important planning tool. It’s a 10-year strategic plan for the organisation’s fleet assets which is supported by an annual Fleet Business Plan. An in 2023, an Electric Vehicle Transition Plan became the third critical document for Fleet Managers.

Having all three of these documents completed, and presented to senior management, gets the fleet team into the discussion about the levels of service desired by the organisation from the fleet. Once that discussion starts, so does the allocation of capital and operational budgets to deliver the expected level of service.

Preparing three strategic documents may seem like too much work. So as a starting point in 2024, produce a monthly fleet report and share it across the organisation. Your goal should be to get noticed so people ask questions about the fleet. No one within your organisation has the experience and knowledge to manage fleet assets like you. You just need to share it with your customers.