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What Is Fleet Management Software? The Mad Max Guide

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What is fleet management?

Herding cats who can also drive,” is what many fleet managers might say. Fleet management is more than managing people. It’s managing multiple people, out of your sight, travelling at 60+ miles per hour, hauling expensive cargo. Oh, and doing it with hundreds of thousands of other cars right next to them in the course of their trip.

I could continue explaining what fleet management is, but there’s actually a movie that does it better. A movie that captures the chaos, stress and uncertainty of wrangling a large group of people in steel-and-iron giants.

I’m talking, of course, about Mad Max: Fury Road.

Even though Mad Max is set in a violent, lawless, post-apocalyptic world, the heroes and villains actually do a pretty good job managing their fleets.

That said, you can do better. You can take advantage of something they don’t have: fleet management software. And fleet management software can help you track things that would have helped the characters of that film, if they’d had it.

Yes, I’m saying it: with fleet management software, you can be cooler than Mad Max. Keep reading to find out the ways fleet management software can help you avoid the same problems Max and company faced in the film.

Mad Max: Fury Road Plot (in 25 words or less)

In case you haven’t seen Fury Road, here’s what happens:

Lawless, post-apocalyptic world. Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron liberate inexplicable supermodels from evil warlord and his giant frat-on-wheels. Gargantuan, violent car chase ensues. Also: FIRE-GUITAR!!!!!

1. Fleet Telematics Keeps You In The Know

If you’ve seen Mad Max: Fury Road, you realize the movie revolves around a large fleet of very bad people trying to catch up with a truckful of very embattled people. If the embattled heroes get out of visual range, as they do in the movie, it means the bad guys are out of luck.

With telematics, however, the bad guys could have sidestepped this problem. Telematics is the ability to track location using an electronic device. If you have location services enabled on your phone, you’re using telematics. If the villain, Immortan Joe, had fleet management software with telematics, he could have checked on where Furiosa was at any time. For that matter, if Furiosa had had fleet management software, she could have known where Joe was.

Immortan Joe, Down Under Darth Vader

A lot of fleet management software programs double as vehicle tracking software. Many  have telematics (tracking a vehicle with GPS) capabilities (all of these companies on Capterra’s fleet management software directory have telematics capabilities). Telematics does more than just track where your vehicles are, though. It can also calculate the shortest route.

Mullholland Contracts used Telogis’ telematics to get a comprehensive view of fleet operations. Telogis’ software doesn’t just track their trucks, it also informs managers when trucks are idling, what kind of mileage they’re getting, and whether they’re meeting company key performance initiatives.

An added bonus? When one of Mullholand’s vans was stolen, the telematics allowed them to find out where the thieves had taken it. This, too, would have been a help to Joe and company, given that the story kicks off with Charlize Theron stealing one of their trucks (not rooting for the villains, just sayin’…).

2. Maintenance Management Prevents Breakdowns

A big chunk of Fury Road’s plot revolves around whether Max (Tom Hardy) and Furiosa (Charlize Theron) can keep their getaway vehicle working. Periodically, something on their truck will blow out, and they’ll have to react. Or climb along the back of the truck, while it travels at 60+ mph, to see what happened.

With fleet management software, there’d be no need to spider along the side of a giant death machine. Instead, you could use your software to schedule preventive maintenance, and keep those hiccups from happening.

The information about mileage you’ll get from your telematics capability can help you schedule regular maintenance. Numerous fleets already use the data from their fleet management software to schedule tune-ups and replacements.

3. Risk Management Is How You Handle The Unexpected

Accidents happen. It’s unpleasant, but inevitable.

But hopefully nothing this bad.

The above image comes from the end of the film, but it’s hardly the only massive crash in Fury Road. And you know what’s worse? The characters in the film don’t even seem to care about risk management. They’re willing to plunge exploding spears into Sonic-the-Hedgehog-edition VW beetles, but their disregard for the possibilities of accidents are… well… just plain awful.

But you can be better than that, and you can do it (shocker!) with fleet management software. Accidents will happen, but they will happen less frequently if you’re informed. For instance, you’ll be able to monitor driver behavior with fleet management software—everything from speed to sudden braking. And given that human error is the principal reason for most car crashes, monitoring your drivers can be the difference between a successful or unsuccessful trip.

4. Route Optimization Saves You Money And Time

In Fury Road, the villains only consider one route in their gory, hellbent pursuit.

ONE. ROUTE.

These are post-apocalyptic road warriors. They’ve developed an intricate warrior tribal hierarchy based on cars and driving. They’re able to keep engines running at full speed in the Australian Outback, a place so hot the asphalt roads melt and gas evaporates halfway between the pump and the tank. Yet, they’re apparently as flexible as worker ants. A massive, open expanse, and they can only think to go in one direction.

They needed route optimization, bad. Another handy thing about fleet management telematics is how it can spot the fastest route to your location. By using the same sort of technology that your phone, or Waze, uses to get the fastest route, you can get to your location faster, and save money in the process.

Tree Tech, of Foxboro, Massachusetts, used Fleetmatics to save nearly $25,000 a year. By using their fleet management software to figure out the fastest routes for the closest technicians, they cut their gas usage down by about $2,000 monthly. They also helped drivers avoid burn-out by avoiding heavy traffic areas. That may not be as good for morale as promising someone they’ll enter Valhalla, but most drivers are happy enough with it.

What Is Fleet Management? Your Leg Up On The Competition.

Do you use a fleet management software program? If so, let me know about how it’s helped you manage your fleet in the comments below! Better yet, if you already use fleet management software, leave a review on Capterra. It’ll help potential buyers figure out what they need, and the company will appreciate it, too!

Looking for Field Service Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Field Service Management software solutions.

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About the Author

Geoff Hoppe

Geoff Hoppe writes content for Capterra. His background is in education and higher ed, but he’s interested in pretty much any field you can name. If you’re a company that offers field service management software, feel free to email him or tweet at him @CapterraGeoff. When he’s not reading and writing about field service management, he’s probably reading and writing about history, music and comic books, finding new hikes throughout Virginia, or following the Fighting Irish.

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