Optimizing fleet vehicle replacement allows you to keep costs low, use vehicles through their most useful life, control vehicle safety and more. Effective replacement plans, however, are easier said than done.
Since fleet vehicle replacement is a difficult process, we wanted to share some helpful approaches we heard while attending The Work Truck Show 2018 sessions "Fleet Management 101" and "Is Your Vehicle Replacement Strategy in a Rut?".
First of all, the keys to success for vehicle replacement are:
- Developing a strategy that works for your fleet
- Communicating the value effectively to stakeholders
Developing a Vehicle Replacement Strategy
When it comes to creating a vehicle replacement plan, there’s no one size fits all. An effective plan will depend on a variety of factors including your fleet size, age, makeup and use.
The standard rule of thumb is for fleets to replace light-duty vehicles every four years or 100,000 miles and heavy-duty trucks and vans every eight to ten years. More realistically, however, vehicles are replaced after longer periods. For example, light-duty vehicles may realistically only be replaced every five to seven years or 120,000 to 150,000 miles.
Generally, the longer a vehicle is operated, the higher the operating costs and the worse its performance. It’s best to think about your fleet critically and create your own vehicle replacement plan that your fleet can stick to.
Communicating Value to Stakeholders
After investing time in creating an effective vehicle replacement plan, you’re not quite finished. Equally important to developing a strategic plan is getting your fleet stakeholders on board—including the executive team, finance and purchasing team, local management and unit operators.
You’ll want to prepare an elevator pitch that outlines your replacement plan, answers why it should be a fleet priority and how it benefits each internal stakeholder. In order to establish credibility, be sure to incorporate data collection, analysis and benchmarking at the foundation.
Most effective change can occur when all fleet players understand their individual contributing roles and the plan’s value to the broader organization.