October 3, 2023

By: Caye Knight
Content Marketing Analyst

Trucking software for small fleets: 7 keys to look for

Selecting trucking software for small fleets can be a challenge, especially when your business is growing. When you’re managing dozens or even hundreds of vehicles, you quickly find you can’t rely on manual methods or the same software you used when you had a handful of trucks.

To maintain efficiency and profitability as you scale up, you need solutions that can automate time-consuming tasks such as fleet maintenance, routing and dispatch management, and safety and risk mitigation. In this blog post, we’ll share seven keys to selecting the right small fleet vehicle maintenance software to keep your business efficient, productive, and profitable.

Assessing small fleet management needs

Before shopping for trucking software for small fleets, the first step is to assess the needs of your fleet. What do you need your software to do for you to start a successful trucking business and grow it in today’s economy?

Some of the most important tasks small fleet managers need their software to automate include:

  • Fleet maintenance and asset tracking and monitoring
  • Transportation management system (TMS) and load board management
  • Routing and dispatching
  • Driver experience and workflow management
  • Safety and risk mitigation
  • Compliance and Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) management

Review your operations and consider which of these areas your software solution needs to address.

7 key considerations when selecting trucking software for small fleets

When you’re selecting fleet management and fleet maintenance software for small business needs, there are several key items to consider, from selecting key features to defining your budget.

1. Features that matter

First and foremost, your software solution needs the necessary features to perform your essential fleet management tasks. Depending on your needs, you may require features such as:

  • Telematics
  • Routing guidance
  • GPS tracking
  • OEM vehicle maintenance schedules
  • Onboard vehicle diagnostics
  • Maintenance alerts
  • Accurate parts estimates for improved repairability
  • Vehicle replacement alerts
  • Video safety monitoring
  • Driver scorecards for safety and performance monitoring
  • Electronic logging
  • Compliance monitoring
  • Hours of service (HOS) monitoring
  • Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR)
  • International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) reporting
  • Performance analytics insights
  • Customized reporting

Look for a solution that includes the priority features you need. An ideal solution should make it easy for you to manage as many tasks as possible from one integrated platform.

2. Cloud-based vs. on-premises solutions

When selecting a solution, consider whether you need your software to be hosted in the cloud or on-premises. A cloud-based solution can make it easier for you to access your software from anywhere, manage your operations remotely, tap into real-time data updates, and sync your data with other apps.

However, in some cases, you may opt for an on-premises or hybrid solution. For instance, if you already have a significant investment in an on-premise infrastructure, you may want a hybrid solution that lets you connect your local network to cloud-based apps.

3. User-friendly implementation

Consider ease of use when comparing solutions. A software demonstration can help you evaluate how easy it is to navigate a platform’s menu structure and access the features you need. Additionally, you’ll want to consider how easy a solution is to install and how much training will be required for your office staff and drivers to start using it. Find out what kind of resources your vendor provides to assist with installation and training.

4. Integration with existing systems

A new software solution needs to integrate with any legacy software you plan to continue using and any other apps that figure into your workflow. For example, you may want to check whether your solution can interface with your accounting, billing, and payroll solutions.

Some trucking software may include native integration with popular apps, while others may support customized integration using application programming interfaces (APIs) that your development team can use to connect one app to another. Check with your prospective provider about what native integration it supports and whether it offers API customization.

5. Scalability

The right solution should be able to keep up with you as you grow your fleet. As you add more trucks, more drivers, and more routes, will your software be able to handle the increased data load? Does your prospective solution place any limits on how many vehicles or drivers you can manage? Check whether a potential provider offers different usage and pricing tiers that can accommodate your future growth.

6. Vendor reputation and support

Doing due diligence on a vendor’s reputation and support quality can spare you from future hassles and protect you from getting locked into a contract that’s hard to disengage.

Use resources such as software review sites, customer reviews, and recommendations from industry peers to help you evaluate vendor reputation. Check whether a prospective vendor has credentials such as ELD certification. Find out what types of self-service and support resources your vendor offers. Study your vendor’s terms-of-service agreement carefully in consultation with your IT team and legal advisor to make sure you understand what level of support you should expect to receive. In the process, find out how easy it will be for you to get out a contract if you decide you want to change vendors.

7. Budget considerations

Last but not least comes your budget. When estimating costs, make sure you factor in any hidden fees, such as tiered per-user licensing costs, add-ons, API development, and cloud storage. Consider potential savings and growth you can gain from any increased operational efficiency your software will provide. This will help you make a long-term assessment of how your costs stack up to your return on investment.

Making the right choice for your fleet

Your choice of small fleet trucking software can make a vital difference in the efficiency, productivity, and profitability of your fleet. The right software can help you automate critical tasks such as fleet maintenance, asset tracking, transportation management, routing, dispatching, driver experience management, safety training, and compliance.

Solera Fleet Solutions, provides you with a one-stop shop for all your trucking fleet software needs. Our AI-powered solutions help you accelerate growth and achieve positive business outcomes by streamlining fleet maintenance, safety and risk mitigation, routing and dispatching, compliance, and other essential tasks. Learn more about Solera’s fleet solutions to help you pick the right trucking software for your company’s needs.

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