What Is A Trucking Fleet?

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What Is A Trucking Fleet?

June 16, 2016

The word “fleet” comes from centuries ago when a country’s navy would be comprised of many ships or a private owner would launch several vessels to search the world for spices, cloth, and precious gems. A fleet implies several ships for commercial or military purposes rather than just a few. In later years, the term was used to refer to both naval ships and land-based vehicles operated in groups, led by a commander, such as tanks. Modern fleets also include trucks and cars like the ones run by long-haul transport companies, cleaning agencies, school districts (buses and maintenance), vehicle rental businesses, taxi firms, and large companies with many sales vehicles.

What is a Fleet in the Trucking World?

An individual or corporation buys a number of used or new vehicles for transporting goods across the province, state, or country. They take whole freight containers from shipping ports or fill their own cargo containers with goods at the airport, train station, from a warehouse, etc. The front part or cab might be fitted with a sleeping berth at the top where the driver will rest between runs unless two drivers take turns sleeping.

The firm which owns this truck and insures it has the side of each cab and/or container painted a certain color with the addition of a company name and logo to signify that it is not privately owned and belongs to a business. Trucking fleet owners are bound by certain rules as per how many hours a driver can log per run, how fast he can go, and what sorts of cargo he can carry. Computers enable them to enforce these rules.

Safety of the Fleet

It is the driver’s responsibility to maintain safe practices for the good of his boss’s reputation and to prevent him from incurring fines, but also in order to keep his job. These include obeying speed limits pertaining directly to the type of truck he is driving, not overloading the truck, and driving sober/drug-free. Bosses are supposed to subject drivers to random drug and alcohol testing, and if drivers fail they can be dismissed on the spot. The pressure is on to stay awake for many hours of sitting and staring at the road, but drivers find creative ways to manage this without taking drugs such as the use of energy drinks, sipping coffee, eating, traveling with a talkative partner, listening to music or comedy, and changing the position of their seat regularly. Getting out to move around whenever possible helps keep circulation going and improves concentration. A number of stops along any cross-country road will be designated “truck stops” because they provide adequate parking for such vehicles and are open all night.

Civic Courtesy

Fleet drivers represent their company. Most firms are obliged to post their phone number and a “How’s My Driving” sticker on the back encouraging other road users to report bad driving which is doing a firm’s reputation no good. An example would be driving too fast through a town or the use of air brakes which make a lot of noise in a small town. Multiple calls about one driver are a red flag to the employer.

Buying a Fleet Vehicle

Often the arrangement is like this: the fleet owner leases a vehicle to his employee. This person will eventually be able to purchase the truck and start his own business by running one truck or developing a fleet of his own. This arrangement is not considered financially positive in that the price agreed upon is not at or below market value but relatively high compared to a regular purchase. Drivers sometimes prefer this deal anyway because they know the truck so well. They recognize its glitches, know how to fix little issues, and they feel comfortable in their vehicle.

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