Big or small, running a fleet of any size is no small feat. Government regulations, fuel budgeting, driver and vehicle monitoring, and administration are just a few tasks that need tracking.
Fortunately, with the advancement of technology, software was developed to help track the ins and outs of any fleet. Services such as telematics, vehicle security, and data services significantly improve any fleet. But that technology was only available to big guns for the longest time.
In 2021, small fleets (fewer than 50 Class 1-7 full-size vehicles) represented half of the industry. But most small fleets can’t afford the extensive overhaul needed for telematics, vehicle security, and data storage services. At the same time, larger fleets have money, staff, and other resources to help with all the operations.
But now, companies like Ford Pro are changing the game for small fleets. It has curated a one-stop shop for fleet management. Everything from servicing, financing, and software is now attainable from one company.
If you find yourself getting bogged down with paperwork, Ford Pro has a title and registration section to help with administration duties.
Work Truck talked with Ford Pro about how it’s revolutionizing small fleet management.
Maximizing Productivity with an All-in-One Service
One of the main goals of managing a fleet is to minimize costs and maximize productivity. There are a variety of services fleet managers can implement to achieve this goal. And, of course, the more services — such as telematics and maintenance — the better.
For some, that could mean a different company for each service and keeping track of those services and prices. But that doesn’t always have to be the case.
Now Ford Pro is offering the essential services needed to maximize a fleet’s productivity.
Ford has been selling trucks since its first model TT in 1917. And since then, it’s grown its product line into a full range of Class 1-7 commercial vehicles. In May 2021, Ford built off that foundation to create Ford Pro, a business dedicated to providing commercial customers of all sizes with vehicles and the software and services they need to accelerate productivity.
If you have a fleet of 50 or fewer vehicles — whether they’re all from Ford or a mix of manufacturers — Ford Pro is available as a one-stop shop for software, financing, charging, and service offerings.
A Plethora of Software Offerings
Ford Pro offers all the necessities for fleet management — everything from software, to telematics, and security. Ford Pro General Manager – Product Marketing and Strategy Raj Sarkar called Ford Pro “a one-stop shop with integrated offerings that can work together seamlessly and be supportive, which is really a huge benefit to small fleets.”
Software for Small Fleets
Ford Pro Intelligence cloud-based software platform is a suite of fleet management tools ideal for small fleet management. The tools include Ford Pro Fleet Management Software, Ford Pro Title and Registration, and Ford Pro Driver Risk Management.
Ford Pro Fleet Management Software tracks the total cost of ownership in real-time to optimize vehicle cycle management through features including fuel usage costs, maintenance, and repair tracking.
Ford Pro Title and Registration helps business owners save time on registration and licensing management and manage vehicle title-related tasks, such as transferring between states.
Ford Pro Driver Risk Management reports include comprehensive monitoring of motor vehicle records, license expiration dates, and violation point customization.
Telematics for Tracking
Ford Pro Telematics Essentials, standard on all modem-equipped Ford vehicles, offer access to vehicle health data such as odometer readings, diagnostic trouble codes, and information about oil life, engine hours, and recalls. It even relays warning lights to help fleet managers resolve issues faster, improve uptime, and potentially avoid costly repairs.
With a paid Ford Pro Telematics subscription, GPS tracking and geofencing, driver behavior insights, fuel monitoring, and a mobile app are also available.
With telematics, all data collected from the vehicles out on the field can then be analyzed by the managers to find and develop the most effective ways to manage the fleet. This can include scheduling maintenance for potential issues without disrupting operations or seeing if drivers need coaching to improve behaviors like hard braking or accelerating too quickly.
Keeping Fleets Safe
New Vehicle Security with Fleet Start Inhibit, available with a Ford Pro Telematics subscription starting with 2023 Super Duty, lets fleet managers set timeframes for when the vehicle can operate and receive alerts if the vehicle is off and in an accident or being towed.
Vehicle Service at Your Jobsite
Ford’s nationwide network of U.S. dealerships includes 660 Commercial Vehicle Centers tailored to meet fleet professionals’ unique demands, including extended hours so fleet vehicles can get back to work more quickly.
For maximum efficiency, small fleets can take advantage of Ford Pro’s mobile service offering, where the technician comes to the vehicle, reducing the downtime of having to take the vehicle to a dealership.
Sarkar noted, “It is a tremendous benefit for both the cost and the time of commercial customers.”
Financing Made Simple
The last piece of the puzzle is financing. Ford Pro offers FinSimple, designed to remove the roadblocks that small fleets might face when buying or leasing new vehicles and equipment.
The offerings combine billing, financing for upfits, commercial lines of credit, and even the option to work with a financing expert.
Electrifying the Future
Many small fleets are investing in a greener future with all-electric vehicles. Ford Pro has you covered here, too.
It starts with EVs designed specifically for commercial customers, the E-Transit cargo van, and the F-150 Lightning Pro pickup.
Ford Pro Charging offers consultation on the best charging solutions for your operation and can deliver hardware and software solutions for a depot, home, and public charging.
Sarkar concluded, "With a full lineup of vehicles, software, service, charging, and financing, Ford Pro is positioning itself to be a productivity accelerator for small fleets."