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No small job

February 9, 2018

It is important to know and understand the job functions of a commercial-vehicle transport manager.

Managing and controlling a fleet of trucks and buses is an extremely important job and one that has a direct effect on a company’s sustainability and profit.

To maximise the efficiency of the operation, the transport manager must carry out the following key job functions in a professional manner, in addition to other daily tasks:

Cost control                                                                                                                         

• Control and analyse all vehicle operating costs monthly.

• Costs must be measured against realistic industry benchmark standards and immediate action and rectification must take place to fix any costs that are higher than the set standard.

• Special attention must be given to all the variable costs like fuel, tyres and maintenance.

• The manager must also ensure that an escalation clause is in place to allow a rate adjustment when the price of fuel fluctuates.

Manage vehicle maintenance                                                                          

• Control and manage all vehicle maintenance, ensuring that all company vehicles are well maintained, roadworthy and safe to operate on the road.

• Ensure that the vehicles are serviced in accordance to the manufacturer’s timetable and standards.

• Manage workshop production, efficiency and effectiveness.

Manage company drivers

• Play an active role in motivating, controlling and managing all company drivers.

• Provide recognition and reward for work well done.

• Carefully select drivers and ensure that they meet all required driving standards for the vehicles that they will be driving.

• Ensure that drivers do not drive excessive hours and that they all attend regular driver training.

• Check all driving licences and professional driving permits once a month to ensure that they are valid and have not been endorsed or cancelled.

• Control the renewal of driving licences and professional driving permits to ensure that they are renewed before the expiry date.

• Monitor and control all traffic fines and take action against drivers
who consistently commit traffic offences.

Monitor vehicle loading

• Ensure that vehicles are not overloaded, and that the mass distribution is correct and loads are well secured.

Record all accidents

• Record, control and measure all incidents that take place and take any necessary action to ensure that the incident is not repeated.

Monitor all vehicle breakdowns                                                                                   

• Analyse the cause of all breakdowns and take steps to ensure that a solution is found to eliminate a repeat of the same type of vehicle breakdown.

• Keep a good record of all breakdowns and use this record as a barometer to measure the effectiveness of the fleet’s maintenance plan.

• A good internal communication system must be in place to ensure that all parties involved in the process of attending to a breakdown know exactly what to do to get the vehicle back on the road with minimum delay.

Control and monitor all outsourced work

• The quality of all outsourced work must be controlled and monitored.

• The transport manager must ensure that all outsourced work is completed on time, and that outside suppliers are paid on time once the work has been inspected and approved.

Setting company vehicle policy and standards

• Ensure that all drivers of company vehicles adhere to the set standards.

• Set and control a company vehicle replacement policy that caters for vehicle replacement at the optimum time, thus assuring that the company gets the full expected economic life from the vehicle and it is replaced before it incurs high maintenance costs that cannot be recovered.

• Submit regular and accurate management reports.

Transport Budget

• Implement and control the transport budget for the company and ensure that all transport costs are kept within the budget limits.

Motivate your team                                                                                                      

• Run a happy and motivated department and team that enjoy their work and show respect for the vehicles that they drive and maintain.

Vic Oliver is one of this country’s most respected commercial vehicle industry authorities, and has been in this industry for over 50 years. Before joining the FOCUS team, he spent 15 years with Nissan Diesel (now UD Trucks), 11 years with Busaf and seven years with International.

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