In a perfect world, fleets would be utilised efficiently 100% of the time. But we don't live in a perfect world, so understanding fleet use and the terminology of utilisation reports will go a long way to help you make informed decisions around the optimal use and size of your fleet.
Which utilisation statistics are relevant depends on the intended use of your fleet. Let's compare a 2% pure utilisation statistic for an ambulance and a pool car. In a pool car, 2% would not be very efficient and could warrant investigation of alternate modes of transport, such as bus cards or rideshare platforms. The 2% use of an ambulance needs to take into consideration that a life saved during that period would justify its existence.
Understanding the different terms in the utilisation reports simplifies the interpretation of the data. As an example, a pool car's record may show:
- 8 hr working day
- Vehicle booked for 6 hours
- A vehicle driven for 1 hour, stayed stationary at work site for 2 hours then driven another 1 hour back to base.
Pure Utilisation = 25% (2 hours 'key on' time out of the 8 hours)
Geofence utilisation = 50% (4 hours outside the base geofence of the 8 hours)
Booking utilisation = 75% (vehicle was booked for 6 hours of the 8 hours)
Geofence utilisation is the measure often used for vehicle utilisation as it represents the time that the vehicle was unavailable for other use.
Geofence and booking utilisation percentages should align as much as possible to get maximum usage of the vehicle.
Understanding concurrent use trends is also a good indicator of whether fleet sizes need to be adapted or driver behaviour needs to be modified, a high concurrent use of pool vehicles on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday may mean that drivers need to be educated to make appointments for meetings on Mondays and Fridays rather than having to get more pool cars.
Seasonal variations also need to be factored into the analysis of utilisation figures. Looking at the utilisation of a fleet utilised for grass-mowing in winter is going to give vastly different figures than in summer.
Utilisation statistics can be valuable decision-making tools, provided they are looked at in relation to real-world use cases of your vehicle fleet.