by Johan van Niekerk, Fleet Solutions Consultant, FleetDomain – part of the Argility Technology Group.

The internationally accepted format of managing a fleet effectively, is that of: Assets; Fleet Operations; Driver and Safety Management. These matters are in turn all inter-related when it comes to determining the total cost of ownership (TCO); cents per kilometre (CPK) or cents per hour attached to any one vehicle.

Let's take an in-depth look at each one

Assets incorporates:

Managing depreciation influencers during the life cycle of a vehicle can result in a significantly improved resale value at the end of the lifecycle of a vehicle in your fleet. Depreciation as a percentage of the retail price is normally estimated to be between 35% and 47%.

Fleet Operations incorporates:

With passenger and light commercial vehicles costs are measured as a percentage (%) of the original retail price. In the case of commercial vehicles same are measured as a % of the net funded value inclusive of accessories and body fitments. It should be noted that values can differ dependant on the operational, or conditions of usage of the vehicle. Controlling these costs and managing change processes to achieve savings will result in an improved TCO.

Having these costs reflected in a Fleet Management Information System (FMIS) and managing the exceptions against stated objectives, will allow the fleet manager to make objective decisions to reduce costs.

Driver, Safety and Risk Management encompasses vehicle plus driver, licence renewals. This also covers company policies managing all aspects of vehicle usage including: drivers; driver training; accident management; GPS/tracking and reporting.
Ensuring that vehicle and driver licences are renewed timeously, safeguards companies against insurance claims not being honoured and possible lawsuits.

Policies governing driver’s eligibility to get behind the wheel of company vehicles; rules around car allowance vehicles; the necessary training required to improve driver quality; vehicle safety procedures – inclusive of COVID dictates - all contribute to a better and improved fleet operation with a subsequent reduction in costs.

It is a fact that: unless the behaviour of a driver can be changed; no savings will be achieved.

Fitting a reputable GPS/tracking unit to fleet vehicles – one that can report on the aspects that cost a fleet owner money such as speeding, harsh braking, excess idling to name just some - will have a direct savings result in fleet operating costs.

Example: reducing speeding; harsh braking and excess idling; will cut maintenance, tyre, and fuel costs. Furthermore, fewer accidents and fines received by driver will have cost reduction benefits.

Accidents and increased vehicle costs have a direct effect on the resale value on termination of a fleet vehicle.

Although the AARTO demerit system and process surrounding same was found to be unconstitutional, the problem of fines received by drivers still exists.

Companies should be aware of the number of fines received by a driver and for what reason.

Example: Drivers receiving fines for speeding can result in more accidents which can become an HR problem with associated increased costs.

It is important to take a holistic view of Fleet Management. Companies operating a fleet need to invest in a proven, tested Fleet Management Information System (FMIS) and a reputable GPS/tracking system supplier. Moreover, driver training needs to be performed by a certified/recognised vendor.

By investing wisely in this way – the business will experience positive changes around safety and risk issues with a definite improvement in return on investment (ROI).

Should you require any additional information, guidance, or training to improve the above fleet management cost contributor’s contact us on:
011 712 1300, email or visit our website,

Brief Biography: Johan van Niekerk, Fleet Solutions Consultant - FleetDomain

Johan van Niekerk, FleetDomain Consultant

He has 38 years’ experience in fleet management, fleet sales training and consulting. Van Niekerk has a profound understanding of the fleet management industry, including funding options, safety and risk assessment, plus the development of safety, driver and vehicle policies.

Over the years, he has gained experience conducting fleet evaluations and audits, plus providing fleet management training to executive and various levels of management personnel. He has also conducted fleet sales training courses for manufacturers, automotive groups and dealerships.

Van Niekerk places improvement of ROI in corporate enterprises and parastatal organisations through fleet optimisation as his main business objective. He also assists businesses with budget development, scenario analysis, forecasting and ultimately the entire management spectrum of corporate fleets from procurement through to disposal.

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