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Top 5 Traits of a Great Fleet Manager

Managing a fleet of vehicles and their drivers is a complex task requiring a mixture of automotive, technical, and business knowledge. The best fleet manager combines this knowledge with personal skills in leadership, communication, and organization. Education, experience, good communication skills, and natural talents in coordinating multiple tasks with people are an ideal combination to produce top-notch fleet managers with training from NYADI The College of Transportation Technology, based in Jamaica, NY.

What Is Fleet Management?

Fleet managers coordinate all aspects of a fleet of vehicles for a company or organization, from planning and purchasing or leasing fleet vehicles through their use, fleet maintenance, repairs, and ultimately, replacement and disposal of fleet vehicles. This typically also includes tracking driver activity, safety, and retention, inspections from the Department of Transportation and Occupational Safety and Health Administration, parts and supplies management, and numerous other related tasks. Industries hiring fleet managers are generally involved in organizations such as:

  • Trucking and freight hauling companies
  • Transportation
  • Auto dealerships
  • Courier and delivery services, both local and distance
  • Vehicle rental agencies, including car and moving van rentals
  • School transportation agencies
  • Government agencies and departments at local, state, and federal levels

Top 5 Traits of Great Fleet Managers

A solid background and training in automotive and diesel technology, like the instruction offered in our programs, is important for anyone who wants to succeed as a fleet manager. It forms the foundation upon which other skills and knowledge combine to create an ideal fleet manager. While many fleet managers do a great job, some qualities will make them stand out well above the rest, including these five characteristics:

Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Knowledge and Skills

Fleet managers need to thoroughly understand vehicle maintenance and repairs for diesel, traditional gas, hybrid, electric, and even natural gas vehicles. These skills and knowledge enable them to make sure vehicles are selected, maintained, and repaired properly for safety. It helps them budget time, money, and resources. Fleet managers must also often oversee parts inventories, employee training, fuel tracking, and other tasks needed to keep everything running smoothly. The more well-versed a fleet manager is in the inner workings of a fleet’s vehicles, the more effectively it can be managed.

Organizational and Multitasking Skills

Because fleet managers must be able to switch rapidly between a wide variety of tasks and responsibilities, keeping track of small details and time management for all, organizational and multitasking skills are key. Fleet managers must be ready to simultaneously coordinate all vehicles and drivers in a fleet at any given time, typically across multiple locations. A crucial requirement for fleet managers is ensuring repairs and maintenance are performed effectively and on schedule to minimize downtime for vehicles, their cargo or passengers, and their drivers. When vehicles are unavailable, an organization is usually losing money and failing to provide needed services. Most fleet managers must also document driver performance and ensure compliance with relevant safety regulations.

Interpersonal, Leadership, and Decision-Making Skills

Successful fleet managers almost always have excellent “people skills.” They must be able to work comfortably and capably with everyone from individual drivers and support staff to senior management, vendors, and customers. Effective fleet managers must work smoothly in numerous roles: colleague, supervisor, customer support contact, and more in this multitasking environment. Because they must often respond quickly to unexpected problems such as towing or impounds of vehicles, accidents, logistical issues, and other complications requiring rapid resolution, decision-making skills are vital for effective fleet management.

Ability to Communicate Well

Whether discussing repairs with in-house mechanics, vehicle specifications with vendors, or budgeting figures with upper management, excellent communication skills can make the difference between a mediocre fleet manager and one who achieves great success personally and as part of an organization’s team.

Comfort With Technology and Recordkeeping

Sophisticated software analysis, detailed recordkeeping, database maintenance and analysis, cost projections, and countless other tasks require a fleet manager to be adept and comfortable with a variety of frequently changing technologies. Top fleet managers are comfortable using many of these tools, leveraging them to ensure consistency, performance, and high quality, and anticipate company or organizational needs, all while minimizing internal costs.

Training as a Fleet Manager With NYADI

Without an exceptional knowledge of automotive systems, their maintenance, and their repair, fleet managers will find themselves relying too heavily on secondhand input, and their ability to manage a fleet efficiently and effectively will be compromised. Completing an automotive and diesel technology or other academic programs at NYADI The College of Transportation Technology in Jamaica, NY, is a stepping stone to numerous career options, including the needed foundation for a career in fleet management, even for students without high school diplomas. Contact an admissions representative today to learn more about our associate degree and certificate programs, from the only New York City college offering an associate degree in diesel technology.