Here’s the Skillset Needed to Be a Great Fleet Manager

Fleet Manager

Jun 22, 2022

Learn about the skill set needed to be a great fleet manager and how you can successfully take on this role.

A truck driver's largest responsibility is ensuring deliveries are made on time and undamaged. But they are not the only person that holds any responsibility. While behind the scene, fleet managers put in countless hours of thought, effort, and work to make it happen. 

In other words, a fleet manager, also called a fleet maintenance supervisor, is a logistics specialist and an expert in the transportation industry. Fleet managers have many responsibilities that involve managing every detail, large and small, of their drivers and the company vehicles.

Managing these responsibilities is not for the faint of heart and must be handled by someone with a particular skill set, education, and training. Today we're looking at the various skills that every great fleet manager must possess.

Continue scrolling to learn more.



Education, Training, and Certification


To gain the necessary skillset and acquire a managerial-level transportation job, most fleet managers must have a high school diploma (or equivalent), a four-year bachelor's degree, along with relevant experience, is needed to acquire an entry-level transportation job. Here's a bit more on that:

Education — Fleet managers must attain a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in business administration, logistics, accounting, or another related field. Some employers may require their managers to obtain a postgraduate degree such as a master's degree in supply chain management or an MBA.

Experience — In addition to a bachelor's degree, many employers require at least five years of successful transport management experience; ideally, this includes two or three years as a supervisor. Such experience will put a candidate on the fast track to many top fleet management jobs.

Certification — While certification is not required to enter the field, employers may have their own certification requirements.



Skillset Needed to Be a Great Fleet Manager


Here are some of the skills necessary to perform this complicated effectively:

Communication and Interpersonal Skills — A great fleet manager is an active listener, a skilled negotiator, and an effective and eloquent speaker and writer where all levels of employees and vendors are involved. 

Software and Computer Skills — Great managers must be proficient in instant messaging, email, word processing, and spreadsheet applications. They must also be familiar with fleet-certain programs like supply chain software and route navigation software, and logistics.

Ability to Supervise a Team — Whether in charge of a transportation segment, transportation is the company's core business; a great fleet manager will successfully and appropriately supervise and critique the work of other employees in various roles.

Accounting and Finance Literacy — A great manager must thoroughly understand how to read balance sheets and establish and maintain a departmental and fleet budget. 

A great fleet manager is also responsible for increasing profits and reducing costs.

Understanding of Applicable Laws and Regulations — Great fleet managers are well-versed in and thoroughly understand the environmental and safety laws, regulations, and rules of the U.S. Department of Transportation related to their department and team members.

Knowledge of What is Going on Under the Hood — A great manager needs to understand truck systems, technology, and mechanics sufficiently, allowing them to authorize repairs accurately and adequately evaluate the work of employees involved in necessary repairs and maintenance.



More Necessary Skills of a Great Fleet Manager


  • Know how to manage drivers' schedules.
  • Have an analytical mindset. 
  • Possess strong problem-solving skills.
  • Be good at critical thinking. 
  • Have an attention to detail to ensure records are kept as needed.
  • Know how to handle escalated customer service issues.
  • Have excellent training and teaching abilities and can provide constructive criticism to team members.
  • Have strong decision-making skills.
  • Have excellent organizational skills and business management skills.
  • Be understanding, compassionate, and empathetic towards their fleet.



An Important Skill of a Great Fleet Manager


One of the most important skills a great fleet manager can possess is prioritizing their drivers' safety, health, and wellness. This skill includes promoting a healthy work-life balance and positive mental health. 

There's no denying that life on the road can be challenging and take a toll on a driver's well-being. Here are some ways a great fleet manager can prioritize this:

Encourage Fleet Interaction — Get your fleet engaging with one another on their radios. Frequent small talk or sharing stories can help combat loneliness.

Communicate With Their Loved Ones — Encourage communication with friends and family back home. Ensure they are taking regular breaks so they have the opportunity to check in with a quick text or phone call, or equip your trucks with Bluetooth technology so they can talk while they're behind the wheel.

Watch TV — Being mentally and physically alone is hard, but watching television can help fulfill the need for human connection and interaction.



Want to Be a Great Fleet Manager? Equip Your Trucks with EpicVue!


While it's not on the mandatory list of the skillset needed to be a great fleet manager, equipping your trucks with EpicVue is a fantastic way to let your crew know you care!

Outfitting your fleet with premium in-cab satellite televisions allows your team members to have a bit of home away from home. They can sit back, relax, and watch TV in the comfort of their trucks. 

This gesture will show your crew appreciation, and in return, many fleet managers receive loyalty, making these benefits well worth the small investment! Whether part of a fleet or an owner-operator, EpicVue is an excellent addition to your vehicle.

Watching TV while away from friends and family can help offset the feelings of isolation and loneliness. It is also a great way for drivers to relax during mandatory rest times. 

With more than 180 premium challenges, truck drivers can easily find something they want to watch, regardless of their preferences.

Contact our team to learn more about EpicVue today!

Quality truck fleet management with a good strategy is a vital element for success in the trucking industry. These systems are necessary for communication, and processes are sure to succeed. There’s no doubt that the best semi-truck fleet teams are those that are effectively and efficiently managed, making a great fleet manager worth their weight in gold — and then some!  But what is it exactly that makes a fleet manager great? It all comes down to a solid fleet management strategy and reliable semi-fleet processes. In fact, these are essential to finding both short- and long-term success. If you’re in charge of a semi-truck fleet and are looking to build a fail-proof truck fleet management strategy, you’re in the right place. We’re here to give you some tried-and-true tips and tricks for developing a solid plan. With a little hard work and the right strategy, you will surely see increased profits, fleet growth, and a happier, healthier, and more productive crew. Keep scrolling to learn more.

5 Things to Consider When Developing Your Truck Fleet Management Strategy

If you want to develop a quality truck fleet management strategy, make sure to consider the following:
  1. Invest in a Fleet Management System — You could be the most experienced and focused manager, but you will still have difficulties staying organized and productive without a quality truck fleet management system in place. Managers of old used to rely on elaborate systems involving paper spreadsheets, filing cabinets, and more to run their business, but there are simpler ways to get the job done. Join the digital age by digitizing your workflow and operations; you’ll find that processes are optimized, and your team’s performance is improved! A good system will allow you to keep track of the best routes, maintenance schedules, driver and vehicle efficiency, automating various tasks (such as routing and scheduling deliveries, billing and invoicing, sending jobs to drivers, etc.) and more so you can maximize the potential of your fleet.
  2. Find Ways to Cut Maintenance Costs — It’s no secret that the economy is in an exciting place right now. Inflation is on the rise, and maintenance costs are not exempt. A solid semi-truck fleet manager must prioritize finding ways to reduce costs. Taking a defensive, preventive approach to maintenance is key. Improving fleet efficiency and ensuring that your rigs and necessary equipment are in tip-top shape and ready to go can help you stay ahead of maintenance issues. Consider utilizing a good fleet management system that can tell you about the vehicles’ engines and other diagnostic features to help extend the life of your trucks. These tools can help you quickly identify any problems with your trucks and avoid issues down the road when they become more serious, thus cutting maintenance costs. Another way to reduce maintenance costs is to base your trucks’ service schedule on accurate engine usage hours instead of an arbitrary calendar. This helps to eliminate unnecessary repairs and potential hours and revenue lost, allowing you to make the most of your fleet while still taking great care of them.
  3. Find Ways to Save Money on Fuel — As a fleet manager, it almost always comes down to budget. And one of the biggest portions (we’re talking between 50% and 65%) of overall operating costs is dedicated to fueling costs. As mentioned above, having a good management system and GPS tracking in place can help you develop an excellent management strategy. You’ll be able to monitor your drivers’ driving performance, habits, and behavior and monitor fuel usage, which directly affects fuel consumption. By tracking and analyzing this information, you’ll be alerted to issues sooner than you may have been otherwise. Moreover, tracking this info will keep you apprised of any safety concerns, such as aggressive driving. Addressing these issues will help you reduce operational costs associated with your fuel budget.
  4. Perfect and Optimize Your Drivers’ Routes — Customers and clients demand quick and on-time deliveries, so taking the perfect and optimal route is absolutely crucial. Your business’ reputation counts on it! Inaccurate arrival time estimates, delays, and inefficient routes will only lead to frustration. Hiccups and issues along the way are bound to happen and are an inevitable part of any industry, including trucking. But, by automating customer notifications and other processes, fleet managers can experience a lot less stress, allowing them to spend time and put their focus elsewhere.
  5. Prioritize Your Drivers’ Health and Wellness — One of the biggest parts of developing a good truck fleet management strategy is prioritizing your team’s health and wellness. Feeling isolated on the road comes with being a truck driver; it’s part of the territory. So fleet managers who promote a healthy work-life balance and positive mental health are typically much more successful.

Here are some ways managers can prioritize employees’ health:

Include EpicVue in Your Truck Fleet Management Strategy

Developing a truck fleet management strategy is essential to the success of your business, and EpicVue is here to help make it happen. EpicVue will outfit your fleet with premium in-cab television so your drivers can enjoy a bit of home on the road and catch up on their favorite shows. Contact EpicVue today to learn more.