- You can cut your costs on maintenance and fuel by using fleet management software.
- Choose software that provides real-time GPS tracking to monitor and keep tabs on your drivers and vehicles.
- To assist you in making data-driven decisions, look for software that provides strong reporting and analytics.
- To simplify operations, give preference to software that enables simple integration with other software and tools.
Business owners who deal with daily delivery operations may require extra effort in managing their delivery fleets. Not only fleets but also you need to look after your drivers’ availability as well. But, your daily hassles can be sorted, all thanks to the fleet management software that assists you with its advanced features.
Fleet management software comes with unique features to reduce the extra workload and save more time. The automated process ensures you have fleet availability at the time of delivery. Here, we will discuss more about the best free fleet management software and its features, but before that, let’s understand the basics of fleet management.
Table of Contents
- The Basics of Fleet Management
- What is the Best Free Management Software?
- Free and Open Source Software vs. Paid Software: How to Choose?
- Who Uses a Fleet Management Solution Software?
- What are the Key Features to Consider in Fleet Management Software?
- What are the Responsibilities of a Fleet Manager?
- Pick the Right Fleet Management System
The Basics of Fleet Management
What is Fleet Management?
Fleet management is the art and the science of managing fleets of vehicles. These can be private fleet businesses (company vehicles of small or large companies). They can also be public organizations such as police, ambulances, etc. Fleet managers need special efforts to track all vehicles, fleet operations, maintenance tasks, and much more.
Fleet management includes aspects like fuel management, supply chain management, GPS fleet tracking, route optimization, vehicle management, and geo-fencing. These are just some of the aspects and features offered by free fleet management software.
What is Fleet Management Software?
Fleet management software is a series of tools that support managers in managing their fleet vehicles as well as drivers. The main reason to use fleet management software systems is to have a management solution and fleet tracking software for all fleet operations. It helps you reduce fleet operating costs and keep track in real-time of fleet operations with reduced risks and accurate efficiency.
What is the Best Free Fleet Management Software?
Here are a bunch of fleet management software solutions to choose from.
GPSWOX is another well-known software that offers a variety of exciting features. These include fuel consumption tracking, real-time GPS tracking of all vehicles’ locations, map applications, alerts, and much more. Drivers can make use of tools on their mobile apps such as temperature, odometer, and mobile communications. These have a pairing ability with sensors. And clients can receive alerts on each of these components. It also offers white-label software.
- Easy to use and well-designed interface
- Wide range of GPS trackers
- Integration with Sensors
- High quality to price ratio
- Only one user for free
Fleetio software is another reliable option for fleet managers looking for free fleet management software. It has many capabilities, including inventory management, work order management, fleet maintenance tracking, and much more. The fleet tracking software comes with fuel use tracking, GPS tracking, and vendor management. Fleetio is a cloud-based fleet management solution that automizes fleet operations for multiple industries. This option is the more cost-effective option for small or mid-size fleet operators.
- Vehicle inspection works well
- Easy-to-use software
- On-demand customer support
- Integration issues with fuel card vendors
- No renewal reminders option
3. Fleet Co
Fleet Co is another free option. It is a web-based system, thus can be accessed from any computer. Key features include fuel records, maintenance/inspection, inventory, expense reports, and much more. This software is a bit more technical and requires more technical knowledge from managers. This is another cost-effective solution.
- Completely free
- The extensive feature set
- Multi-user and multi-language
- No mobile app
- No real-time GPS tracking
- Technology stack and user experience outdated
4. Odoo Fleet
Odoo is sophisticated and advanced software and a leading fleet management platform. It includes all features that you would require and expect from a premium fleet management software. It also includes other components such as CRM/sales tools, e-commerce capabilities, marketing, and much more. Reviewers have given many favorable ratings to this company.
Odoo Fleet used to offer a completely free version of the app for free. The company has recently decided to change its business model and to offer a free trial instead. This means that this software technically does not qualify as free management software. Fleetio is in the same boat. We did include it in this list to inform readers about this change as other articles on the web will talk about this.
- Extensive feature set including CRM
- High functionality and usefulness
- New and modern design and user experience
- Unlimited Users
- More like ERP Software
- Not free. Just a free trial
5. Upper Route Planner
Upper is another popular fleet management software that can be used for multi-purpose. The advanced route planner can help you find optimized routes for multi-stop deliveries and auto-assign fleet tasks to the available driver. It ensures you don’t need manual calculations or frequent call-ups for your delivery operations.
Upper aims for completing multi-stop deliveries with fewer resources and less operational costs. In case your fleet driver is unable to perform the assigned tasks, it automatically gives the assignment to another driver. Hence, Upper takes care of your delivery process in such a way that it doesn’t get interrupted at any stage.
- Quick route optimization
- It allows additional stops up to 500
- Tasks auto-allocation
- It sends customized automated notifications
- A trial version is only valid for up to 7 days
- It takes a slightly longer time while syncing data from a web app
Minimize Your Fleet Management Time with Upper
Still following a traditional method to manage your delivery fleets? Switch to Upper and automize the entire delivery process. Let Upper deal with fleet management challenges and lengthy route planning tasks.
Free and Open Source Software vs. Paid Software: How to Choose?
Fleet management software programs come in all shapes and sizes, and the hard part is to choose the right one. They range in both functionality, price, and design. You have the option of free and open-source fleet management software or intuitive web systems.
In this section, we’ll look at some of the main differences between some of these types. Here are some of the characteristics of the different types of software to consider:
Free Version Software
Our rule of thumb is that you generally get what you pay for. As a rule of thumb, the more software costs, the more features, and functionalities you get.
In the case of free management, there are some excellent options out there for certain types of companies, so if you are a user with a limited use case, this may apply to you.
Cloud-Based or Localized
Another consideration is whether or not the software is on the cloud, or whether it’s a localized software (on a computer). Many software providers are increasingly moving towards cloud-based software.
The issue with this type of software is that it requires access to the internet. In remote areas, companies may require localized software. If you have a team, collaborating, then cloud-based software is likely the way you want to go.
The first question is, “what is open source software?” Open-source software is a type of software where the source code is open, which means anyone can view it. Generally, users do not see this code; they just see the user interface.
So why would anyone want to use this type of software? The answer is “control.” With open-source software, a user has more control over their software. For instance, a company may want to customize certain features, and they may want it to fit their business needs more specifically.
Finally, there is “out of the box” paid software. Many companies will offer free trials or even freemium offerings to get customers to try their applications.
The advantage of this type of software is that there is a company that is working hard for the money customers give them. This means they will roll out new features as per their users’ needs, and they will be quick to answer bugs and customer inquiries.
The disadvantage, of course, is that the upfront and ongoing cost may be higher than using an open-source or free version.
But in exchange for the cost, fleet owners get great features like asset management, data security, live GPS tracking, vehicle safety, smartphone apps, and several ways to reduce cost per mile. A paid software enables a transportation business to export data, save time, allow route deviation, and create multiple plans at once. This can only be done by a scalable software.
Who Uses a Fleet Management Solution Software?
A fleet management platform is widely used by businesses run by the government as well as logistics companies. Here is the list of users.
Government and Public Users
Many government organizations have large fleets and a need for management software. These include public transit, municipalities, states, counties, police, and other government agencies. Each of these users needs to track asset utilization, keep a maintenance log, track work vehicles, and do employee management.
Again, many users in the transportation realm need software technologies to take care of fleet activities. On the private side, delivery companies and private transport need fleet management technology software. School bus companies – private and public- also require tracking devices and flexible fleet tracking solutions. For all these use cases, business software such as fleet management software is useful to track all these business operations, preventative maintenance scheduling, keep a vehicle maintenance log, and more.
Most utilities generally manage several types of vehicles and fleet assets. The industry standard is that they have business intelligence for all their activities. Utilities need their assets to work and be dependable as they offer a critical service. They want to reduce downtime as much as possible. Industry-leading fleet management software solutions for utilities generally include a suite of options for deeper integration for their different types of assets.
Construction is similar to utilities in that they want to reduce the downtime of their machines and assets. A fuel management module and fuel consumption tendencies are also critical for them, as well as asset tracking and maintenance approvals. Safety and regulations are also paramount for every construction team.
What are the Key Features to Consider in Fleet Management Software?
As a fleet manager, you should look at the below key features while purchasing a new piece of the fleet management software tool.
- Central data entry and management: It captures vehicle and driver information and manages all the information about the fleet operations;
- Visualization of assets and vehicles: On a macro level or an individual level;
- Repair and maintenance: Scheduling calendar, logging (eld), and tracking of all maintenance and repairs of heavy vehicles. Fleet inspections and vehicle issues are taken care of to improve efficiency;
- Parts and inventory: Central database for technicians and managers to keep track of all components;
- Route Planning and Optimization: Ability to create and optimizing routes for one or several drivers, with instructions.
- Fuel: Fuel usage tracking, fuel card transactions, emissions, vehicle speed, and individual driver behavior management. Real-time tracking for vehicle movements makes it easier to control fuel consumption trends.
- Risk management: Help in keeping track, managing, and reducing the risk of accidents and speeding, and breakdown of equipment.
- Compliance: The ability to record, track, and monitor all measures taken to comply with regulations (ELD compliance) and legal obligations.
- Financials: Ability to assess spending, budget future expenditures, and create forecasting. Ability to link with accounting software;
- Integrations: Integrations with other vital pieces of software;
- Platforms: Which platforms are included? Are they the ones that most meet my needs?
What are the Responsibilities of a Fleet Manager?
There is a long list of parameters and things for which a fleet manager is responsible. Fleet managers have various roles and responsibilities to manage, as stated below:
- Compliance: Compliance is critical for any enterprise or provider. This compliance includes mainly safety, security, and health regulations, for example, from the department of health. Enterprises need to keep track of rules in their countries and states. It includes doing daily driver checks, using inspection sheets, driver license management, ensuring proper insurance, driver management, driver monitoring, and so on.
- Safety and Health: These types of health and driver safety measurements need to be done at frequent intervals. These measures include all the reporting to relevant authorities like insurance and medical agencies. A third party can do these checks at considerable times.
- Vehicle Maintenance: The goal of vehicle maintenance is to reduce the fleet costs associated with asset depreciation and to maximize the lifetime value and the running time of each asset. A fleet manager is responsible for tracking and scheduling maintenance at regular intervals and specific mileage tracking.
- Inspections: Inspections, of course, are required by the law of every jurisdiction. In an ideal world, the manager can view the status of checks in real-time, and can analyze all fleet-based issues at once.
- Vehicle Acquisition: A fleet is a dynamic thing; it fluctuates in size. Managers sell an old fleet of vehicles and purchase new cars and assets. Another role is to ensure a process to select the right type of vehicle to be added.
- Monitoring: It’s essential to monitor and document, in real-time, all vehicles and assets. A large part of monitoring includes the documentation that outlines specifications, service history, assignments, mileage, and fuel transactions.
- Administration and paperwork: A recurring issue from personnel anywhere is the high amount of paperwork. On the one hand, it’s onerous, on the other hand, it is critical to keep track of everything from the maintenance program, vehicle inspections, odometer checks and odometer readings, and all relevant vehicle data.
- Parts Inventory: Another use case of software is the management of parts. Ideally, one would know what parts are required, how many parts are available in inventory, and what parts were used. The right software will have automated fleet management tasks. Keeping good inventory management is critical to a successful operation. This includes managing all work orders flow across multiple statuses.
- Communications: Internal and external communications happen daily. Internally, the manager wants to communicate to the field teams on mobile apps and wants GPS tracking.
- Productivity and efficiency: An essential contributor to fleet business success is the aim to increase productivity. One of the main goals of the company leader has to be to reduce inefficiencies. Ensuring an efficient process means high-quality customer service and, ultimately, high customer satisfaction.
- Reports and Dashboards: Every manager wants insights, audits, and analyses. With quality software, the manager can quickly run a series of useful reports. This could be fleet management data, vehicle acquisitions, cost reports, or something else.
Best is always a very subjective term. Therefore, the best software for you will be the software that gives you the best return on your investment of time and money. Software like Upper is ideal for managing fleets.
The costs will vary with the size of the fleet. A good rule of thumb is to calculate $20 a month per vehicle for a comprehensive software solution.
Pick the Right Fleet Management System
In conclusion, we hope this article helps you learn more about the different free fleet management software options. Our goal is to provide value to our readers to help them make the best decision possible.
Contact us or book a demo if you are willing to use advanced fleet management software like Upper. As we mentioned, the world is changing rapidly, and so you may need help from advanced tools to achieve your organizational goals. Upper could be your go-to software when it comes to dealing with everyday delivery operations.