Top fleet manager skills needed to get the job.

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What are the top 3 traits or skills every fleet manager must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your fleet manager expertise?

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116 months ago

Communication skills, both to your staff of the needs and or expectations, to upper management to convey realistic timeframes and possibilities.

Understanding of both the equipment, the operator/drivers, conditions that the vehicle etc will be subject too.

The ability to say, I'm not sure, but I will find out.

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Bob in York, Pennsylvania

106 months ago

There are way more than 3 things you need to be proficient at to manage a fleet.
I'm usually senior staff usually reporting to the CEO, Exectuive Director or Owner, but have reported to a VP in one company.
All of the above are important but here's more of what you need.
You may not have caused the problem but you're responsible for anything that happens in your department anytime. Even when you're not there.
You need to be thick skinned as 'everything's maintenances fault' according to everyone else. You're either a hero or a zero, there's no in between. You have to be flexible, you may be on call 24/7/365 depending on the company. You're support so have to be able to do what needs to be done when it can be done. A lot of the time the Safey Guy and I split the overnight accident/incident investigations.
You really need to be a mechanic yourself. If you're not, you won't always know when your being played, not just by your people but by vendors. Remember the old joke: 'If you don't know what a cam follower is, you need one, it's very expensive, on back order and will take a month to install'. You'll have to pull your foreman, super, or a mechanic off the floor to go to a vendor to do a failure analysis instead of going your self and keeping up the repair flow.
You need to be able to run one or multiple shops as a for profit, as if you're the owner while reporting to your boss.
CMMS/FMMS which while are basically the same can vary greatly in user freindliness. If you've never setthem up or used them there's a huge learning curve to make sure they run correctly and give you what you need.
Basic business skills such as contracts, purchasing, leasing, rentals, HR management, extensive safety, accounting, workers comp, researcher, dispatcher, instructor, life cycle, warranty and BABYSITTER.
Your business ethics better be impeccible. Gifts ot taking money from vendors can be embezzlement. So a little business law too.

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randradecosmos@*****.*** in Olympia, Washington

92 months ago


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Lynn Walters in Auburn, Washington

92 months ago

All are great and accurate responses indeed (no pun). I would like to add to these valuable comments with a few more:
- Learn how to be a "Politician". Many times you need other department heads to 'get your back'.
- Network with others in the same or similar position in other companies or organizations.
- Stay on top of cutting edge trends or technology.
- Don't let calcium of the brain set in, meaning, "the longer you are off the floor, the more you become a bone head". Repair or T/S jobs become very easy from the office!

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