How to Improve Your Fleet Utilisation Report

3 step approach to improve fleet utilisation report

Whether you are trying to look for ways to enhance your existing fleet utilisation report or building a new one, this article explains the process in a step by step approach.

Purpose, audience and expected outcome of fleet utilisation report

The first step to improving the vehicle utilisation report is to clarify the purpose, audience and the expected outcome of the report. Without this clarity, the report can become unreliable over time as we have explained in our earlier article.

The purpose of the utilisation report is to understand if you are using the vehicles to an optimal extent. In other words, are you using your fleet high enough to generate profits but low enough to avoid high maintenance cost.

The primary audience of the report is generally for the branch or fleet manager who is accountable for the trucks to be out and about generating revenue. However, it is not unusual for someone higher in the management or even lower to be the secondary audience of the report. This insight is helpful as we begin to speak about the layout of the report.

The primary outcome of the report is to measure what is working well and where you need to improve. For example, if the utilisation of curtain siders in Auckland is always high and tippers is low and the opposite is true for another branch, this report should be able to show that pattern so that you can reallocate the trucks appropriately.

Now that the purpose, audience and expected outcome of the fleet utilisation report is clarified, the next step is to define the key questions that the audience of the report seek to answer.

Think of vehicle utilisation report as a question answering tool

The purpose of the report as alluded to earlier is to understand if your trucks are used optimally. This can be achieved by answering questions that matter the most to your fleet and how you operate it.  

In other words, a utilisation report is not just a newspaper that reports what happened but lends itself to get to the bottom of why it happened. This enables you to evaluate what you are going to do about whatever has happened, how much it’s going to cost you and what you might gain from the decision.

Therefore, the second step in the process of building or rebuilding utilisation report is to identify the questions that will help you uncover why something happened. Here are some examples of such questions.

The key components of a utilisation report can be best understood with the following questions.

Do you include regular maintenance time in utilisation or exclude it?

If a truck is not utilised but only its trailer, do you say its 50% utilised or 100%?

If a 11-ton tipper is used for a maximum of 5 tons over the year, do you say its 50% utilised or 100%?

Do you measure your leased or rental fleet utilisation the same as your owned fleet?

Do you track month-on-month utilisation or same time last year vs this year?

If you compare utilisation across branches, how do you measure utilisation of a truck that belongs to Auckland branch but is now moved to Tauranga for next 4 months on account of temporary increased demand there?

How does high utilisation impact your maintenance cost?

Are the most utilised trucks always the most profitable? Why not?

If your R & M cost for leased vehicle on you or the managed service provider?

Fleet utilisation report layout

The layout of the report must be aligned with the audience of the report. Recall, that the primary audience is the branch/fleet manager while secondary audience can be senior leadership or even the yard associate at the front desk.

Therefore, the report needs to cater to different levels of the audience with a special focus on the primary audience. This is achieved by thinking of reports as separate tabs or sheets. One tab/sheet per secondary audience and all of the sheets for the fleet manager.

At FOYI, we have refined our reports over the years and found that the report needs at least 3 tabs/sheets and never more than 5. These tabs can be grouped into three categories as given below.

The key performance indicators (KPI) at the top. In other words, the key metrics that matter to your business must be right at the top. These must never be more than 5 never less than 3.

Trending chart in the middle. This is to understand how the above KPI are trending across time. More precisely, what is the pattern of these metrics over time. For example, is your utilisation high in winters and less in summer?

Three key drivers of the KPI at the bottom. For example, is your Hamilton branch performing below expectation months while Tauranga branch is over performing?

These tabs must have the ability to compare things that matter the most. This can be achieved with line and bar comparative charts.


How is the utilisation of dump trucks vs tippers?

Which vehicles are getting utilised the most at what branches?

What is the seasonality of demand for the trucks across the year for various branches, types of trucks etc.

This tab must have all the data that is used across the report in a spreadsheet format that any junior employee can work with.

Lastly, it is recommended to have a report brief with the various metrics and their definitions so people can refer to it as a glossary or a dictionary while using the report.


In summary, this article shared the details of building or re-building the fleet utilisation report in a step-by-step approach. If you have any questions or would like to speak to us about improving your fleet utilisation report, please reach out to us.

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