Sustainable transport for a better world.

Rightsizing your fleet

    The PDF version of this document is found at the bottom of the page.

In this article, we provide guidance to choose and select the right number and types of vehicles. 

1. Which vehicles do I need?

The first thing you should think about is what you need from a vehicle. What are the things you are going to be doing and what type of vehicle best meets those needs?

Consider the following questions:

  • How many people are going to travel in it regularly?
  • Will you be doing a lot of off-road driving?
  • Do you mainly do short journeys in built-up areas?
  • How much boot space do you need?
  • Do you carry mainly people or goods?
  • Is parking a problem? 
Purpose Suitable type of vehicle
Driving around town, primarily on tarmac roads Sedan
Commuter bus
Field driving, primarily off-roads SUV / 4x4

You’ll also need to think about travelling in the vehicle day to day. Small changes in type, model or specification can have a big impact on your comfort or the vehicle’s suitability. For example, seat height and door opening angle can all make a big difference.

A good place to start is to think about your current vehicles and decide what you like and dislike about it. It may be useful to refer to the quick checklist below together with your drivers:

Vehicle 1 Vehicle 2 Vehicle 3
Getting in and out
Opening and closing the door
Seat height and adjustment
Driving around town
Comfort of the vehicle
Boot space

2. How many vehicles do I need?

Are your vehicles getting old and/or starting to cost a lot in repair? Or perhaps you are working on new program design and need to budget for transport costs?

Fleet Forum provides you with the tools and guidance to use your fleet data for analyzing the state of a fleet, coming to conclusions about value, efficiency, whether to sell, replace, keep maintaining etc., and for assessing needs for new vehicles.

  1. Your first task is to answer what assets does your operation have now and what assets do you need next year, before thinking about what to dispose.
  2. After that, you will get specific with the number of assets needed by location and by specification
  3. Lastly, decide what individual assets to either reallocate, dispose and purchase.

The asset planning spreadsheet is based on the concept of right sizing. Using the spreadsheet, enter your answers for the following:

Step Tab Remarks
1 Identify transport needs This will require you to sit with transport users and identify the number of days they will require transport per vehicle category
2 Define fleet requirements Here you can adjust the number of working days and the safety factor to reflect the nature of your operation. You will need to have a management discussion to agree on the final number of vehicles required
3 Make asset plan Lastly, you will look at the number of vehicles to be disposed and identify the number of vehicles to be ordered in the coming year.

Keep in the mind:

  • The asset planning spreadsheet will require you to identify program needs. It will likely take a few days to think through and consult internally with program staff
  • You will need to consider if you are currently using the right types of vehicles for the nature of activities, and physical conditions
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