Fleet Requirements

What vehicles do we need?

A basic assessment checklist, The following checklist may be helpful to you when considering what vehicles are needed for your project.  It is not comprehensive so please add to or tailor it for your own purposes.Points to consider:
People such as the program manager, transport manager, drivers, budget holder are likely to be involved.
Operating Conditions
What are the road conditions? Tarmac roads, good unpaved roads (with stone or macadam surface), sand or dirt trails, or no roads? This guides choices of vehicle configurations, for example: if heavy or light vehicles are needed; wheelbase; 4x4 or 2x4; truck (6x4, 4x4, 4x2); if trailers are needed; type of tires; fuel; whether additions (e.g. winches) are needed.
What's the climate - is it hot, dry, wet, humid, cold or extremes of any of these? What kind of vehicle would be suitable? As above. Do vehicles need to be covered or open?
What is the security situation?  Do the vehicles need to be fitted with communications equipment?What special vehicles may be needed (e.g. ambulance)?What assessments have been done with respect to landmine or bomb risk? Refer to your organization's security assessment.  Additions may be needed e.g. for communications equipment.
Uses of the vehicles
What type of project or program are the vehicles to be used for? Different programs have different needs, depending on what or who is being transported, how often and where.
What do we want to carry?
  • People - how many
  • Light or heavy goods
  • Food or non-food
  • Are the goods sensitive / valuable?
What is the total quantity of goods or people to be transported?
What are the distances to be traveled? Short distances may only require light vehicles, such as bicycle, motorbike or animals
What will the frequency of use be (one-off transport, or scheduled journeys/deliveries)?  How long will the vehicles be needed for?   Project or program duration.
Who are we transporting?
  • Staff?
  • Dignitaries?
How many vehicles for staff? What ratio of staff to vehicle? In an emergency it is advisable to have a ratio between light vehicles and international staff of 1:1
Are any special configurations necessary? What accessories are needed? If a truck is to carry dangerous goods, e.g. fuel, ensure that dangerous goods regulations are followed Accessories might include: winch, stereo, extra fuel tank
Heavy vehicles
Are the roads and bridges suitable to drive on with trailers?  
Are the drivers capable of driving with trailers?  
What are the regulations in the country regarding the weight and length of truck-trailer combinations?  
What type of trailer is needed? Can the trucks be operated with trailers or would tractor trailers be better? Can the trailer be transported on the truck on empty runs? Ensure there are air-brakes, a towing hook, extra fuel tanks and spare wheels. Particular attention must be paid to the tow-bar strength and number of axles.
Current vehicle supply
Where else are we operating in the country? Can we re-deploy existing vehicles to the new program / area? Vehicles could be transferred from a project or program coming to an end.
What models / makes of vehicles do we already have? Standardizing the fleet makes management and maintenance easier, especially when the vehicle makes are similar to those used locally.
Is another agency finishing a project or program, in which case would they be willing to sell their vehicles to us?  
Infrastructure - fuel, servicing and parts
What fuel (diesel and petrol) and are lubricants readily available in the area of operation? Note the number of fuel stations, capacity and likely availability of fuel at each. 

What service facilities are available? Is there a service network available with the know-how to maintain the fleet, or will it be necessary to set up dedicated workshops and fuel stations?

Are there sufficient spare parts and tires in the local market, or must they be imported?  
Current transport management systems
What processes are already in place and are these adequate?  
Who is responsible for what? e.g.:
  • Vehicle management
  • Driving
  • Training
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