The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

9 Useful Mobile Apps for Fleet Managers

Fleet managers can use mobile applications available on smartphones and tablets to stay productive even when they’re on the go.

July 2012, by Sean Lyden - Also by this author

Mobile apps on smartphones and tablets can help fleet managers save time, boost productivity, and make their jobs easier. Yet, when searching online app stores for Android, Apple, or BlackBerry, it’s not easy to find useful fleet management-specific tools that are publicly available.

Automotive Fleet spoke with John Rencher, fleet manager for the City of Ft. Lauderdale and self-described “app man,” to find out what apps on his mobile devices are most useful in his role managing a 1,500-vehicle fleet. His list may surprise you.


● Description: Productivity tool for managing checklists and collaborating with others on shared projects.
● Price: Free
● Compatibility: Android, Apple (iPhone, iPad), and BlackBerry
● Fleet use: “I divide up my tasks in Toodledo by order of importance,” John Rencher, fleet manager for the City of Ft. Lauderdale, explained. “The top level is my ‘critical now,’ which I must get done before the end of the day. The next level includes my ‘opportunity now’ tasks (such as working on my fleet budget or developing our fuel-reduction strategy), which I want to address sometime between tomorrow and about 10 days out. The third level is ‘on-the-horizon,’ which includes tasks I want on my radar to get done when I have some downtime, but aren’t necessarily screaming for my attention right now.”


● Description: Buy e-books and manage PDF documents.
● Price: Free
● Compatibility: Apple (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch)
● Fleet use: “If I’m going to a city commission meeting, all of the commission agendas are in PDF format. I also have my fleet plan and all my documents to study for my NAFA CAFM exam in PDF. This way, I have all the documents I need with me when I need them, which saves me time,” Rencher said.

3 Zinio

● Description: Functions as a mobile newsstand. Content can be purchased once and read on any screen. Users can move within each publication page between text, interactive graphics, animated illustrations, and videos.
● Price: Free for app; monthly
subscription for content
● Compatibility: Apple (iPhone, iPad)
and Android
● Fleet use: Rencher uses Zinio to manage his subscription to Harvard Business Review, which he reads regularly to stay abreast of the latest best practices on leadership that contribute to his professional growth.

4 Convert Units for Free

● Description: Convert currency, physics, and engineering measurements.
● Price: Free
● Compatibility: Apple (iPhone, iPad)
● Fleet use: “If there is a specification in metric terms that I need to convert to units, such as pounds or cubic feet or cubic yards, I use this app,” Rencher said.

5 Mech Ref

● Description: Quick reference
library for all things mechanical.
● Price: $0.99
● Compatibility: Apple (iPhone, iPad)
● Fleet use: “Mech Ref helps me when I need to look up sheet metal gauges, drill sizes, fastener sizes, and other stuff that has to do with spec’ing out a piece of equipment,” Rencher said.

6 iThoughts

● Description: Mind-mapping app for brainstorming and creative problem solving.
● Price: $7.99
● Compatibility: Apple (iPhone, iPad)
● Fleet use: “Let’s say I’m working on a project, such as developing a fuel-reduction strategy,” Rencher explained. “I’ll put in a circle in the middle of the ‘mind map’ and type ‘fuel reduction.’ Then, I might have a branch-off titled ‘idling policy’ and another titled ‘alternative-fuel vehicles.’ So, there are all these branches coming off the original circle. This helps me visualize the strategy on a single page, and the app gives me a way to keep a permanent, easy-to-find record of the mind map.”
(To learn more about mind mapping, visit  

7 Grammar Guide

● Description: An easy-to-use, quick reference guide with general rules, helpful hints, and reference for using grammar in day-to-day writing.
● Price: $0.99
● Compatibility: Android and Apple (iPhone, iPad)
● Fleet use: Rencher uses this app, as-needed, when writing equipment usage reports, policies, and memos to ensure clarity and readability.

8 Drucker Now

● Description: Offers usable insights on work and life inspired by management guru Peter Drucker. Includes access to the Drucker School of Management’s iTunes U Channel, offering lectures by Drucker School faculty and videos from Drucker archives.
● Price: Free
● Compatibility: Apple (iPhone, iPad)
● Fleet use: Rencher’s philosophy is that fleet management is not just about managing equipment, it’s also about leading and motivating other people — including staff, vendors, and even upper management — to accomplish his department’s objectives. He uses Drucker Now for daily inspiration and insight to become a more effective manager of the “softer” side of fleet.


● Description: Offers a wide selection of digital audio books available for download onto mobile devices.
● Price: Subscription $14.95-$22.95 per month, depending on number of downloads
● Compatibility: Android, Apple (iPhone), and Blackberry
● Fleet use: “This is especially useful when I have to spend a lot of time in the car,” Rencher said. “I’m an avid reader, and I get two audio book downloads per month, mostly books on leadership, business — the whole gamut. It’s a convenient way to make the most of my time, while increasing my knowledge and skills.”

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