Prepare your rental bike for the Donkey Republic platform
We made our product easily applicable to virtually any bike. Mounting Donkey lock on the bike is a quick and easy process. If you've ever had a screwdriver in your hand, you are good to go. It takes about 2 -3 minutes to mount the lock. If you operate in Nordic countries most of the bikes have a special holes to mount the lock. The default hole size is M5 (5 mm in diameter) and we will send you screws to mount the lock onto the bike. Note that these holes look inwards/downwards, and are not made for mounting brakes.
No worries, if your bikes don't have forks with those special holes. We will send you alternate mounting gear. See below pictures.
In order make the donkification PRocess as clear AS possible we have made few instructional videos that guides you, the bike owner, all the way through the process
GETTING YOUR BIKES ON THE DONKEY PLATFORM
After you mounted your locks and made sure that all the components sit nice and tight it’s time to make them accessible to the riders. We have designed a fleet management system that allows you to control your bikes with a little effort. As an admin you will be able to:
Manage your locks:
reassign the lock to other bikes
track the battery life on the fleet management system
Manage your bikes
register them to the system
assign bikes to the hub
switch bikes between the hubs
temporarily disable the bikes
Manage your hubs:
create new hubs
change the locations of the existing hubs
see an overview of the hubs
Manage your bookings:
track the number of riders rejected due to lack of bike availability
see the graphic interface with each bike’s availability, so you’ll know when to move or maintain it
track user status: you will know if the rider has a verified account, downloaded the app and the status of the user’s booking (started/finished)
you can also track how many riders have booked your bikes
Manage your rentals:
bikes’ rental status, broken down by hubs (available, ongoing, late, inactive)
Of course you want to give as much information as possible to your rider about your Donkeys and one good glance can replace a thousand words. Take picture of the a bike you will use in the hub. One picture for the whole hub is enough. Remember that all bikes in one hub should be the same type. If you have some bikes that are not standard (f.e. tandems) they should have their own hub.
You should specify the features of the bike for your riders to find a perfect Donkey for themselves. The initial classification should include the type of bike, the number of gears, types of brakes and any additional features such as baskets, holders, etc.
To put your do Donkeys on the platform you’ll need to identify them. It’s a good idea to use the frame numbers, as it makes the recovery of the bike in case it turns up after the theft or misplacement. Frame numbers can be added under the “Bike” section in the admin interface. Click “Edit” and enter the frame number in the section called “Frame number” if your bikes doesn’t have one put your own serial number/unique authentication number.
Bike ID tag
Donkey Republic offers the insurance package to better protect your fleet. Partnership with Bike ID creates an opportunity to microtag the bike parts. Tags are only be visible in UV light.
Creating a hub is a straightforward process. The admin can create hubs on the Donkey fleet management platform by choosing the location on a map. The hub will be 30 meter radius around this location. The admin chooses which bikes are assigned to which hub and can keep track of where the bikes are located based on their most recent updated location. The admin can also track who has used which bike last and the whole rental history of a bike.
Don’t forget to describe your hub! You can do that in “Hub Settings”. The success of getting bikes rented is leading your customers to it. Describe the surrounding area and what it can offer for a rider. We have previously gotten requests from our partners to place the hubs indoors. That is not a great idea as GPS tracking might be disrupted.
Location is crucial in this business both for rider traffic and the security. Therefore we suggest choosing locations that are privately owned land that’s publicly available for 24/7. Placing your hubs in front of the shops or other businesses that are open 24/7 is a good idea.
Good examples can be:
McDonalds open 24/7 with parking lots
Hotels with open reception 24/7
Working with private landowners allows to bypass some of the bureaucracy for example getting permissions from the municipality.
We recommend regular visits to be made into the Hubs twice a week to discover any flaws or errors with the bike and to guarantee a good ride for the next rider. Donkey Republic strives to ensure a good experience for each and every rider therefore bikes should be well kept and maintained. Properly groomed Donkey will attract more customers than shabby and abandoned one. And it will motivate the rider to tell his friends to use the Donkey bikes next time they need to rent a bike.
Here are typical operations to keep your hub up and running:
If bikes are misplaced taking them back to their original location.
If rental session has not ended you can end it on the bike owner app.
Bike owners app shows the bike is in a different location: lock/unlock the lock, change the bike’s location on the owner’s app.
Info panel is loose: carry a screwdriver around to fix it easily; change the info panel if necessary
If bike is dirty have a piece of cloth to clean it.
Pump air into the tires at least every 2 months, do that for all the fleet at once.
Check battery level: it can be checked from the bike owner’s app, recharging should be done twice a year.
Lock does not work properly: switch the lock and assign it to the bike on the Fleet Management System.
Gears needs to be tuned.
Check for minor flaws: check lights, tighten nuts, etc.
TYPICAL RENTAL CYCLE
During the time Donkey Republic has been operating we’ve collected some insights on the Donkey booking trends. The majority of bookings happen spontaneously. 50% of bookings we receive happen on the spot. 30% of bookings happen same day, couple of hours before the rental begins. Just 20% of bookings happen more than a day before the rental.
In order to have a full picture of how your new Donkified bike rental is going to work let’s see how it looks from the user’s point of view step by step:
Booking can happen on our website donkey.bike or on our native application.
Rider selects the Hub and then, number of hours/days he wants to rent the bike and the number of bikes.
The Rider is then directed to the pop-up window to provide further information.
- the name of the rider
- the location of the hub he/she wants to pick up the bike
- the date and the time of the booking
- additional emails if the booking has more than one rider, in order for riders to receive emails with the access to their bikes.
Rider is directed to the secured booking site where he/she discloses personal details: email, phone number and billing details.
Payment is processed.
Rider receives a confirmation email from the system with the login details and the link to download the app, if needed.
After downloading the app user is able to see the hub location and find the bike.
The Rental phase
The smartphone now functions as a key to unlock the bike and begin the renting phase.
After unlocking the bike, the users have ten minutes to make sure the bike is in order and cancel the reservation. If they wish to cancel the the reservation internet connection is required (they should call support number).
During the rent phase user is able to lock and unlock bikes multiple times, the internet connection is not required.
Ending rental phase
In order to end rental the rider has to return the bike back to the same hub the rider took it from.
Lock it via app. GPS is turned on and the user needs to be standing next to the bike (internet connection is not required) the renting phase is over.
Take a picture of the locked bike this will help to prove that the bike was locked properly (using the additional chain).
End the booking by going online: it doesn’t need to be right away, but ideally at the first opportunity for the internet connection. This is when we download the data from the user's app, to make sure that the bike is left in the right location.
If the bike is not returned on the agreed time, the rider is charged for the whole period he failed to bring back the bike +20% percent of that amount.
- If the bike is not returned in the right location additional relocation fee is charged to the rider.
Damages and theft
In case damages occur Donkey Republic mediates between the rider and the bike owner.
The bike owner is responsible for the bike until the rental phase is started (the bike is unlocked by the rider). Rider is responsible for the bike for whole rental phase, meaning after unlocking it the first time till the end of the rental. If the bike is stolen or vandalized the rider is liable for additional charges.
In order to help settle the disagreements between the rider and the bike owner, before ending the rental the rider will have to take a picture of the locked bike at the hub in order to end renting and finalize the booking.
In order to make sure bikes are brought back to the hub high relocation fees are put in place:
If the bike is left within 5 km of the hub: 30 Euro.
If the bike is left within 50 km of the hub: 100 Euro.
If the bike is left more than 50 km away from the hub: 250 Euro.
The quick release for the sadle needs some additional security measures to protect the saddle from theft, there are couple of options:
- drill the holes in the bottom of the bike’s frame, put the wire through them and the saddle. It won’t be visible as the wire will be inside the frame. This way is more secure as well as it is much harder to cut it.
- use a wire or wire lock to connect the saddle with the frame or luggage carrier. This way is less labour intensive, but doesn’t look good and is less secure.
Marking parts that can be removed is a good idea too. We will send you stencil that says donkey.bike, making the marked parts harder to sell.
Security bolts, that require a unique key to be removed so wheels etc. cannot be taken off.
Using chains, we can offer you 6mm chains from our affiliates that can be combined with the Donkey lock to help to protect your bikes.
Donkey Republic takes responsibility for customer care. To make sure that the customer gets the best care we’ve implemented comprehensive FAQ with the most common issues we have noticed so far. If the answer can’t be found there, the rider can call customer support. Donkey Republic can be reached by the phone during the danish office hours (9h-18h), they can also leave a message after hours on our client support platform. Instant Messaging will be made available on the app.
Further link is dedicated to our committed partners where we share useful rental business insights and best practice which we have accumulated running our own operations, researching and talking with people all over the world.