Fleet Maintenance Tips for Longer Fleet Life
Your fleet vehicles are an expensive investment. Every moment your vehicles are in the shop or on the side of the road is a moment you’re not generating revenue. Staying on top of fleet maintenance is the key to keeping your vehicles on the road and out of the repair bay. Keeping up with maintenance doesn’t have to be a chore you dread, and the following tips are well worth implementing, as they will keep your vehicles rolling in the right direction.
Invest in Preventative Maintenance
Oil changes, tire rotations, tire inspections, engine tune-ups, and brake replacements are not cheap. Multiply them across an entire fleet, and the cost can seem overwhelming. It’s understandable to be leery of these expenses. If you don’t want to spend the money, add up the potential cost of losing insurance coverage, paying regulatory fines, lost business, and potential lawsuits. You’ll see that investing in preventative maintenance is both penny wise and pound smart.
Outfit Your Vehicles Properly
Are your vehicles equipped with the proper tires, coolant, oil, lights, and safety equipment required for their operational conditions? Make sure your fleet vehicles are properly outfitted for the climate, geography, and load handling they perform. This will reduce wear and tear and reduce the possibility of unexpected breakdowns.
Train Your Drivers
No driver should ever head down the road until they have a thorough understanding of their fleet vehicle. Not only should drivers know your company policies inside and out, they should also know how to recognize signs of trouble with their vehicle and demonstrate proficiency in performing basic maintenance tasks.
Inspect Each Vehicle After Every Trip
Whether it’s 50 miles across the county or 1000 miles across the country, you should thoroughly inspect each vehicle after every trip. Record any damage to the vehicle and address any performance issues the driver noted during the journey. Often, small problems, such as a wobbly wheel, loss of engine power, non-responsive electronics, etc., are harbingers of larger problems brewing up.
Know Your Fleet
If you have the same vehicles in your fleet, you are going to have the same types of problems. The closer you track problems with tires, engines, transmissions, etc., the easier it is to prepare your mechanics with the tools and replacement parts they need to keep the fleet operational.
Streamline Roles and Procedures
Make sure you have the right people in the right roles to manage fleet maintenance. At a minimum, you should have a fleet maintenance inspector whose sole job is to oversee the readiness of your fleet and review the data within your fleet management system. Moreover, you will also want to streamline the processes and paperwork required for drivers to submit deficiency summaries and maintenance requests through the fleet management system. Again, the easier it is, the faster critical maintenance issues can be addressed.
Divest Your Fleet of Duds
Some vehicles are not worth the effort to maintain. When your older or high mileage vehicles reach the end of the road, don’t hesitate to remove them from the rotation. When the cost of ownership exceeds the revenue the vehicle is generating; it’s time to send it to the auction house.
Our emergency roadside teams are always standing by, waiting for your call. It’s a call we never want to receive, but we know that every fleet vehicle operator will need to pick up the phone at some point. When that day comes, contact Central Power Systems & Services at (816) 781-8070, and we will dispatch our nearest roadside assistance truck to your stranded vehicle.