Scheduled maintenance. Unscheduled maintenance. Each method has their own form of headaches and expenses that, frankly, can become a nuisance in no time and all. This is why scheduling preventative maintenance protocol and policies offers grounds for minimizing the damages and wear-and-tear of vehicles in your fleet.
Here are 7 simple tips for fleet managers that will make it easier for you to keep your fleet in tip-top shape.
1- Delegate Tasks
It is important for you to decide, early on, who will oversee vehicle maintenance (which, unfortunately, doesn’t happen automatically out of thin air). It is crucial to physically (and publicly) define the responsibilities of vehicle maintenance to your team, and to then assign someone to be the one in charge of monitoring the maintenance of each vehicle.
2- Policy Awareness
Are you certain that every driver in your company, using your company vehicle, is aware of the policies? Can you say that they thoroughly understand the PM schedules, maintenance policies of your business? Conduct a review every 12 weeks to keep your fleet’s drivers from slacking on the job.
3- The Maintenance Checklist
The person you’ve designated in charge of maintenance now needs a checklist to make sure no vehicle is ignored. Here is a small sample of the responsibilities of said maintenance:
- Check all the cabin controls
- Inspect rims, wheels and tires
- Make sure the brake wear is not too severe
- Review the horn and other safety features
- Visually inspect the undercarriage for signs of damage
- Make sure exterior and interior lights are fully functional
- Make sure hose connections are sound
- Review fluid levels (and fill up if undesirable)
4- Use Technology
Tech’s impact can’t be ignored. There are certain fleet maintenance programs that are invaluable. Depending on the program, you can review mileage data, maintenance dates, which parts need replacement or were replaced, as well as conducting schedules. Dedicated fleet services will undoubtedly benefit the most from this software.
Vehicles age. There’s no getting around that. Which is why it’s importance to keep an Eagle’s eye on the cost of maintenance on each vehicle. This is called the ownership cost, and constantly reviewing the figures and numbers will help you decide when it’s time to put the vehicle “out to pasture” – that is, when maintenance costs surpass its residual asset value.
6- Maintenance Provider
Anything wrong can (and probably) will happen in a day on the job. This is why every obstacle and hiccup must be brought to the fleet maintenance provider. In most cases, if resources allow, they can help expedite the repair and maintenance. This reduces downtime and keeps the fleet in top form. Work on building a solid relationship with your fleet maintenance provider.
We know that vehicles age. Even worse, vehicles undergo a lot of demands and damages. That’s why it’s worth your money and time to outline each vehicle’s usage. Vehicles that are properly spec’d can save money. For example, a truck that has carried a heavy load for a significant amount of time is significantly weaker than a truck that can carry lighter loads – depending on what’s being carried and the operating conditions.
At the end of the day, the driver knows first-hand what all the problems in the vehicle is. The driver is the one who is in that vehicle, and no one else. Therefore, the simplest way of maintaining proper fleet maintenance quality is to constantly seek the feedback of your drivers. This will minimize downtime and keep profits up.