Fleet maintenance refers to the process of maintaining your vehicles to keep them in operating condition. It provides a sort of guarantee that your vehicle is reliable, safe, and can stay on the road for a long time. Having a preventative maintenance program serves as a fundamental part of fleet maintenance. It helps businesses in reducing costs involved in operations, improving outcomes of vehicle inspections, and many other benefits.
Vehicles are your fleet’s top investments, and they require added care and maintenance. Ensuring that your vehicles are in good condition is one of the ways to run a productive business. You risk the safety of your employees if your approach to fleet maintenance is not proactive. You not only fail at FMCSA inspections but also end up spending a large sum of money on repairs in emergencies leading to unplanned downtime. Therefore, your vehicles’ health check must be your priority to continue managing a healthy business.
With fleet maintenance management, come various benefits, and some of these benefits are as following:
Maintaining your fleet of cars helps your business to be more productive, and in the long run, it can give you more profits. You can make deliveries on time. Your outdoor meetings, inspections, and site visits are never delayed. Fleet maintenance management services enable you to minimize downtime. This is because your vehicles are less likely to experience breakdowns.
Let’s suppose a vehicle’s engine is not working. However, the car is in operating condition and shows no signs of abnormality. In this situation, you can efficiently isolate and repair the engine if you have a good fleet maintenance management. Not having fleet maintenance management will only put you at a loss as the engine will die down, and your vehicle will no longer be in operating condition. The only option you will have is to spend a large sum of money on repairing or replacing it. It will add more downtime and negatively affect your daily business operations.
If your vehicle is well-maintained, it will not consume an added amount of unnecessary fuel. However, a vehicle that is in poor condition will require more fuel to work. You will have to keep feeding it oil, and after every few miles, it is likely to develop various malfunctions. To ensure that your poorly maintained vehicle keeps moving, you will have to spend more and more money buying fuel and getting it repaired.
It is a must for vehicles to undergo routine inspections and tests. If you have a good fleet maintenance management, you will have a better chance of receiving satisfying results and safety approvals to keep your vehicles running on public roads.
Businesses should conduct regular upkeep of all their vehicles to maintain a better value of reselling them. Fleet maintenance helps to keep a record that you can show as proof to the buyers, letting them know about the good condition of your vehicles. It creates a sense of trust between buyers and sellers. The case is the same when you want to lease out under contract vehicles.
Studies done by the Environmental Protection Agency show that vehicle emission is the cause of increased neurological and respiratory health issues. As a business, you have to make sure you are not harming the environment and keeping your vehicles in compliance with environmental regulations. Keep track of the service schedules of your vehicles so that they are always in good condition.
In fleet maintenance, three types of workers are engaged; drivers, repair technicians/fleet mechanics, and fleet managers.
Fleet managers are responsible for overseeing the complete fleet. These managers work as the central hub for developing maintenance plans and scheduling services. Fleet managers work to design the maintenance schedule of the vehicles as they are also dealing with buying and selling of old and new vehicles. They have to make sure that vehicles are in good operating conditions at all times and retain maximum value.
When designing a fleet maintenance program, fleet managers have to think about a lot of key factors. A car owner might only consider big-ticket items, but to a fleet manager, every big and small component of a car should hold importance. This encompasses glass, oil, body, tire servicing, etc.
Drivers are responsible for moving the vehicles, taking them from one place to another, and performing their job with safety. This makes drivers equally responsible for taking good care of the condition of vehicles as they will most likely be the first ones to notice any fault or alarming issue. Drivers have to be in constant contact with fleet managers and inform them about conditions of vehicles, breakdowns, repair and fixing issues, etc. They should also inspect the vehicles carefully and make sure they comply with the Department of Transportation’s requirements.
The size of the fleet helps to decide whether or not it requires a dedicated fleet mechanic. That hired individual is responsible for maintaining the fleet regularly. Fleet mechanics must look for any alarming issues or repairs to ensure the fleet does not breaks down unexpectedly, adding downtime and delaying business operations.
This step is about inspecting a vehicle, finding out issues and faults, and reporting them to the concerned individuals. Corrective and preventative maintenance can help you to learn such details about your assets.
Recording meter readings are important for preventative maintenance, and they drive your maintenance strategy.
Corrective maintenance involves scheduled corrective maintenance and breakdown maintenance. It is best for maintaining uptime as you are capable of repairing your vehicles when it suits your business operations while operating in the meantime.
It helps to ensure that no one in your team feels ignored. If one of your team members sends a maintenance request but for some reason, it gets declines, make sure to give him proper reasoning, or else the member will feel discouraged. It can demotivate your workers and negatively affect their working efficiency.
Software for fleet maintenance can provide great help by becoming your eyes and ears, helping you to stay informed about every information about your vehicles.
Once you are done identifying the problems, move forward to developing plans to deal with them. A plan is functional if it addresses:
While planning, it is important to know that you are addressing the right problem. It can happen that you are just looking at the problem’s surface, ignoring its root. So it is better to identify your problem carefully and then plan accordingly. A good plan will lead to quality work, which will further lead to maximized productivity and minimized downtime.
In this step, you ensure that your maintenance schedule will be successful at all costs. If you schedule the work, but it never gets done, it will only put you at a loss. This means you will have added problems and downtime.
For completing your work on time:
Discuss with your service provider or team on a plan that adds the least downtime and fix/repair your asset as fast as possible.
Finalize all the work that an asset requires and make sure that it will be completed in the discussed time frame.
Schedule 80 percent of your technicians’ time to schedule work and the remaining 20 percent must be allocated for unexpected repairs and administration.
Before beginning the next work, make sure that you know what problems are you dealing with. Schedule everything before time as it will help you to measure how accurate is your planning and scheduling efforts. It will make you prepared for the coming week, and your assets will not sit idly in your office.
A well-developed maintenance process enables technicians to fix the issues w=in the first attempt.
This can be achieved by:
Ensuring that technicians receive proper training and that they are well-equipped to complete their tasks. If you are outsourcing, make sure that you verify the quality of their work.
Creating work instructions that are concise and clear. They must define what type of work is required and what actions must be taken in the process.
You must supervise the work process to ensure that all tasks are being carried out carefully. It is always better to oversee the work yourself.
Once all processes are done, start keeping accurate records. It is done to ensure that you will know what things to take care of and what things to ignore the next time you encounter such an issue. It also helps you to avoid making the same mistakes and improve your maintenance plan.
Once you have all the data in your hand, start using it properly and plan accordingly:
Organizations that use the company’s vehicles regularly utilize fleet maintenance programs. It can be Lowell fleet maintenance, pronto fleet maintenance, school bus fleet maintenance, or ford fleet maintenance.
A smart fleet maintenance program can benefit any business greatly, helping it to keep its vehicles running without unexpected failures.
Trucking fleet maintenance helps trucking companies to keep all their vehicles in excellent working conditions and compliance with the Department of Transporation’s requirements.
All of their trucks undergo routine maintenance to minimize the risks of unplanned downtime and interrupted work operations
Car rental services are the ones who benefit the most from fleet maintenance and record-keeping as their customers have different driving styles. They maintain a fleet vehicle maintenance checklist and perform maintenance on each car individually.
Government-owned vehicles require extra care and attention, and thus they must be maintained properly.
Tractors, plows, and other vehicles are important for work operations of farms, and that is why they require faster fleet maintenance.
Trucking companies are one of the easy examples of fleet maintenance. Cargo trucks travel long miles and in various climatic conditions. Hence, they need a robust maintenance structure to keep moving and avoid expected failures and breakdowns in the middle of nowhere.
The condition of a trucking company’s vehicles directly affects profitability. If trucks breakdown, it will delay deliveries leading to unsatisfied customers and fewer profits.
Any organization that uses its vehicles for its workers is another example. Fleet maintenance is necessary for company vehicles as they are responsible for transporting employees from one place to another. If the vehicles are not safer to travel, it is certainly a huge risk to take. No company wants to compromise in this regard. Hence having a comprehensive fleet maintenance program is necessary for every company that owns vehicles for transportation of employees.
Fleet maintenance software enables you to record all information that is relevant to a repair and helps you to determine the costs, downtime, and more. This allows you to have reliable and well-maintained assets that will have fewer risks of breakdowns and unexpected failures. You can do accurate planning and maintain quality work instructions.
Fleet maintenance software allows fleet managers to ensure that maintenance schedules are performed according to the planned maintenance program within the decide timescale. It also helps to make adjustments to schedules for meeting changing requirements and provides automated notifications to technicians, supervisors, and drivers.