Are you in charge of managing a fleet of vehicles? Managing a fleet comes with some big responsibilities. You have to ensure your drivers stay on task and meet your customers’ needs. However, you also need to stay on top of vehicle maintenance.
When it comes to fleet vehicle maintenance, there’s no room for inefficiencies. Inefficiencies will cost you time and money, and can even cause damage to your vehicles. Efficient fleet maintenance is crucial to the successful operation of your fleet.
If you’re looking for ways to increase the efficiency of your maintenance program, here are 5 tips that will help.
1. Use fleet management software
If you run a vehicle fleet, it’s a good idea to use fleet management software to manage your maintenance needs. There are too many factors to track manually.
For example, it’s hard to stay on top of preventive actions without software telling you what’s required. You’ll also struggle with managing your invoices, work orders, and warranty reimbursements when relying on manual methods.
The software has the power to perform automatic calculations to tell you exactly when each vehicle needs routine maintenance, like oil changes, tune-ups, and brake fluid bleeds. These routine preventive maintenance tasks are critical for keeping your fleet vehicles in good working order.
2. Manage your inventory accurately
Accurate inventory management is crucial in any business, but for fleets, staying on top of your inventory is crucial to your operations. For instance, if you don’t manage the availability of your parts, you could end up short on parts when you need the most.
This will negatively impact your operations by making your vehicle(s) unavailable. If you don’t have alternative sources to get parts, your affected vehicles could be down for a while, creating lost revenue for an extended period of time.
3. Perform routine vehicle inspections
Routine vehicle inspections should be part of every driver’s day. Before heading out, each driver should be responsible for performing a basic inspection consisting of the following checks:
Check tire pressure and fill the tires according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. You may want to equip each vehicle with a portable air device that plugs into the cigarette lighter. This way, your drivers can fill the air in their tires anytime, anywhere.
Check all lights and turn signals.
Check oil and coolant levels. This can be done weekly unless your mechanics advise a more regular schedule.
Functional windshield wipers. Even if it’s not raining, your drivers might need to use their wipers to clean debris off the windshield.
Check the horn.
Items that should be included in a weekly vehicle inspection:
Check the tire tread depth.
Check oil and coolant levels. This should be done weekly at a minimum.
Check the battery for signs of corrosion.
Check the air filter for vehicles that get driven frequently.
Your checklists may vary depending on your vehicle. For example, if your vehicles have any coupling devices, like a fifth wheel or a trailer.
4. Sign up for fleet deals
For every maintenance task you need, you can probably find a shop that offers a deal on fleets. For example, many oil change companies offer fleet accounts that provide you with a significant discount for getting your fleet vehicles’ oil changed through them.
If you don’t already perform vehicle maintenance in-house, getting fleet deals is the best way to save money on some of your most critical preventive maintenance needs.
5. Optimize your work orders
Work orders are the foundation for successful maintenance. Aside from informing the maintenance crew on what needs to happen, they are also an excellent source of data that can help you improve the efficiency of your processes.
When you create work orders with software, you’re one step ahead in optimizing the process. Not only will the software create an easy-to-access record for each work order, but the system itself can help you assign tasks to technicians based on their skills.
For example, instead of allowing work orders to be picked up by any tech, the system can assign a work order to a technician whose workload is clear and who also has the skills that meet your requirements.
Efficient fleet maintenance saves you money
The bottom line is that improving the efficiency of your fleet maintenance will save you money.
For instance, preventing maintenance will help you avoid predictable breakdowns, and automating workflows will decrease wasted time and increase productivity. All of these things contribute to more money saved.