Do you know what is the most important thing when you are growing a business?
1. Care about your people
2. Caring for your equipment and vehicles.
Whether you provide courier services, cab rental services, or pharmaceuticals, you will require a fleet of vehicles and Fleet maintenance. It keeps your business running smoothly and effectively. Hence, you need to take care of your vehicles and employees.
This blog will assist you in understanding about everything you need to know about fleet maintenance.
What is Fleet Maintenance?
Fleet maintenance is a process where the vehicles used for distribution, delivery, or rental services are repaired and regularly maintained to prevent them from breaking down. It is a process to upkeep the vehicles owned by companies or organisations in good condition. The whole purpose of fleet management is that the company can run errands more safely and uninterruptedly.
Three main objectives of fleet care:
• Keep the vehicles safe for your employees, customers, and other people on the road.
• Determines unexpected problems and interruptions.
• To increase the lifespan of your vehicles, minimizing unplanned expenses.
Keeping your vehicles intact is challenging, yet it is required to keep your business running. If you don’t take proper care of your fleet, it could cause unplanned expenses to your business.
The vehicles used for the operations of business travel across miles, sustain different climates and transport heavy merchandise. Hence, compromising on their condition puts your business at risk. Also, constantly maintaining, repairing, and up keeping the fleet vehicles includes several benefits such as improved productivity, reduced delays, customer satisfaction, etc.
Fleet maintenance adds vehicle longevity, making your business sustain more challenges. In the modern era, monitoring your fleet of vehicles by using telematics and improving vehicle functioning with preventative maintenance has become imminent. You can even use fleet management software to track the fleet maintenance cycle efficiently. Using modern telematic software, you could also manage and track vehicle diagnostic work, reminders for repairs, engine health predictions, etc.
How Can Fleet Maintenance Reduce Overall Repair Costs?
Just like humans show symptoms when they fall ill, vehicles also show signs when they have an internal problem. It is essential to address the issues before they occur. So, it is better to note the operational needs and schedule the maintenance program as required for your fleet. Proper fleet maintenance programs cut down operational and repair costs of the vehicle.
Also, tracking the fuel usage, malfunctions, engine health, and vehicle diagnostics prevent you from impromptu expenses. Real-time alerts regarding maintenance issues can also help you reduce repair costs. For instance, the expense of replacing the entire engine or entire conveyance is higher than the cost incurred in maintaining it.
The fuel efficiency of a conditioned vehicle is in contrast to a poorly maintained vehicle. Your fleet uses less fuel and retains its value while working efficiently at the top speed.
A poorly maintained vehicle requires frequent oiling, malfunctions, and unnecessary repair costs. You will have to spend more money to make this poorly maintained vehicle stay on the road for an optimum time. In almost all cases, a well-maintained vehicle’s value is more than a broken-down one.
A study by ResearchGate also proves that maintaining a fleet will allow you to have reduced operational costs. In some cases, vehicles show no sign of malfunctioning(even when the engine is faulty) and still function similarly. With fleet maintenance, you could detect the problem and fix it earlier. If not, the engine will eventually die, rendering the vehicle static. Later, you will have to invest more money in getting them fixed and suffer the effects of the limited availability of automobiles.
Importance Of Fleet Maintenance
Almost every aspect of a business relies on a safe and reliable fleet. For your business to succeed, you need reliable, economical, and precisely tailored vehicles that are both powerful and economical.
Fleet management also depends on the size of the business. Larger businesses tend to have larger fleets. In the shipping and freight industry, trucks are involved in complex logistics. They inevitably need repairs from time to time so that the companies can make deliveries on time to ensure customer satisfaction. When freight is still in transit, it must be possible to track it.
According to a recent report, passenger car maintenance costs per unit per month increased between 3-5% in 2018. Three-quarters of fleets reported higher labor and spare part costs. However, fleet tracking software has reduced security incidents for 42% of the companies.
How Fleet Care Helps You:
• Fleets with regular maintenance have longer on-ground lives and are more productive.
• In addition to reducing delays and missed deliveries, fleet maintenance improves delivery efficiency
• Customers are more likely to be satisfied with a brand if deliveries and transportation are on time and well-maintained.
• Frequent fleet maintenance also reduces business costs.
• By maintaining timely service records, one can increase the resale value of fleets.
How Can Fleet Maintenance Improve Vehicle Inspection Results
If you are in charge of a fleet of vehicles, you must maintain and repair any equipment or parts. Nivas Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme compliance is mandatory for all fleet vehicles. Safety is the top priority of the NHVAS regulations. For doing the same, you will need a unique inspection form and protocol based on your industry and vehicle type. Depending on the jurisdiction, vehicles with maintenance management are exempt from annual inspections during registration.
Compliance and audits become simpler when you automate vehicle checklists before drivers start their journey. The fleet owners can reduce drivers’ liability if they undergo an inspection. In such cases, drivers will not be responsible for vehicle negligence if they perform the proper pre-trip inspection. This will allow you to reduce the entire fleet’s liability risk. A post-accident investigation may lead to a ruling against a company for negligence if there are any underlying equipment problems.
It is crucial to always keep up with roadside inspections since even a well-maintained vehicle without an inspection form may result in a fine. You might have to pull over at a repair shop if your vehicle has a problem. Hence, it is critical to perform regular inspections and upkeep on your fleet.
How Can You Implement The Maintenance Approach Into Your Fleet?
Let us quickly understand the steps for implementing fleet maintenance:
• Step 1:
Record the current state of your fleet’s assets and vehicles. Look over every asset, including detailed maintenance records, to get a complete picture of their condition. Every vehicle should have an up-to-date inspection and maintenance report and a baseline of current mileage.
• Step 2:
What are the maintenance intervals for your vehicles and assets? These schedules may vary depending on the type of asset. You may use mileage or engine hours to establish them. One must also consider the operating conditions, whether you use the vehicle for towing, and other environmental and operational factors.
• Step 3:
The procedure’s most significant and challenging phase is developing a preventative maintenance service checklist. Fleet maintenance can be automated using software, saving you hours of work. Using fleet maintenance software, you can generate reports in minutes. However, manually managing and overseeing the fleet may take much of your time. Fleet maintenance software also makes it easier for fleet operators to issue reports and submit required forms, such as pre-operational inspections.
• Step 4:
An in-house fleet maintenance team relies heavily on operators to spot minor problems and defects. Even the most skilled automotive repair specialists might overlook minor issues during a routine inspection. Operators of fleet vehicles should be obliged to record and report any possible issues seen before, during, and following the usage of a fleet vehicle. Thus, you must instruct your vehicle operators on suitable inspection and reporting techniques.
• Step 5:
Establishing crucial performance metrics and tracking outcomes is essential when introducing new processes and procedures. For example, you may want to track the frequency of preventive maintenance. You may want to observe whether there are fewer unscheduled maintenance events to indicate that your fleet preventive maintenance program is operating successfully. These maintenance programs will save you long-term costs over time.
Fleet preventive maintenance planning is a multi-stage process, but it’s pretty simple. Once you have collected the necessary baseline data, picked the right software, and created thorough procedures and policies, your preventive maintenance program will function smoothly.
Fleet maintenance is essential and can help prevent problems that could negatively impact your company. Knowing when to perform these maintenance tasks and what types of maintenance can help you save time, avoid mistakes, and improve your vehicle utilization. With these tips in mind, you can keep your vehicles in fine working condition and avoid costly car repairs and costly malfunctions. Your fleet can move efficiently and safely, saving you many operation costs and generating more revenues and profits.