Whether you’re managing a fleet of one or 100, it helps to have some tips for organizing fleet maintenance that you can refer to at a moment’s notice. How you take care of company vehicles is directly proportional to how long they last and how much they end up making (or costing) your company over time. In this article, we discuss five of the best tips for organizing fleet maintenance, as well as some of the technologies that make it easier.
Know What You Are Saving
Proactively organizing fleet maintenance helps businesses save money. But you won’t know how much until you’ve done the savings math. What are some of the costliest repairs that your drivers encounter? Establishing those figures allows you to plan for them when scheduling preventative maintenance.
When you properly maintain your fleet, you can catch small issues before they become big problems. This not only saves you money on fleet repair costs but also saves you time and money on the cost of lost productivity.
Likewise, fleet maintenance helps reduce the overall cost of ownership. Determining how long the fleet vehicle is supposed to stay in service will help you plan and budget for replacements and extend the lifespan of each vehicle.
Determine How Company Vehicles Will Be Used
The true lifespan of a vehicle depends on the vehicle type and how you plan on using it. Most fleets revolve around a 5 to 10-year cycle. Of course, that number can be higher or lower depending on the types of materials you haul, the number of trips or miles the vehicle drives, and whether the vehicle can be repurposed after it surpasses its useful lifespan.
Work out these details as well as you can. They’re key to being able to determine the total cost of ownership, as well as how to properly plan for meeting those longevity goals.
Keep Drivers in the Loop
Adherence to any plan requires the buy-in from those closest to implementation. Fleet maintenance needs require total buy-in from company drivers.
They’re the ones, who will help you cut idle time, reduce fuel costs, and ensure that the vehicle is in the shop for repairs on schedule. If your drivers are unaware of the maintenance goals and requirements, the vehicles will not be properly cared for.
Pay Attention to Tire Pressure
First off, low tire pressure decreases fuel efficiency. Underinflated tires can cause a car to work harder than necessary, diminishing fuel economy. (Bad for the budget, bad for the environment!)
Low tire pressure also leads to premature wear and tear on the tires. Driving on worn-out tires increases the likelihood of a blowout and makes it more difficult to control the car in slick conditions.
Additionally, low tire pressure extends braking distances, posing a danger to both the driver and his fellow motorists. In turn, that speeds up the life cycle of the brakes and forces quicker and costlier replacements.
Addressing low tire pressure right away helps you avoid these more expensive issues. It also keeps your fleet running smoothly and safely.
Stay Organized With Technology
Whether you only have a few vehicles or well over 100 in your fleet, using better technology to manage your fleet will pay for itself and slash expenses. The key is understanding what technology is out there, how it’s implemented, and where it can be the most beneficial. Before we sign off, here are some specific features to watch for.
GPS for Fleet Vehicles and Logistics Management
GPS, or global positioning systems, ensures that central command knows where each vehicle is at all times. You can use GPS to plan more efficient routes for your drivers. This helps them burn less fuel on their way to loads and project when they’ll need to stop by J&A Fleet for heavy-duty truck maintenance or repair services.
Alerts and Reminders
Alerts and reminders give the driver ample time to plan for a trip to the garage. They also help the administration manage hardware costs. Alerts give dispatchers advance notice not to schedule certain drivers for loads that might take them past their maintenance due dates. In essence, this simple technology can keep everyone on the same page for the good of the vehicle and the safety of the driver.
Telematics Software for Commerical Fleets
Software systems that make use of telematics go well beyond scheduling. That’s part of what it can help with, but it also helps alert drivers and fleet managers to risky driving behaviors, unforeseen traffic issues, ways to deter thefts, and tips for improving fuel economy.
This has a ripple effect throughout the organization. Those ripples can help reduce unnecessary labor costs, improve customer service, and keep your company compliant amid federal and state regulations.
These Tips for Organizing Fleet Maintenance Will Save You Time and Money
We hope you’ve found these tips for organizing fleet maintenance actionable and that you’ll be able to implement them right away. Every dollar and each mile, when well managed, can mean a difference of years to your fleet.
J&A Fleet serves Morris, Wilmington, Joliet, Shorewood, Gardner, and nearby cities in Illinois. We’re also proud to be active in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and other areas within the state of Florida.
Wherever your company’s commercial fleet operates, we’re here to help you better plan the safety and performance of your vehicles. Contact us today!