Categories:   Useful Automotive Information
Fleet Maintenance Tips to Help Vehicles Last Longer
A little prevention can go a long way toward preventing bigger issues, and the same is true when it comes to fleets. Preventative fleet maintenance is one of the most important aspects of owning a fleet, and when your vehicles are well-maintained, they will experience fewer breakdowns and use less fuel.
A little prevention can go a long way toward preventing bigger issues, and the same is true when it comes to fleets. Preventative fleet maintenance is one of the most important aspects of owning a fleet, and when your vehicles are well-maintained, they will experience fewer breakdowns and use less fuel. This can help you boost your bottom line. Being proactive about things allows you to stop issues before they become safety hazards. There are a few ways to go about this. If your considering buying new or used vehicles, myautoloan.com has the financing you need.
Train Drivers Regularly
It’s important to teach drivers how to drive more efficiently, as well as the best way to maintain vehicles while on the road. Make sure they understand how important it is to stay compliant and drive carefully. When they are in compliance, they are less likely to get into an accident, which could lead to more expense for your business or even a lawsuit.
You may want to train them on the dangers of tailgating because of how often it can lead to rear-end collisions. So how is your following distance determined? You can look at a guide for fleet managers that explains how AI dash cams can make things easier for drivers and how you can train drivers to maintain a safer following distance. Beyond driving training, you should also help them see why regular maintenance is so important. When employees understand the why behind what they do, they are more likely to take personal responsibility and develop stronger self-awareness.
Ensure Vehicles Suit Their Purpose
Each vehicle should be equipped for the tasks you expect of it. If you over spec it, you will have unnecessary expenses. But if you under spec it, it could wear out faster, and that is also more expensive than if it were a correct spec. When you are assigning tasks and choosing a vehicle for an assignment, determine what will be in it and consider the conditions it will operate in.
Keep Reports From Drivers
It’s important to communicate regularly with your drivers because they are the ones who spend the most time using the vehicle. They should be in charge of checking tire pressure, oil pressure, and other important aspects of the vehicle. There are apps that will allow drivers to check these things while they are on the road. The apps can connect to a management system so you can get regular updates, even if the driver is out of town. When your drivers regularly report on the status of their vehicles, they will form better working relationships with both your maintenance team and management.
Watch Tire Pressure Closely
Tire pressure plays a bigger role than you might think. The pressure of your tires impacts everything from wear and tear to fuel economy. Of course, wear and tear will not be even across the entire fleet. Road surfaces, weather, and driving skills impact the way they deteriorate. It’s important to ensure you have each driver check the pressure before leaving and after coming back. For longer trips, have drivers check the pressure while they are on the road too. Properly inflated tires only go so far, however. Drivers should also be checking overall wear. When tires start to wear out, they are much less likely to handle well, and this can be an issue if the roads are wet or there is other hazardous weather.
Consider the Future of Your Business
Think ahead several years from now and consider where you would like to be. If you are like many other business owners, you may want to have a larger fleet because of larger business operations. But if you want to grow, you will need to plan for it carefully. If you don’t plan ahead, you could find yourself struggling to catch up as other businesses move ahead.
Without a business plan that you can scale, your bottom line will be damaged. It’s easy to rush to react when larger orders come in as your client base grows. Maintaining a larger workforce and fleet may force you to make decisions without having the time to think through them carefully. You can avoid these issues by creating a plan now. Consider working with a service provider who might be able to help you maintain and manage your fleets.
Use a Checklist
A checklist can be kept on paper, on a spreadsheet, or in management software. No matter how you keep it, it can be used by drivers to go over daily tasks before they head out. If they use a shared spreadsheet or management software, you will automatically see when it has been completed for the day. It can help remind everyone to check the brakes, oil levels, battery, and other aspects. If you have a dedicated fleet inspector, they can oversee the checklist.
Keep Everything Clean
While the cleanliness of your fleet may not directly affect how long each vehicle lasts, your fleet does reflect on your business, and if it looks dirty, your business’s image may suffer. By keeping your vehicles polished and clean you can be assured you look more professional, and it can even lead to higher driver satisfaction. When the exterior is clean, you will be better able to catch deterioration, dents, or rust early. If you do not feel qualified to do this yourself, you could work with an external vendor, who may have more experience in spotting issues that a less experienced eye may miss.
Have a Designated Fleet Inspector
Creating a detailed fleet inspection schedule will help you find issues in between service for each vehicle. During these inspections, your employee can ensure the tires are wearing well, the oil has been changed, and the engine is running smoothly. Put an alert in your fleet management software so your inspector can keep an eye on things. If your fleet is large enough, having a dedicated inspector is the ideal. However, if you don’t have enough vehicles for this, you can still designate an employee to oversee these regular inspections.