Fleet maintenance is the process of keeping your vehicles operating in a good enough condition so that they are safe, reliable and can stay on the road longer. Developing a preventative maintenance program is an integral part of managing a fleet and helps businesses reduce operating costs and improve vehicle inspection outcomes, among other benefits.
Your vehicles are one of your fleet’s top investments. Taking proper care of them is integral to managing a productive business. Without a proactive approach to fleet maintenance, you risk compromising your employees’ safety, failing compliance inspections and paying for costly emergency repairs and unplanned downtime. That’s why the health of your vehicles can be a good overall indicator of the health of your business.
How can fleet maintenance help extend equipment’s lifespan?
Getting the most out of your vehicles means being vigilant about preventative maintenance. It’s been shown that proper maintenance extends equipment’s longevity – for example, keeping tires at the proper pressure and rotating them regularly increases their mileage.
A good place to start is following the service schedule provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer, but keep in mind that depending on your fleet’s needs, you may need to get your vehicles serviced more frequently than what the manufacturer recommends. GPS fleet tracking software helps managers stay on top of maintenance schedules by automatically tracking metrics like mileage, fuel use and engine hours, making it easier to know when each vehicle is due for repairs. This allows them to plan their asset use, budget and staffing wisely, preventing wasted time and wages. This also helps vehicles stay in good working order for longer periods of time, boosting the equipment’s ROI.
How can regular fleet maintenance reduce overall repair costs?
Not only does routine maintenance help detect any problems before they become serious, over time it saves your business money. How? While you may think getting vehicles serviced constantly would be a drain on your budget, it’s less costly over time than delaying service until a problem arises – you’ll pay less for frequent oil changes than you would to replace a whole engine, for example.
Also, when a vehicle experiences a major technical problem, it always means losing money over and above what the repairs cost. If even one of your vehicles must be taken off the road for an extended time for extensive repairs, the resulting unplanned downtime means wasted wages and delayed loads, both of which impact the bottom line.
Maintenance features in GPS fleet tracking software provide reports outlining detailed information on the status and condition of every vehicle across your fleet, alerting managers to potential problems so they can be addressed before becoming serious.
How can regular fleet maintenance reduce operating costs?
Here’s another reason to keep up with routine maintenance: neglected equipment means higher fuel costs. A poorly-maintained engine can consume up to 50% more fuel, and underinflated tires may reduce mileage by as much as 10%, also contributing to wasted fuel. After implementing Teletrac Navman’s software, which monitors tire pressure and alerts managers to when maintenance is required, Apex Insurance noticed savings through reduced petrol consumption as well as less wear and tear on their vehicles.
Following organised maintenance schedules also means vehicles stay in prime working condition longer, increasing their resale value. In addition, buyers are likely to pay more for a vehicle they know has been well-maintained, so it’s important to keep thorough records of every oil change, tire pressure adjustment, etc. done to your vehicles if you plan to sell them.
What role do drivers play in fleet maintenance?
As the people who interact with your vehicles most, drivers have a critical role to play in fleet maintenance. It’s important to train them thoroughly on how to conduct pre- and post-haul daily inspections so drivers learn to identify warning signs that something may be wrong and detect problems early.
Using Teletrac Navman's in-cab device, driver's are able to easily complete and submit daily vehicle inspections. The device electronically details pre- and post-trip inspections and automatically sends a digital report to fleet managers, alerting them to any potential issues in real-time so they can plan appropriate servicing.
How can fleet maintenance improve vehicle inspection outcomes?
Truck fleet maintenance improves your standing with the New Zealand Transport Agencyas well. NZTA states that regular vehicle maintenance is sound business practice that ensures vehicles use fuel efficiently and prevent avoidable and costly breakdowns. Heavy vehicles, such as trucks, buses and heavy trailers, and vehicles operating under a transport service licence, must undergo a certificate of fitness (CoF) inspection every six months in New Zealand, regardless of their age. It is important for your business that your vehicles under go regular inspections and maintenance to ensure they are safe to use on the roads and perform efficiently.
Vehicles that are maintained safely and efficiently also cost less to run, are less likely to be out of service for extended periods and are less likely to be involved in crashes. Companies with poor compliance practices can result in fines and grounding of vehicles from violations as well as the chance they are far less likely to be hired, damaging their business beyond the money they already lose paying for serious repairs and downtime. It’s also important from a liability perspective, as if there are underlying equipment problems detected in a post-accident investigation, companies may get ruled against for negligence.
The benefits of GPS fleet tracking extend far beyond helping managers plan efficient routes or recording drivers’ work and rest hours; a complete telematics solution includes engine analytics that play a crucial role in staying up-to-date with fleet maintenance. Our fleet management software DIRECTOR easily and quickly interprets fleet data, and keeps drivers and vehicles healthy and strong. Instant data analysis allows businesses to increase productivity, maintain preventive care of vehicles, and access actionable data to make better decisions. Data visibility allows continuous improvement of day-to-day operations. Furthermore, based on diagnostic information, managers can recognise the symptoms of equipment failure in advance and plan services accordingly to prevent situations from getting worse, saving fleets significant money that would otherwise be lost to costly repairs and extended downtime.