Keeping your drivers safe while they are on the road is vital to your company achieving its overall sales and service goals. However, none of that is possible if your fleet isn't well maintained or in the best shape. You can prevent this by keeping an eye on maintenance costs and taking action before they pile up and escalate.
Being proactive will not only save your business thousands of dollars but also make your company more efficient. Here are six tips that will help you manage your fleet maintenance more effectively.
Tip #1: Understand the value and importance of preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance will save you both time and money in the long run. By keeping your fleet vehicles up to date you'll be minimizing unplanned downtime and unscheduled repairs. Preventive maintenance includes but is not limited to oil changes, tire rotation and general safety checks.
Although a vehicle can appear perfectly fine, certain components may be at the end of their lifespan. Regular inspections and repairs, when necessary, can reduce or completely eliminate unnecessary downtime.
Tip #2: Keep an eye on the total cost of ownership
Pay close attention to your fleet's maintenance costs and try to catch them as soon as they begin to escalate due to the age of the vehicle. You can also review the warranty coverage offered by the manufacturer and examine how it can impact the total cost of ownership over time.
You should also keep the vehicle's blue book value in mind as well. When sales are slow you can also unload some of your vehicles to reduce overall expenses.
Tip #3: Plan out how you'll use the vehicles beforehand
Buying the right type of vehicles for your fleet is tricky, so make sure you take your time and completely outline how you plan to use each vehicle to help cut costs in the long run. Over utilized vehicles may lead to maintenance issues down the road which will cost you a lot more money to fix. Meanwhile, underutilized vehicles may be an unnecessary expense.
Tip #4: Develop policies and procedures
It is imperative that you develop policies and procedures for your fleet. You should also inform your drivers about the policies so that they are aware of and understand that they are responsible for following them. For example, your drivers should know about your company's safety procedures.
They should also know about the schedule for upcoming preventive maintenance and other maintenance policies. That way, they will know exactly what to do if a vehicle needs repairs or they are involved in an accident.
Tip #5: Routinely check your fleet's tire pressure
Although you're probably aware how important it is to check your fleet's tire pressure it can still get overlooked sometimes. This seemingly small mistake can end up costing your company hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Low tire pressure can kill fuel economy and increase tire wear. It can also affect the driver's ability to handle the vehicle and remain safe.
Tip #6: Establish a partnership with the fleet maintenance provider
Finally, try to work with your fleet maintenance provider whenever you encounter potential problems. For example, if you have a vehicle in for repairs and you encounter an unexpected setback, don't forget to notify your fleet maintenance provider. They should be able to assist you in expediting the repairs so your company can minimize downtime and also improve customer satisfaction.
Wilmar Inc. provides a variety of customized fleet solutions, including fleet management and maintenance. To learn more about us and our services, please contact us today either via email or by visiting our office in Charlotte, North Carolina.