Fleet maintenance may seem like an unnecessary extra for your company but it is, in fact, an integral part of keeping your vehicles operating in optimal condition so that they are safe, reliable and can stay on the road for longer. Fleet maintenance is an important function that allows companies that depend on transportation to eliminate, or minimize, the risks associated with transporting goods. Below are 10 valid reasons for your company to embrace a multi-faceted approach to fleet maintenance.
- Improve Efficiency
There are many fleet management programs available that not only manage the maintenance of your fleet but also monitor vehicles en route and in real-time, thereby increasing the efficiency of your fleet. Planning and tracking your travel routes allows for your fleet manager to make changes to improve your routes.
- Manage Maintenance
Having a properly maintained fleet will minimize expenses and downtime by ensuring your vehicles are maintained proactively. Preventative maintenance will ensure that your vehicles are regularly inspected, either by mileage or annually, to prevent unplanned downtime with breakdowns. Your vehicles need to be properly maintained in order to keep them on the road longer. Your vehicles are an investment through your international truck dealer, if they are maintained properly you will save on emergency expenditures which can become very costly.
- Improve Safety
Tracking mileage and driver behaviour is an excellent way to improve the overall safety of both your vehicles and your staff. By creating comprehensive safety policies you will be putting your drivers first, as well as go a long way to ensuring the safety of your vehicles. Make sure to include specifics such as limiting driver hours, having updated driver records, and collision policies. It is vital that your drivers are trained on these policies and are regularly updated to remind them of these safety policies to avoid accidents and incidents. Fleet maintenance is not only about the vehicles themselves but their operators as well.
- Plan For Emergencies
As much as preventative maintenance is an excellent way to minimize emergency costs, it is still a good idea to have a plan for dealing with emergencies as and when they arise. Having a plan to take care of immediate needs such as breakdowns and vehicle failures will ensure the minimum amount of time is taken to get your vehicle back on the road safely. Make sure you specify your preferred contractors and mechanics to work on your vehicles, so your drivers know who to call immediately in the event of a breakdown.
- Reduce Costs
Having a proper fleet maintenance program in place will ensure that your vehicles are well maintained and serviced. These well serviced and well maintained vehicles are more roadworthy and thus, less likely to be involved in any road accidents as a result of electrical or mechanical breakdowns or faults. These costs can accumulate very quickly so, over time, you would be saving your company a whole truck load of money!
- Customer Retention
Having the appropriate fleet logistics and management system in place, as well as the proper protocols implemented, will give you the upper hand against your competitors in terms of customer retention. If your company develops a reputation for always delivering on time, you will see your investment in fleet management paying off within the first year. Most maintenance systems have a few teething problems in the beginning, but if you get an experienced fleet maintenance manager on-board, you will likely see positive results within the first few months.
- Increased Uptime
Having your fleet regularly maintained will effectively reduce your fleet’s downtime. If your trucks aren’t on the road then they are not making you money. Increase the uptime of your fleet by ensuring your vehicles are in tip top shape. When trucks breakdown on remote stretches of highways or roads, this leads to your truck being out of action for a number of days until someone can get out there to repair it. During this time, your deliveries will be delayed plus you will be down one vehicle – which means added pressure on the remaining vehicles and drivers to pick up the slack.
- Improved Driver Satisfaction
Without regular fleet maintenance, your drivers will be left frustrated and exhausted. If your trucks are regularly breaking down due to lack of fleet maintenance, this poses a serious safety to hazard to your drivers – one that will likely leave them looking for work somewhere else. For truck drivers, there are few things as frustrating as being stuck on the side of the road for hours (or even days) waiting for roadside assistance.
- Limit Risks
Having a well maintained fleet of vehicles will greatly reduce the risks associated with poorly maintained vehicles. Aside from the risks mentioned above, your drivers would be putting their own lives at risk every time they attempt any kind of trip in a truck that hasn’t been maintained. This not only puts them in harm’s way but also risks the livelihoods of their families. Ultimately, it is your company’s legal and moral obligation to keep your drivers as safe as you possibly can. Accidents do happen but with proper fleet maintenance, these accidents can be kept to a minimum.
- Extend Vehicle Lifespans
Like most things in life, if you look after it then it will last longer. The same applies to your fleet of vehicles. A well-maintained vehicle can extend its lifespan by up to 40%. This means your vehicle can achieve more business related goals in its lifetime without incurring additional, often unplanned, costs. Any problem that could arise can be addressed and fixed before it becomes a major issue that reduces the overall lifespan of that vehicle. Trucks are hardy vehicles, but that does not mean they will keep running smoothly for their entire life without any help. This is where you need to do your part to ensure that they last as long as they possibly can. Having to replace vehicles every other year because of a lack of fleet maintenance is a costly, and largely avoidable, exercise.