Having an effective equipment maintenance procedure is a crucial part of fleet management that can be the difference between having an effective and productive fleet and a fleet that struggles and faces frustrating delays. When vehicles and equipment aren’t maintained properly, the entire fleet suffers. Work can’t be done. Angry customers have to wait longer than expected. And expensive repairs eat into profits that are already potentially damaged. How can you avoid running into maintenance problems with your vehicles and equipment? We will outline some steps for you to follow that should keep you and your assets in the green.
What You Will Need
There are a few items to start with before planning your equipment maintenance procedure. These items include:
- A checklist of all preventative maintenance actions to perform during scheduled maintenance
- The frequency to perform preventative maintenance
- A process for drivers/operators to submit written inspections
- A process for drivers/operators to submit written complaints (when a vehicle/machine has a problem)
- The facility where repairs will take place
- A staff of technicians capable of performing repairs and maintenance
- A method of keeping records
- A process for ordering parts and maintaining spare parts inventory
1. Establish a Baseline
The first step in establishing an equipment maintenance procedure is determining the current status of all of the vehicles and equipment in your fleet. You will need to do a complete inspection of every asset on hand, obtain the maintenance history for each machine, what parts were replaced, and any other data available. For every vehicle you should have a current inspection and service record, along with a baseline of current mileage, fluid levels, and similar information.
2. Determine Maintenance Intervals
Now, you will need to decide how often your vehicles and assets will receive maintenance. Of course, maintenance schedules may be different for each type of machine that you have. For gas-operated vehicles, you may base your maintenance schedule on mileage, but for other equipment, you may prefer to track engine hours.
Also, be sure to consider operating conditions, the number of drivers, if a vehicle is towing, and other environmental and operating factors that may cause more wear and tear on a vehicle than typical. Make sure you choose a measurable data point to decide when to take your vehicle in for maintenance.
3. Develop a Preventative Maintenance Service Checklist
This checklist should be reviewed every time you take your vehicle in for maintenance. Here are some examples of what your preventative maintenance service checklist should include:
- Changing engine oil and filters
- Inspect cooling and fuel systems
- Inspect and change driveshafts, CV joints, belts, and hoses
- Inspect electrical system and components
- Inspect steering and suspension
- Replace tires
- Inspect exhaust system
- Inspect interior and exterior lights
- Inspect seat structures and seatbelts
- Check for fluid leaks
- Check transmission fluid
- Inspect engine and transmission mounts
- General tune-ups
- Inspect brake system and replace brake pads and rotors
- Inspect tires, wheels, and rims
- Evaluate undercarriage and frame
- Replace windshield wipers and filling windshield fluid
- Address auxiliary systems
Adjust the checklist depending on the type of vehicle or asset, but be sure that it is thorough and update it if any issues arise.
4. Develop Driver Inspection and Reporting Systems
Nobody knows your vehicles better than your drivers and operators. They may not be mechanics, but they can monitor many parts of the vehicle, including tires, windshield wipers, brakes, horn, and steering. They will also notice issues with the vehicle's body like the mirrors, seats, windshield, or anything else. Make sure they know to note these issues and report them as soon as they can.
5. Track Metrics and Monitor for Success
Once you’ve established your equipment maintenance procedures, it’s time to establish key performance metrics and track the results of your efforts. You should see a reduction in unscheduled maintenance, and your vehicles should have a longer lifespan overall. You should also see if certain vehicles are experiencing breakdowns more than others or if certain parts are acting up across your fleet. This data will help you make decisions regarding vehicle maintenance to improve the process further.
Let Azuga Help You Keep Your Vehicles in Top Shape!
Azuga offers the ability to track these key performance indicators and keep up with your vehicles’ maintenance needs. With our maintenance alerts, you will always know when your vehicle has an issue that needs addressing, and our scheduled maintenance alerts prevent you from ever missing your preventative maintenance. Find out more about what Azuga can do by trying out a demo today.