If you’re a fleet manager, fleet maintenance is likely at the forefront of your mind. However, it can be challenging to manage when you have a lot of vehicles in your fleet. It also gets expensive if not managed efficiently. But proper fleet maintenance and repair handling ensures your fleet’s continued effectiveness in the field and your drivers’ safety and cost savings down the line. Without an effective maintenance plan, drivers may wait until something breaks to report a problem. Here, we’ll teach you how to set up a fleet maintenance program so you can be ahead of the game.
How to Build a Fleet Maintenance Plan
Every fleet’s circumstances vary, but we’ll be able to provide a basic outline that can help you build a plan for your fleet.
Step 1: Build a Maintenance Checklist
You may be surprised to learn that this is the first step, but it is critical to base the rest of your plan on a maintenance checklist. You’ll need to read your vehicle’s manuals to learn what your specific vehicles need, but here are certain items that should be on every checklist:
- Body check
- Frame and undercarriage condition
- Mirror check
- All exterior lights working
- Glass integrity
- Doors and windows operable
- Oil change
- Any leaks
- Fluids topped up (brake, steering, antifreeze, etc.)
- Basic engine check
- Replace windshield wipers if needed
- Brakes and rotors
- Oil filter change
- Tire pressure and tread
- Cooling and fuel systems check
- Rust check
- Transmission check (especially the mount)
- All belts and hoses in proper condition
- CV joints
- Rotate tires as needed
- Seasonal tire change
- Seat and seatbelt integrity
- Heating, A/C, and defrost working
- Electrical system components
- Spark plugs
- Exhaust system
Step 2: Assess Baseline
You can’t progress if you don’t know your current status. This means you should have your current vehicle data in a database and should integrate this data with fleet management software to ensure efficiency. During this step, sending your vehicles to the shop for complete diagnostics, a test drive, and a fluid check is also essential. You’ll run through the vehicle checklist and address any possible issues.
At this stage, you may run across issues that must be addressed with your current vehicles or even decide that vehicles need to be replaced. Regardless of what you find, spotting problems before you move forward is critical.
If your documents aren’t digital, your next step is to update them. Do your research on fleet software to determine which suits your needs best. Once you have digital documents and fleet software, start inspections.
After completing the vehicle inspection, fix all vehicle issues. You may need to replace vehicles where necessary.
Step 3: Establish Maintenance Policy
Here is where you build your actual plan. You’ll establish parameters for your fleet vehicles and drivers and implement policies for your team. Policy building and implementation help your team adjust to the changes you make, but it also ensures that you’re reaping all of the benefits of preventative maintenance. This includes reduced costs for labor and repairs, reduced downtime, and improved efficiency.
Elements to Include in a Fleet Maintenance Plan
- Pre-Trip Check Standard: Vehicles must be checked before a trip, even if it is less comprehensive than a full inspection. Drivers can perform this inspection themselves.
- Post-Trip Check Standard: Fleet maintenance forms or DVIRs can make this easier. Digital forms make this process even more efficient.
- Maintenance Checklist: You may have different checklists for each type of inspection, but you should always have an annual checklist that is especially thorough.
- Maintenance Schedule: These checklists should be reviewed at regular intervals, and the schedule should be kept.
How Azuga Supports Your Maintenance Plan
Azuga’s fleet tracking system can provide information about your fleet vehicles. This includes engine diagnostics, driver behavior, idle time, HoS, and more. It also monitors your vehicle for issues and sends alerts when there is an issue. With telematics, you can also import your fleet schedule into your fleet management system and receive scheduling alerts. Even better, fleet tracking software stores your maintenance reports and inspection logs so you never lose the necessary information.
Fleet tracking offers even more for your maintenance planning:
- Tracks odometer readings and other vehicle data
- Tracks & analyzes the trends in your fleet’s fuel consumption
- Monitors inspection integrity
- Provides drivers with inspection criteria
To learn more about how partnering with Azuga can support your fleet’s goals, meet with one of our experts for a demo!