A fleet vehicle maintenance log is one of the most critical tools in a fleet manager’s toolbox. It keeps track of what maintenance is performed on your vehicle, by whom, and when. These logs help you keep up with fleet vehicle maintenance and allow you to make all kinds of critical decisions for your business. For example, they can help you decide when to buy new vehicles, replace parts, and even show when drivers exhibit behaviors that exacerbate wear and tear on your vehicles. This article will show you how to start a fleet vehicle maintenance log, how best to keep track of it, and the advantages of keeping your fleet vehicle maintenance logs on file.
What Should Your Fleet Vehicle Maintenance Log Include?
You can find many templates online that will help you create your fleet vehicle maintenance log. While every fleet is unique and every fleet vehicle maintenance log is different, there are five essential components that you should always include:
- Date and Mileage: You will need to know each vehicle’s mileage at the time of service. This way, you can keep track of recurring services such as oil changes and air filter changes. This is a great way to make sure that your parts are lasting their entire lifespan and keep track of how much your fleet is driving.
- Service Provider: Naturally, you’ll need to know the person and business providing your service. Even if you go to a regular mechanic, it’s critical to note who does your repairs each time. This even applies if you perform minor fixes yourself; you’ll need to record yourself as the service provider. This way, if any questions arise, you know exactly where to go for answers.
- Service Description: This will be the most detailed column of your vehicle maintenance log. Here you will input all of the inspections that your service provider performed, what parts were replaced, and any relevant information that may impact the vehicle in the future. Most fleets use bullet points in this section so that it is easier for anyone to read.
- Condition: You will always want to know the condition of the vehicle before and after the service. This is one way to keep track of what the vehicle might need in the future. Condition indicators such as the color of the engine oil or the transmission fluid can tell you what issues are on your vehicle’s horizon. Understanding this allows you to prepare for what you might need to spend and what coverage to arrange so your fleet remains productive.
- Service Cost: Of course, you’ll need to know the cost of any services rendered to your vehicle. This is critical for accounting purposes and for making decisions for your vehicle. Keeping track of how much you’re spending on each part of your vehicle can tell you when it’s time to replace something. Even if you handle a repair yourself, keep track of how much money you spend on materials so you know when a vehicle exceeds its worth.
Benefits of a Fleet Maintenance Log
Of course, it’s critical to keep your vehicles well-maintained, and performing preventative maintenance has many benefits. However, simply completing the maintenance is only half of the battle. You’re not enjoying the full benefits of fleet maintenance unless you’re keeping a fleet maintenance log. Let’s go over the benefits that keeping a fleet vehicle maintenance log will bring you.
No. 1: Keep Compliant with Regulations
No fleet wants to be hit with fines for non-compliance with federal, state, or local regulations. It’s an immense hassle that not only costs your business money, but can even take your vehicles off of the road for a period of time. Keeping your vehicles in their best condition is critical for passing Department of Transportation inspections, but so is having each vehicle’s maintenance records on hand. If an issue ever arises, you can always track that part’s history and obtain more information to find out what happened.
No. 2: Manage Lifecycling More Easily
There are many different methods for lifecycling vehicles, but it can be difficult to know when it’s time to let a vehicle go if you don’t have the proper records of that vehicle’s maintenance history. How will you know when you’re spending more than you’re getting out of it? Detailed logs outline a vehicle’s costs and tell you exactly what is costing you money, and how much money you’re spending. This allows you to be confident in your decisions about replacing or keeping vehicles.
No. 3: Ensure Your Vehicles are Reliable
Vehicle breakdowns are a major hindrance to your business’s operations. Whenever one breaks down, you lose the time it takes to repair it, and you lose the revenue you would earn during that time. Not to mention, your customers may be displeased in the meantime. When you have well-maintained vehicles and records of that maintenance, vehicles don’t need to be repaired as often and maintenance can be completed more quickly. You’ll save, time, money, and maintain a positive customer service reputation in your community as long as your vehicles are well-maintained.
What to Look for in Maintenance Log Software
Paper maintenance logs are a concept of the past. They’re tedious to keep track of and prone to mistakes. Part of implementing a fleet maintenance plan is digitizing your fleet vehicle maintenance logs, so everything is in one place and easily accessible. Without digital logs, your fleet is inclined to loss and errors. However, there are many maintenance log software options, and it can be challenging to choose the right one. Maintenance log software is usually part of a fleet management solution, so you are truly looking for fleet management software with maintenance features that meet your needs. This section will discuss features you should look for when you select your fleet management solution.
No. 1: Real-Time Updates
You always need to be up to date on everything that is happening with your vehicles. You can’t receive updates later down the line when your vehicle has issues. This is why real-time updates are so critical to your fleet’s efficiency. If you don’t find out about a problem until your vehicle has a breakdown, there’s no way you can implement a preventative maintenance solution. Look for fleet maintenance software that tells you in real-time when your vehicle has problems, so you can act as soon as possible to correct them.
No. 2: Maintenance Service Reminders
The more vehicles you have, the harder it is to keep track of their maintenance needs. If you’re trying to do everything manually, it may seem virtually impossible. That’s why fleet vehicle maintenance software provides you with maintenance alerts whenever your vehicle needs maintenance. As mentioned previously, these alerts operate in real-time, so you know right away when your vehicles have issues. Not only do you receive alerts when a problem arises, but you also receive alerts for your scheduled maintenance appointments when your vehicles just need check-ups. These alerts make it much easier for you to keep track of your vehicles’ maintenance needs and leave far less room for error.
No. 3: Syncs with a Mobile App
These days, accessing information from anywhere is a necessity. Your drivers may need their vehicle maintenance logs at a Department of Transportation inspection, or you may need them when you’re away from your desk. That’s why all of the best fleet management and fleet maintenance software comes with an app that you can use on your smartphone or mobile device. Your information is useless to you if it isn’t conveniently available. Make important decisions on the go with your fleet management mobile app.
No. 4: Configurable Dashboard
The best apps and software solutions these days are highly customizable. You should be able to view the information you want to access in a way that makes sense to you. Nobody wants to open the homepage of their software and have to sift through a lot of information that they don’t need. That’s why the best fleet management and fleet maintenance software solutions allow you to customize your dashboard to your liking, putting the information that you want where it’s easily accessible. Accessibility is the name of the game for the best fleet management software, and if it’s not accessible, it will become more of a nuisance than a tool very quickly.
No. 5: Comprehensive Service History
Of course, your vehicle maintenance software needs to include your vehicle maintenance logs. It should be able to store these quite a ways back for as many vehicles as you need. Without being able to keep vehicle maintenance logs digitally, the software becomes virtually useless to you. Ensure that you can store maintenance logs for as many vehicles as you need and as far back as you want before committing to any software.
No. 6: Maintenance Expense Reporting
A significant advantage of fleet management software is that you don’t have to do a lot of the legwork to figure out where your money is going. This software can generate reports that tell you how you’re spending, which also applies to maintenance. It generates reports that show you what vehicles or parts are costing you the most money, so you can decide on part replacement or lifecycling if needed. Manually crunching numbers can be a time-consuming hassle, so it’s a great feature if your fleet management software can do some of this work for you.
Try Out Azuga’s Fleet Management Software Today!
Azuga is a leader in the fleet industry when it comes to innovative solutions that make fleet managers’ jobs easier. Our comprehensive fleet management software makes fleets safer, more productive, and cost-effective. Of course, our fleet management software includes a fleet maintenance add-on that features maintenance alerts, fleet vehicle maintenance logs, and all of the other features mentioned in this article! In fact, Azuga customers have reported a 53% reduction in wear and tear on their fleet vehicles by implementing Azuga’s fleet vehicle maintenance solution. You can try a demo for yourself online here and see for yourself what you can accomplish with Azuga’s help!