Managing a fleet is no easy task. There are a lot of pieces that fit into the fleet puzzle, and you’ll need to keep track of each of them in order to make your fleet’s operations as successful and profitable as possible.
But what is fleet maintenance management exactly? Simply put, it’s the practice of maintaining a fleet of commercial vehicles in a proactive manner, rather than simply repairing them when they fail.
Fleet management maintenance is a key piece of any fleet manager’s daily job. Fleet maintenance and repair could be one of the most important considerations in your daily operations checklist. Ensuring that your fleet vehicles are in top running order can mean the difference between a successful business and a failing enterprise. Here are just a few of the benefits your fleet will enjoy when you implement good fleet maintenance procedures.
Better Fleet Safety
What’s more important than fleet safety? Nothing we can think of. A safe fleet has impacts on every aspect of your business, from personnel to legal, consumer confidence to your bottom line. And fleet maintenance is crucial to maintaining a safe fleet.
If you’re not properly maintaining brakes, tires, coupling devices, and other mechanical systems and parts, you’re asking for trouble. In fact, a study conducted for the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) found that 27% of accidents involving one truck and one passenger vehicle were caused by brake problems. That’s more than those caused by speeding (15.3%) and driver fatigue (7.4%) combined.
Safety should be a top priority for all commercial fleets. Since problems like brake failure and tire blowouts can be easily addressed with good fleet maintenance, you owe it to your business, your drivers, and others on the road to ensure that your vehicles are in good working order every time they hit the road.
Think of how much revenue your business can lose if just one of your vehicles is out of commission due to repairs. You have the loss in productivity, man-hours spent as your drivers sit on the side of the road waiting for a tow, and the costs associated with any damage to goods and equipment that could result.
Proper maintenance leads to fewer mechanical problems. It really is that simple. If you want to keep your vehicles running reliably, you have to be proactive about maintenance at all times.
Fewer Compliance Issues
There are a number of federal, state, and local laws your fleet has to consider. You have to stay on top of regulations reporting, registrations, FMCSA safety scores, inspections, and the list goes on and on. Fortunately, good fleet maintenance can lead to fewer compliance headaches.
Wouldn’t it be great if every single time a vehicle in your fleet gets inspected, it passed with flying colors? Wouldn’t it be great if you knew without even checking that the vehicle maintenance portion of your fleet’s CSA score was always perfect? Maintaining your trucks, cars, and vans can turn these concerns into mere formalities.
Lower Maintenance Costs
At first, this might seem counterintuitive. Spending more time and money on maintenance leads to lower maintenance costs? Preventative maintenance, or fixing things before they break, is far less expensive than reactive maintenance.
We all know you should get the oil changed in your vehicles before the check engine light comes on. Waiting too long causes wear and tear on your engine and a shorter operating life for your car or truck. And changing the oil regularly is far less expensive than paying to clean out a clogged engine or replace a worn-out piston. The same is true of a great many other routine maintenance procedures.
Lower Fuel Costs
You’ll also see savings in fuel costs when you upgrade your fleet’s maintenance plan. Simply changing the oil and filters in your vehicles regularly will cause a boost in miles per gallon. And tire and wheel maintenance is another important factor in fuel efficiency. In fact, Automotive Fleet Magazine reports that proper maintenance can improve fuel economy by as much as 40%. That’s a huge benefit for any commercial fleet.
Mechanical problems are stressful and frustrating for your drivers. They don’t want to deal with roadside breakdowns. They don’t want to worry about whether those balding tires are going to have good traction in bad weather. And they don’t want to wonder if the brakes will work well enough to stop in time to avoid an accident.
One of the most important factors in any employee’s job satisfaction is being given the tools they need to do the job at hand. You’ve put considerable effort into hiring the right team and training them to be good ambassadors for your company or brand. Don’t lose good drivers due to poor maintenance.
In addition to keeping your drivers happy, good vehicle maintenance can help keep your customers happy. If your landscaping service routinely misses appointments due to vehicle breakdowns, you’ll lose business. A pest control company that can’t be relied upon to show up on time also loses business. No matter what goods or services your fleet is delivering, your customers expect prompt, reliable service. And maintenance problems can keep your drivers from meeting customer expectations.
Now that you know why fleet maintenance is important, you’re probably ready for ways to streamline your maintenance program. What’s the best option for keeping your fleet in top operating condition and catching maintenance problems before they become catastrophes?
Maintenance is just one of the many factors our fleet trackers can streamline for your fleet. Our Scheduled Maintenance feature is incredibly helpful in making sure routine maintenance work is handled efficiently and proactively. Azuga fleet trackers can also keep tabs on battery life, diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), and temperature sensor alerts, just to name a few.
Give us a call today to learn about all of the benefits we can offer for your fleet.