Prevention is better than cure. We all understand that, right? Well, this is especially true in terms of fleet maintenance.
While it is impossible to eliminate the risk of accidents or breakdowns, regular maintenance can significantly reduce the time a vehicle is off the road and the frequency of costly repairs.
The lifespan of your vehicles can increase by adhering to a preventive maintenance schedule, which will also keep drivers and the general public safer. Here are eight fleet maintenance tips that will help you avoid vehicle breakdowns and save time, money, and effort.
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8 Top Tips for Fleet Maintenance
Maintaining your vehicles in good condition so they are safe, reliable, and can stay on the road for long is your responsibility as a business owner, and that’s what fleet maintenance is precisely about.
But maintaining a top-notch fleet is a challenging task. You have to keep your vehicles running smoothly and on schedule. You also have to ensure that they’re adequately insured, maintained, and repaired when necessary.
Here are some tips to help you maintain a substantial fleet and reduce vehicle downtime:
1. Make a plan for fleet maintenance
Making a preventative fleet maintenance plan should be your first step to optimize your company’s fleet maintenance processes.
- Make a preventative maintenance checklist for your fleet: Inspect your vehicle regularly and list any components that might require maintenance.
- Create preventative maintenance schedules: You should set clear maintenance policies and guidelines so that your fleet maintenance provider is not inconsistent with following the fleet maintenance plan.
- Collaborate with a fleet maintenance provider to establish the specifics of your preventative maintenance program.
2. Recognize the maintenance benefits
One of the most vital maintenance tips is to understand the significance of maintenance.
Maintenance tasks like tire rotations, engine oil changes, and tire inspections that are appropriately timed and carried out can:
- Allow vehicles to run with improved fuel efficiency and help you save money.
- Avoid damaging nearby engine components or systems.
- Avoid the expense and inconvenience of repairs caused by poor maintenance.
3. Make sure your vehicles are fit
When purchasing new vehicles or assigning vehicles to a job, it’s essential to consider the purpose of the vehicle.
You should prepare every vehicle in your fleet for the job. To get the most out of a vehicle, consider what it will be hauling and its operating circumstances before you buy it or assign jobs. If you under-specify your vehicle needs, you fleet will age more quickly, while if you over-specify, you may end up paying extra and getting no benefit from it.
4. Track driver behavior
This is less obvious, but driver behavior hugely impacts your fleet’s health. Idling, speeding, and harsh braking are just a few of the actions that cause your vehicles to undergo extreme wear and tear. You can track these behaviors by telematics and fleet management software and also offer coaching to reduce them.
Your drivers need to know how their actions affect your fleet and business. They are more likely to pay attention to their behavior if you make sure they understand how their driving can negatively impact your company. Tracking can help you gain insights into your driver’s driving behavior. Getting adequate data and reports can help you reduce the amount of wear and tear your vehicle experiences.
Informing drivers and observing their conduct is the first step. It will enable you to identify any training gaps for drivers or particular issues with particular locations or jobs causing drivers to practice risky driving habits. When you take action to stop the ongoing practices, your vehicle’s longevity and repair costs will undoubtedly improve.
5. Take care of your tires
An essential factor in the whole driving experience is tire pressure. It affects handling, fuel efficiency, and general deterioration. But remember that tire wear will not be consistent throughout your fleet. The environment, the condition of the road surface, and the person driving can all affect how tires deteriorate.
So, before and after a trip, your fleet inspector needs to perform pressure checks to document tire quality. It’s equally important for drivers to check tire pressure too while driving, particularly on lengthy trips.
This proactive approach will help you catch deterioration early and keep unscheduled repairs, unplanned downtime, and faster wear and tear at bay, so you don’t incur unnecessary costs.
6. Use your vehicles properly
Properly configuring your vehicles is crucial, especially regarding usage and load limits. A vehicle that is hauling more than it is capable of does so at the expense of unnecessary wear and tear.
Ensure your vehicles are equipped appropriately for the loads, operating conditions, and usage frequency. Inappropriate use can reduce a vehicle’s lifespan by almost half, so it’s essential to make sure you’re considering it while using your automobiles.
The best way to ensure proper vehicle use is to create a checklist with all the necessary steps before taking any trip.
For example, suppose you’re planning on driving through an area with heavy snowfall or ice cover on the roadways. In that case, you should ensure your vehicle has winter tires installed before heading out so that your tires don’t slip or skid on the road due to a lack of traction, which happens with regular tires in cold weather conditions.
7. Train your drivers
Drivers are your most important asset. They’re the face of your company and the ones who will be interacting with customers every day. So how can you ensure they’re safe and prepared for any situation?
Teach them how to care for their fleet vehicles, so they know how to perform basic vehicle maintenance tasks like checking tire pressure and tread depth. And encourage them to be cautious when driving, especially when it comes to distracted driving—it’s essential to remind them that a momentary lapse in focus could result in a costly accident. Careful driving helps to lower vehicle maintenance costs and minimize downtime.
8. Invest in fleet management software
Fleet management software offers a variety of advantages for fleets of various sizes. An appropriate fleet management technology will help you ditch the paperwork, automate routine vehicle maintenance like regular inspections and issue resolution, streamline operations, and save money on costly and receive repairs. Such software helps your vehicle maintenance team perform predictive maintenance
Keeping track of your vehicles’ maintenance requirements is more accessible with fleet management software. Because the more vehicles you have, the more the chances of errors and the harder it is to do it manually.
Explore Faster Delivery Routes on Upper
Fleet maintenance is all about preventing your vehicles from damage and keeping them in optimum condition. While a lot of factors cause vehicle wear and tear, inefficient route planning is among the top few reasons.
When you rely on manual route planning without considering delivery constraints, your drivers end up spending much more time on the road than required driving on routes they could have avoided. This is what Upper rectifies.
Upper route planning and optimization software helps you ditch the paperwork and adopt automated planning so that your drivers have the most efficient routes to drive on while spending the least time on the road.
Here’s how Upper can make the delivery process faster:
1. Spend less time in transit
Your delivery drivers will spend less time driving and more time delivering with effective multi-stop route planning and optimization. Upper will automatically find the faster delivery routes based on delivery constraints, driving preferences, time frames, and more for you to deliver on time with the least amount of fuel.
2. Prevents failed deliveries
Instead of wasting time trying to track down a client, you can use Upper to automatically notify them of your ETA and delivery status. It’s helpful for both parties: you won’t have to make multiple attempts at delivering the same package, and they’ll know when they can expect it. This will greatly help you improve customer satisfaction.
It also helps reduce wear and tear on your vehicle since your driver won’t be driving around trying to find someone who may or may not be home. Finally, it helps reduce fuel costs by keeping your company vehicle on the road for less time than usual.
3. No room for manual errors
Manual route planning is one of the most tedious tasks for any fleet manager. It’s also a high-risk process that can lead to errors causing increased wear and tear on tires and high fuel consumption, which is why we created Upper.
Give Upper the task at hand. With Upper, you can eliminate your manual route planning and optimization process. Your drivers will be completely prepared for the road thanks to Upper, which will result in more deliveries with the same amount of resources.
It will also lead to better managing the fleet’s conditions, such as its tire, as you won’t be using them for unnecessary wear and tear. Sign up for the Upper 7-day free trial today.
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Fleet management is the procedure of keeping track of all fleet and asset information from acquisition to disposal. It allows your company to lower expenses, increase productivity, and guarantee compliance over an entire fleet operation.
Fleet maintenance includes all of the tips we discussed above. Fleet maintenance management includes managing the entire fleet maintenance operations.
Fleet managers are in charge of developing, implementing, leading, managing, coordinating, and overseeing the fleet management solutions for vehicle purchase, assignment, utilization, maintenance, repair, replacement, and disposal. The fleet manager also acts as the main point of contact regarding the fleet and operations.
When it comes to fleet maintenance, prevention is always preferable to treatment. Following these eight suggestions will ensure you get the most out of your fleet vehicles while drastically lowering your overhead. While you follow these tips, understand that seemingly small changes in your processes can produce defining results when it comes to preventative maintenance. Efficient route planning is one such example.
A route planning and optimization software like Upper helps you optimize delivery routes and reduce needless fleet vehicle movement, such as when changing lanes. This simplifies operations, increases cost savings, and delights customers as you’re always on time. To make your delivery operations hassle-free, sign up for a 7-day free trial of Upper Route Planner.