- Regular maintenance is crucial for ensuring the longevity and reliability of your delivery fleet vehicles while minimizing maintenance costs.
- Implementing a preventive maintenance program can help you catch and fix potential problems before they become major issues.
- Keep accurate records of your maintenance activities, including service schedules, repairs, and part replacements to track vehicle maintenance costs
The continuing growth of e-commerce, combined with more people staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to an increased demand for delivery services. Managing a small delivery fleet is challenging, especially when it comes to maintaining your delivery vehicles in tip-top condition. It takes time and effort, but it is made easier when you follow the fleet management tips listed here.
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Why Delivery Fleet Maintenance is Important
Maintaining your fleet in good working condition is essential to your business operations and ensures effective fleet management. There are several reasons why it’s crucial to have fleet maintenance management services.
First, a poorly maintained vehicle is a real concern for driver safety. An accident caused by poor maintenance will affect you in the form of hefty repair costs, operational expenses, and vehicle downtime. In addition to unnecessary downtime, it could also involve unscheduled repairs, third-party injuries, and corresponding lawsuits.
1. Schedule Routine Maintenance in Advance
The easiest way to ensure that your fleet vehicles are receiving proper maintenance is to schedule all routine maintenance in advance and stick to a regular maintenance schedule. It’s relatively easy for your fleet maintenance provider or fleet manager to use an online or software-based calendar for maintenance scheduling. Also, it would be easier to develop an effective vehicle fleet maintenance management plan. Estimate the number of miles driven each day, then follow manufacturer recommendations for things like oil changes and tire rotation. A fleet maintenance plan should include maintenance alerts for maintenance records so that you can schedule preventative maintenance downtime in the garage.
2. Establish a Smart Maintenance Program
You can go beyond routine scheduled maintenance by using proper fleet management software to alert you precisely when maintenance is necessary based on real-time operating conditions. Modern fleet maintenance management software offers features such as driver behavior monitoring and real-time accident notifications. It even monitors key operating parameters such as engine temperature, oil pressure, fluid levels, and the like and alerts you when certain limits are exceeded. Maintenance management tools let you perform maintenance when needed, not before or after, and help you minimize operational costs.
3. Partner with a Fleet Management Company for Maintenance
If you don’t have the team to look after fleet performance, consider using fleet maintenance software to provide top-notch service and maintenance of fleet vehicles. Delivery fleet management companies have the staff, experience, and connections with garages and maintenance companies to provide maintenance management solutions and fleet repair services – for a fee, of course. Having one of these companies handle all your fleet’s maintenance can take a big load off your mind and free you up to do more important work.
4. Make Your Drivers Responsible
A large part of vehicle maintenance is simply paying attention to the conditions of your commercial vehicles. This is something that can easily be assigned to your drivers in the form of a daily vehicle walk-around. Make it part of the commercial drivers’ jobs to:
- Check tires for proper pressure
- Monitor tires wear
- Check oil, transmission fluid, washer fluid, and other levels
- Check the condition of wiper blades
- Make sure about the vehicle’s average fuel consumption and that the gas cap is tightly sealed (or, in the case of electric company vehicles, make sure it’s plugged in and charged) to maximize fuel efficiency
- Check under the vehicle for leaks
- Ensure that all exterior lights, including brake lights, are working
- Make sure the doors and windows are properly operating
- Check the vehicle’s body for any new dents or dings
If your drivers go through this daily checklist and report any potential engine issues or mechanical issues to their fleet managers, you’ll be able to nip a lot of burgeoning problems in the bud.
5. Teach Responsible Driving
Speaking of your driver convenience, how hard they drive your vehicles can affect the need for maintenance. Drivers should go to proper training to learn safe and responsible driving techniques. Minimizing aggressive acceleration and braking will reduce wear and tear on your well-maintained vehicles and reduce the risk of accidents and traffic tickets.
6. Embrace Optimized Route Planning
The fewer miles your vehicles have to drive, the less preventive maintenance they’ll need and the longer they’ll last. One of the most effective ways to reduce miles driven is to optimize your drivers’ routes and increase driver productivity. You can do this manually by planning routes with Google Maps or automatically with route planning software.
Route planning apps, such as Upper, automate the creation of the most efficient routes for all your vehicles. This reduces driver uptime on the road, fuel usage, and wear and tear on your vehicles, helping you make timely deliveries and improve customer satisfaction. Route planning software is one of the most cost-effective investments you can make in your fleet operations.
Improve Your Fleet Management with Upper
Difficulty in managing your delivery fleets? Switch to the Upper route planner instead of using an ordinary navigation app. Utilize the automated delivery process and improve your fleet management.
Proper Delivery Fleet Maintenance Will Save You Big
Your entire fleet is one of your biggest assets, and without a comprehensive maintenance management solution, you could be flushing your profits down the drain. Take the fleet time to schedule regular maintenance and have the best applications on desktop and mobile devices to help your delivery drivers make the smartest, most efficient decisions possible.