When you are in the fleet business, you should make sure that you limit any downtime. This is to ensure that you do not affect your business negatively. The only way of doing this is by managing your fleet and making sure that your vehicles are on the road at all times.
How to effectively manage the fleet
- Carry out proactive maintenance
You do not have to wait for your vehicle to break down for you to carry out maintenance. You should ensure that your vehicle is well maintained at all times. When you check your vehicle for any defects beforehand, you can be assured of incurring lower costs over the life of your fleet. Repairing a vehicle usually incurs more costs than maintaining a vehicle before anything happens.
- Thorough spec’ing of vehicles
This defines how you need to take time bringing down the usage of individual vehicles as this will have a reduction effect on costs. By so doing, you come to terms with the potential demands of the vehicle. Failure to spec the vehicle or doing so in a deficient manner will translate into challenges in the maintenance parameter and your budget will consequently suffer a hit. Overdoing this will also affect your budget negatively and so the most ideal move would be to liaise with your fleet management company when it comes to spec’ing replacement vehicles on the basis of parameters such as the operating conditions.
- Monitor your total cost of ownership
You have to analyze the expenses you incur due to maintenance and realize when the graph begins to rise relative to the duration of service of the vehicle. Monitoring demands that you first understand the value of the vehicle, as this will provide an insight into the market value of a used version of the same vehicle. With these figures in mind, you can identify the most appropriate time to introduce it to the market for sale at the best value possible.
- Appreciate preventive maintenance as a means to save costs.
Vehicles that are normally maintained as a precaution end up reducing expenses due to various forms of repair as opposed to the ones which are not routinely maintained. Preventive maintenance involves due diligence such as changing oil, wheel alignment and inspecting the tire rotation over a set distance. Scheduling the vehicle for a periodical inspection that looks into all the possible potential causes of malfunctions can also spare you a lot of expenses. For instance, when oil changing is done on the same day as the alignment and other basic vehicle safety checks.
- Education of drivers.
It is also important to expose the drivers to what standard procedure stipulates so that they become aware of what is expected of them by the company as well as their responsibilities as handlers of the vehicles.
Effective fleet maintenance can have innumerable benefits to the owner, especially in a financial sense. Vehicles that are well maintained will not only last longer but also serve to their full potential in the field.