One of the most important (and one of the most overlooked) aspects of any fleet-operating business is said business’ vehicle maintenance program. Keeping your fleet in prime condition is essential, as breakdowns and other symptoms of poor maintenance can wreak havoc on your company’s operations. Instituting a regular maintenance schedule for each vehicle can reduce your fleet’s operating costs, improve driver safety, and increase your fleet’s productivity.
Why Fleet Maintenance is Important
Whether your fleet is made up of delivery vans, long-haul trucks, or compact cars, failing to keep them maintained could result in serious profit loss. Broken-down commercial vehicles mean delayed deliveries, pick-ups, and service appointments. When a breakdown involves a company car that employees use to get to and from work, poor maintenance can result in tardiness or completely missing work due to a maintenance issue. No matter what types of vehicles are in your fleet, leaving them poorly maintained is dangerous, potentially resulting in accidents and/or citations that will cost even more money.
What is Involved in Preventive Maintenance?
A solid preventive maintenance program involves several common steps that all vehicles should undergo. The most obvious of these is a regular oil change, which keeps all engine components lubricated and operating smoothly. Vehicle parts will eventually break down due to normal wear and tear. The breakdown rate is different for every vehicle, but regular inspections during oil changes can detect conditions, such as worn brake pads and excessive tread wear. These conditions, if identified during an inspection, can be remedied before they become a safety issue. Every vehicle has a recommended maintenance schedule. Consulting the owner’s manual on a regular basis can be useful for preventing unnecessary breakdowns and maintaining your fleet’s productivity.
Routine maintenance includes activities like topping off or replacing fluids, replacing filters, examining hoses and belts for wear and damage, replacing windshield wipers, and checking battery conditions. These are especially important steps to take when vehicles are exposed to extremely hot or cold temperatures.
Extending Vehicle Life
Your fleet vehicles will require closer monitoring as they age, so establishing and following a maintenance schedule as soon as possible is essential. Maintain a spreadsheet of all your fleet vehicles and their maintenance issues or automate your fleet maintenance schedule with maintenance reminders and notifications.
Keeping your fleet in tip-top shape is about more than car washes and oil changes. It’s about keeping all your vehicles in safe, working condition to ensure punctuality and productivity. No fleet has ever had cause to regret having a solid maintenance program in place. As long as you adhere to your maintenance schedule, you and your mechanics will be able to catch many potential problems before they become dangerous and costly.