Fleet maintenance is the process of keeping vehicles and assets operating efficiently. The goal is to keep them safe, and reliable and allow them to stay on the road or in use even longer. A preventative maintenance program is a key part of managing a fleet.
Overservicing and under-servicing fleets can have significant financial implications. Maintenance helps businesses reduce operating costs and improve vehicle inspection outcomes.
If you fail to adequately maintain your fleet, you compromise your employees’ safety, risk failing FMCSA inspections, and ultimately pay for costly emergency repairs along with unexpected downtime. The health of your vehicles is an overall indicator of the health of your business.
Having numerous vehicles and various types of equipment, it can be a challenge to stay organized and keep up with maintenance. This is where Connected Vehicles can help. Through Geotab, data analytics is used to help customers improve productivity, optimize fleets, promote driver safety, and achieve compliance with regulations.
Real-time asset monitoring solutions provide improved productivity and utilization with real-time asset tracking and management of trailers, containers, skid steers, forklifts, generators and more.
How Can Fleet Maintenance Extend the Life of Your Vehicle?
Being vigilant with preventative maintenance helps you get the most out of your vehicles. Proper maintenance extends the longevity of fleets. For instance, maintaining the proper pressure and rotating tires regularly helps you get more miles out of them.
The vehicle manufacturer’s service schedule is a great starting point or guideline, but remember fleet needs vary. Many factors should be considered when determining the frequency of maintenance. It’s not uncommon to need to deviate from the manufacturers recommendations when it comes to how often your vehicles are serviced.
Fleet tracking automation software programs give managers and business owners the ability to stay on top of maintenance schedules by automatically tracking key metrics. Fleet tracking software can be used to monitor things like mileage, fuel usage, engine hours, battery levels, etc., making it easier than ever to know when every vehicle is due for maintenance.
Being able to plan allows them to factor the expenses in so there are no unexpected surprises. Automation tracking is a valuable tool in helping to preserve the fleets and boost the equipment’s ROI.
Can Regular Fleet Maintenance Save You Money on Repair Costs?
Routine maintenance is like a preventative measure. It helps detect any problems before they turn into serious problems. Although getting vehicles serviced constantly is an expense, it’s much less expensive than delaying service until a problem arises. You will certainly pay less for routine oil changes than you’d pay to replace a fleet engine or transmission.
In addition to the repair costs, you’ll also lose money for the time your fleet is off the road. Unplanned downtime results in delayed loads, thus impacting the bottom line. If you have employees on salary or pay them during the downtime, you’re losing wages.
Maintenance features in fleet tracking software provide detailed reports outlining information on the status and condition of every vehicle in your fleet. Managers are alerted of potential problems to address them before they become serious and costly. The maintenance reports know when vehicles are due for maintenance, which can help to cut maintenance costs by 60% or more.
How Can Regular Fleet Maintenance Reduce Operating Costs?
Neglected equipment results in higher fuel costs. With fuel constantly breaking new records, it’s important to do all you can to ensure vehicles are as fuel-efficient as possible. A poorly-maintained engine costs about 50% more fuel. Underinflated tires can also reduce mileage by about 10%.
Following structured maintenance schedules keep vehicles in working condition longer, which in turn helps to increase their resale value. Buyers are willing to pay more for a vehicle they know has been properly maintained. Records of all oil changes, filter replacements, tire pressure adjustments, etc. is wise if you plan to resell your vehicles.
Keeping your vehicles maintained can impact Compliance Safety and Accountability (CSA) scores. Companies with low scores stemming from violations are far less likely to be hired. The damage from lost business can be even more significant than the cost of serious repairs and downtime.
You’ll also want to consider it from a liability perspective. In the event of an accident, there will be an investigation. If any underlying equipment problems are detected, the insurance company or court may rule against you for negligence.
Benefits of Fleet Maintenance Reminders
You’ll always be in the know — You will receive reminders when a vehicle is almost due for maintenance
Increase the lifespan of your fleet — Healthier vehicles are more productive
Predictive maintenance scheduling — Early maintenance reminders help you efficiently schedule vehicle downtime to perform maintenance and any potential vehicle repairs
Stay organized — Organize past maintenance events to identify vehicle trends to help in further preventative measures
Connected Vehicles’ unique fleet maintenance reminder platform can track maintenance events for all your vehicles, regardless of the make, model, and size.
The Advanced Reminders Report works along with fleet maintenance reminders. After any maintenance event, you can instantly receive an email version of the report detailing exactly what maintenance was performed. When you do receive a maintenance reminder report, you’ll know it’s almost time for a scheduled maintenance event.
Maintenance Beyond Trucks
Often when we talk about fleet maintenance, trucks are the first thing that comes to mind, but what about all the other assets in your company? Forklifts, Tow Motors, Skid Steers, Trailers: are they being serviced regularly? Building out a fleet maintenance schedule around Engine Hours can be quote cumbersome – we can help with our fleet maintenance specialists. We can track other asset data such as:
- In-Cabin -tracks fuel consumption and engine data. Even when not being driven, there are hours of service (HOS) that a driver needs for compliance/safety
- Trailer – track tire pressure, gps location and annual safety
- Tow motor/Forklift – track for maintenance scheduling, cost of ownership
- Skid Steers – Maintenance plans ensure the skid steer and pieces remain operational. Types of maintenance may include changing oil, air filters, fuel filters, etc.
Use the power of strong contextualized commercial connected vehicle data to make operational decisions. Strengthen your assets through fleet maintenance to reduce fuel costs, maximize efficiency, and help with the cost of ownership. The added value of insights through telematics data will provide greater insights into your asset usage, true utilization, dwell time, yard movements and yard entry and exit time enabling you to capture trends on vehicle usage.