Simply put, fleet maintenance refers to ensuring that your vehicles are correctly maintained.
This can include a variety of types of maintenance, such as managing breakdowns and repairs as and when they happen, to incorporating recommended maintenance on an ongoing basis.
In a nutshell, effective fleet maintenance ensures less downtime and decreases the potential for accidents. Making it one of the most important elements of fleet management for any business.
We’ve skimmed over why fleet maintenance is so integral to fleet management. But to ensure we’re on the same page, let’s dig into some of the specific reasons.
Most importantly, businesses must put the safety of their drivers at the top of their priority list.
By correctly maintaining their fleet of vehicles, businesses reduce the chances of potentially life threatening issues such as faulty brakes or blown tires.
Maintenance and repairs are costly for businesses. As is vehicle downtime. By ensuring vehicles are reliable and well looked after, businesses can reduce potentially significant repair costs, whilst keeping their vehicles on the road for longer.
As well as the costs for maintenance, repairs, and downtime, there are also potential legal costs involved when a fleet is poorly maintained.
Negligence can lead to accidents. Which in turn can lead to accident and injury claims, and the associated legal costs, time, and stress.
Accidents will always happen, but a well maintained fleet alongside well documented maintenance plans will help to avoid additional and/or misplaced liability.
As well as fleet maintenance being important to your business on a higher level, there are also many day-to-day benefits that correct fleet maintenance can bring.
By being proactive with your vehicle maintenance you can reduce the risk of breakdowns, and emergency repairs on your vehicles. This helps to ensure vehicles are kept in good condition long term, lasting longer and proving more valuable to the business.
A poorly maintained fleet means more repairs, and more frequent vehicle purchases.
Fleet managers will be running a tight schedule. So the costs and time associated with taking a vehicle off the road for repairs or replacement can be significant. Not to mention the delays in deliveries, and decreased customer satisfaction.
As mentioned, proper maintenance ensures longevity in a vehicle and less repairs, meaning the vehicle can be relied on to stay on the road and meet delivery targets.
Everyone expects to conduct repairs on a fleet, it’s a key part of fleet maintenance.
However, constant small repairs soon add up. And of course, large repairs are an immediate and considerable cost.
With the use of proper fleet maintenance, small issues can be dealt with quickly, before they require a repair. Or turn into a larger cost due to neglect.
Overall, a fleet that is well maintained will be more fuel efficient. And as fuel expenses for a fleet can be enormous, this is a significant benefit.
This is achieved as a well maintained vehicle will boast a healthy engine and tyres, resulting in less unnecessary fuel consumption. And adding up to major savings over time.
If a fleet is reliable, then so are deliveries.
Businesses and consumers want their deliveries on time, but if a vehicle suddenly breaks down or has to be taken off the road, this can have a knock on effect on delivery routes and schedules.
A well maintained fleet will help a business in building a reputation for being reliable when it comes to delivery of goods.
Whilst fleet maintenance is essential, we’re aware that it’s not always straightforward, and will often require lots of planning, such as the below:
First of all, timing is crucial. For businesses with large fleets of vehicles, it can be difficult to keep track of individual mileage and performance.
Therefore, having a regular schedule, whether that be weekly or monthly, can be essential for keeping a regular routine. However, this does also require all of the vehicles to be in a designated place for this maintenance routine to be successful.
Another challenge with fleet maintenance is that it can only be carried out when vehicles aren’t on the road, conducting deliveries.
No business wants to take their entire fleet off the road for maintenance. This would have a serious knock on effect on productivity and customer deliveries.
Therefore, for a regular routine to work, managers would have to perform maintenance outside of key business hours.
Predicting how long a mechanic will need to spend on vehicle maintenance is a difficult job. Sure, a small fleet with small issues can be dealt with quickly. But more series maintenance problems may require extra time, mechanics, and time off the road.
Quickly becoming costly.
Keeping on top of maintenance which has occurred is another significant task.
Businesses need to keep detailed records of maintenance, with each vehicle having its own logbook.
Many businesses will use a paper-based system to achieve this, which can easily lead to errors, as well as being time-consuming and inefficient
Fleet maintenance software is essential to help your business with the above challenges. There are lots of different tech solutions and integrations to support a variety of needs. Such as below:
Running a paperless operation helps the environment whilst also being more efficient. Paperwork quickly becomes time consuming and can easily be misplaced, causing compliance issues.
By keeping vehicle information in the cloud, it is safely stored and easily accessible by the correct parties.
Good fleet maintenance software will offer mobile applications for drivers to carry out their own vehicle checks on a daily basis. This ensures that issues are flagged before they become more problematic, and that fleet managers are continuously kept in the loop.
Part of vehicle checks functionality is the ability to report defects into the cloud. This allows managers to address maintenance issues quickly, and offers reporting that can save time and money, whilst maintaining safety standards.
MaxOptra’s Vehicle Checks functionality provides an efficient, paperless system that is easy for Transport Managers and Drivers to utilise for fleet maintenance.
Vehicle checks via the MaxOptra Driver App digitises daily walkaround safety and compliance checks, ensuring drivers complete them before their first run.
With varying business needs and a wide range of vehicles, you can set your own requirements through the easy-to-use vehicle checks form builder, ensuring they are specific to your checks.
Reports with photos and comments are all stored in one centralised place, providing instant access to completed vehicle checks and defect records.
If you would like more information on how MaxOptra can support your fleet maintenance needs, book a demo or contact our team today.