By Bill Jones, Managed Maintenance, Element Fleet Management
Keeping your vehicles and drivers safe, productive and on the road is essential to achieving your organization’s sales and service goals. So, what can you do to keep your fleet in top shape?
Use this checklist to guide your fleet:
1. Know the importance of cost savings with preventive maintenance
Properly maintained vehicles reduce unscheduled repairs and downtime. Preventive maintenance may include oil changes, tire rotation/inspection and general vehicle safety checks. Whether you’re following oil change intervals at a set mileage or use an oil life monitor, be sure to maintain tire rotations and overall vehicle inspections on a regular basis. All too often, this is the only time a vehicle is inspected all over for fluid levels, air pressure in tires and more.
2. Pay attention to your total cost of ownership
Keep an eye on your maintenance costs and notice when they begin to rise based on vehicle age. Additionally, understand the manufacturer’s warranty coverage and how it impacts your total cost of ownership. Understand the residual value of the asset, trends in the used vehicle market and the optimal time to sell the vehicle for a cost-effective fleet.
3. Spec vehicles properly
It’s important to be aware of the demands each vehicle will face. Take the time to outline vehicle usage – properly spec’d vehicles can reduce cost. Under-spec’ing a vehicle, based on usage and load carried for instance, leads to maintenance issues down the road that could impact your budget. Similarly, utilizing an over-spec’d vehicle will drive increased cost. Work with your fleet management company when spec’ing replacement vehicles based on usage, operating conditions, what’s being carried, etc.
4. Communicate company policy with drivers
Make sure all drivers are aware of their responsibilities and company vehicle use policies. They should have a complete understanding of your company’s PM schedules, maintenance policies and know what to do if the vehicle needs repair or is involved in an accident.
5. Check tire pressure regularly
We hear about the importance of tire pressure all the time, but oftentimes overlook this important aspect of vehicle maintenance. Tire pressure affects vehicle handling, tire wear and fuel mileage – all contributing to vehicle and driver safety. Also overlooked is the effect of air temperature on tire pressure with the changing seasons. Instill the importance of checking and maintaining tire pressure with your drivers.
6. Develop a partnership with your fleet maintenance provider
When you run into issues, work with your fleet maintenance provider. For example, if a vehicle is in for repair and there’s a setback, be sure and to notify your fleet maintenance provider. They’ll be able to step in and assit in expediting the repair. Minimize downtime, improve customer satisfaction and optimize productivity with a successful fleet maintenance program.
Want more fleet maintenance tips? Download Element’s maintenance guide or contact us on Twitter, @ElementFleet.
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