If you own or manage a fleet, you know that it is vital to maintain the vehicles. Without your fleet vehicles, you will not be able to operate, which will cause you to lose money and clients. You will need to implement a strategy which ensures that your vehicles are taken care of and are not damaged or in need of too many repairs.
If you are looking for fleet management solutions, then you can look for a full maintenance lease as part of your fleet leasing package. As part of your maintenance, be sure to perform regular checks and inspections and ask your mechanic to look them over at least once a week. Read on below for some top tips on how to maintain your fleet and keep your vehicles in top condition.
Give someone the role of inspector
Vehicle inspections do not perform themselves. So, you should delegate this task to one of your employees to be sure that it is performed on a regular basis. If someone has the responsibility of fleet inspector, then it is sure to be performed and you will have regular reports on the condition of your vehicles.
As part of your fleet operation and maintenance, this inspector role is crucial. Regular inspections are the first step to ensuring that your fleet is always in good condition. The fleet inspector could be the driver of one of your vehicles or you could hire someone specifically for the role. Whatever you choose as part of your fleet management, be sure that the person is qualified enough to understand what they are looking for.
Ask your driver about the vehicle
Nobody understands a vehicle better than a driver who uses it every day. You should ask the drivers of your vehicles for regular reports on how the fleet is performing, both for their individual vehicles and as a whole. This will give you a bigger picture on your overall maintenance needs and how the vehicles are being used.
These reports should be sent to you and to your fleet inspector. This way, you can both look at the vehicles and decide on any repairs. Your drivers should also perform their own checks on the vehicles so that they can pick up any problems before they become too big to fix. For example, ask your drivers to check tyre pressure before and after each trip and to refill water and oil equally as regularly.
Keep it clean
One of the best fleet management solutions in terms of maintenance is to keep your vehicles clean. This is because the engine operates better when it is clean and the exterior is less likely to get rust if it is regularly polished and cleaned. You will also present a better image to any clients if your driver arrives in a freshly washed vehicle.
Keeping the interior clean is equally as important. Your drivers need to be comfortable on their long journeys, and sitting in a dirty truck cab is unpleasant and can make them feel uncomfortable. Be sure that all seats are vacuumed after a journey and that all debris is removed from the interior. This will make the cab pleasant and comfortable for the driver to use.
Always check tyre pressure
The tyres of any vehicle are vital to its continued operation. And this is especially true of a fleet vehicle. Tyre pressure affects how the vehicle handles, the wheel alignment, the wear on the tyres and driver safety. You should ask your fleet inspector to check the tyre pressure before and during a trip and ensure that your drivers check it during their journey when they can.
Weather and air temperature can have a significant effect on tyre pressure, so be sure to make a note of the change in season when looking at tyres. Your fleet inspector should be aware of this fact and should alert all drivers when the weather will be changing so they can keep an eye on their tyres. Make a note of the pressure before and after trips so that you can be aware of any tyres that might need to be changed.
Invest in technology
There are many new technologies and applications on the market that offer fleet management software solutions. For example, you could install vehicle tracking in your trucks that tells you how fast your drivers are going so that you can monitor their speed. Driving too fast on a bad road can severely damage tyres, and using this information, you can educate your drivers on how best to drive on gravel or dirt roads.
Another option you can look into is workflow software which will send you digital reminders about service dates for your vehicles and any other important notifications, such as tyre pressure checks and delivery dates. This information can help you to come up with a strategy to better maintain and manage your trucks. You can also monitor driver behaviour.