Operating a successful fleet-based business entails more than just telling your drivers where to go each day and making sure jobs are completed on time. It’s also about completing every task efficiently. Efficiency and fleet productivity are both very important when it comes to profitability in any business. Making smart routing decisions for your drivers helps with maintaining an efficient work day. The key to helping your team stay productive, however, is making sure that their vehicles are properly maintained.
It’s not always possible to say when each of the vehicles in your fleet is due for a maintenance update right off the top of your head. This is particularly true if you have a rather sizeable number of vehicles. There are too many variables that come into play, not to mention the other responsibilities that come with running a business.
Keeping your fleet in top-notch condition is one of the most important things you can do to help make your business successful. Whether you own a delivery service, maintenance company, or home health care provider — if you happen to find any of your vehicles unexpectedly out of commission, your ability to effectively provide services to your customers is hindered, if not halted entirely.
Even if you are able to re-route other fleet vehicles to help your crew maintain the planned work scheduled for each day, there is a possibility that you could be running behind. This means the perception of your professionalism by your clients will also be affected. Plus, longer days for your workers means more overtime and can also result in fatigued, overworked staff.
There’s also an increase in wear and tear you’ll be putting on your still-in-service vehicles (since they will have to work extra to make up for the vehicles that are in maintenance), which means that their own maintenance needs will approach sooner than they otherwise would have.
For preventive maintenance that keeps your fleet running smoothly, we’re talking about regular oil changes — the frequency here depends on the type(s) of vehicle(s) in your fleet — tire rotation and inspection, and routine safety checks (e.g. brakes, fluid levels, etc.).
Routine oil changes are perhaps the most important for maintaining a productive fleet on a day-to-day basis. As oil ages in an engine, it begins to take on a more viscous quality and impedes its ability to perform its primary function: to lubricate the engine and help draw heat away from the engine. Foregoing routine oil changes can lead to overheating, which in turn can warp various engine mechanisms. It can also lead to less-than-optimal gas mileage and even hinder the vehicle’s horsepower.
Your tires are another piece of the puzzle that require close monitoring. Low tire pressure can slow down a vehicle and affect the driver’s ability to properly maneuver. Low tread during inclement weather can make or break your ability to slow down or stop. Both of these put your vehicle — and more importantly, your driver — at a higher risk for a collision which could put one, the other, or both out of commission.
Adding a telematics solution, like the Geotab platform, to your fleet can help you stay on top of reminders so that you can be sure to schedule routine maintenance visits when they’re needed. When a fleet device is plugged right into the vehicle’s OBD-II port, you can receive alerts that keep you posted on this, plus other engine-related alerts that help to keep your vehicle running in top condition.
Paired with a solution like Actsoft’s Encore, you’re provided with a comprehensive fleet monitoring system. Together, the duo can help to manage both the internal workings of your vehicles, plus all the planning and strategizing that goes into your day-to-day. The result? A fleet of vehicles running at peak potential, both inside and out.
Keep your fleet operating in premium condition at all times and you’ll have to worry less about unexpected breakdowns, costs, and out-of-commission vehicles (and workers). You’ll be better equipped to maintain your schedule. And more importantly, you’ll keep your customers happy and revenue flowing steadily.