Fleet maintenance is one of the most important things when it comes to running a profitable fleet business. The costs associated with fleet maintenance are somehow hidden or not easy to realize, and at times they can get very high. It is therefore incumbent upon the fleet managers and owners to trace these costs and manage them effectively to prevent them from spiraling out of control and thus rendering the business less profitable. In addition to proper management of fleet maintenance costs, having some state-of-the-art entertainment equipment like motorcoach entertainment systems on your fleet vehicles—more so the passenger-ferrying vehicles—would help make your business more profitable. The unlimited Wi-Fi, travel route updates, and customized entertainment delivered to each passenger’s mobile device are some fantastic features of such an entertainment system, and they attract more customers to your fleet vehicles.
The following are some tips that you can put to use to craft an effective fleet maintenance program that will save your fleet business money and reduce time lost due to avoidable breakdowns:
#1. Comprehend the magnitude of the issue
It is of utmost importance for fleet managers and owners to have a clear understanding of the enormity of fleet maintenance costs, whether they meet them directly or are part of a lease arrangement. The understanding of service, maintenance, and repair costs reveals some crucial things regarding your firm’s operational efficiency and level of output. There are surprising statistics that point out that about two-fifths of fleet businesses don’t know the cost arising from vehicle breakdown due to maintenance requirements, irrespective of whether they are scheduled or otherwise. Also, one-third cannot state the figure they spend for annual maintenance. Getting to know the length of time your fleet vehicles are grounded may help you to have a better grasp of the day-to-day operational efficiency of your business.
#2. Distinguish between scheduled and unscheduled maintenance
You should be able to tell apart scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and know the one your fleet relies on more and why. Scheduled maintenance includes proactive and preventive exercises, like routine services, checks, and inspections that prevent problems and reveal small issues before they become big costly problems. Unscheduled maintenance is unplanned and therefore halts operations and incurs losses. This arises from incidents on the road, but mainly from the driver’s failure to keep an eye on their vehicle. It is ideal to get your fleet drivers to do routine checks, thereby changing unscheduled maintenance to schedule, which is less costly.
#3. Come up with a complete fleet maintenance plan
Having a detailed fleet maintenance check-up plan is necessary. The number of times that one performs these checks should be determined by the usage of the vehicle and its mileage. To be able to create a thorough maintenance program, it is advisable to consult with suppliers about what should be on the checklist, and when to do each task.
#4. Involve all parties
The responsibility of operating an efficient, profitable, and law-abiding fleet rests on all the people in the organization, from drivers to managers. The drivers must do their regular checks and manage the fleet vehicle, while management should do spot checks and make the necessary arrangements in good time for various maintenance tasks. Having all parties involved produces crucial data that can help curb losses and identify who has been involved in different incidents, thus picking out risky personnel, among other benefits.
#5. Maintain records, manage, and assess
Maintaining records will enable you to pick out patterns, for example in price comparisons, which will allow you to narrow down unreliable suppliers, staff, and vehicles. The whole recordkeeping process will allow your business to become profitable as you cut costs and increase output. To do so, you need to make use of technology and other relevant service providers.