Business vehicle repairs are a major cost of doing business for many firms, whether the fleet is large or small. Fleet managers need more help than ever just to keep costs in line. Here are a few standards of operation that will keep your vehicles in great condition.
More and more fleet managers are keeping costs lower by using mobile maintenance services. This keeps the vehicle on the lot and reduces down time. It may eliminate the need to tow, if repairs can be done on site.
Computerized fleet management has been around for a while, but many firms do not use it to its maximum advantage. First, it should be monitoring each vehicle’s maintenance schedule, repairs, warranties, and tire age. Next, it should be monitoring costs for every aspect of vehicle maintenance. Then, it should be monitoring the fleet’s viability as a whole. The system should be mobile, allowing the fleet manager and, where appropriate, the drivers to know as much as possible about the vehicles in use at that moment. Computer modeling can be used to determine the optimal time to replace a vehicle. It can also reveal hidden costs in the maintenance process.
Don’t Overlook the Obvious
Some fleet managers are busy looking at big issues and miss opportunities to put out small fires. For instance, small windshield cracks and chips are unsafe and can lead to bigger issues down the line. These window problems are inexpensive to fix at firms such as All-West Glass Edmonton Ltd. There are 19 locations in Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. In another example, one firm determined how many newer vehicles it could put in storage for the winter. This decreased wear-and-tear on the more valuable vehicles in its inventory.
Follow OEM Guidelines More Closely
Commercial Fleet Magazine reports that maintenance costs have declined by four percent in 2014. This is a good sign for fleet managers who face an uphill battle with costs every day. The decline in expenses related directly to following OEM guidelines on oil changes. Newer fleet cars are designed to last longer between oil changes, and fleet managers can concentrate their efforts in other areas. A national lawn care firm put OEM guidelines to work in a different way. When a vehicle reached a certain mileage, an assessment would be done to determine whether it would make it to the next major maintenance milestone or whether it should be sold.
Fleet management isn’t easy, but common sense and modern computerized management can make it easier.