Using the correct information and processes and within the right software, it can be simple to set up. In this guide, we explore what fleet maintenance is, how it is important and what it can do to drastically improve your business.
Firstly, What is Fleet Maintenance?
Fleet Maintenance is another term for preventative and cautionary actions to reduce the likelihood of vehicles breaking down, ensuring they are running smoothly. Occasionally vehicles like to break down on us and this can be troublesome for fleet managers. But with fleet maintenance, it is now possible to plan and ensure your fleet is running optimally and at a low cost.
Is Fleet Maintenance Important?
It is considered very important for businesses that run a fleet, as safety takes a huge role in working environments. Vehicles need to always be available too for a business to run smoothly. If a fleet vehicle breaks down and needs unexpected repairs, it can cost a business its efficiency and can sometimes be expensive. Being proactive is much more sensible in managing a fleet as it prevents unexpected surprises.
Benefits of Fleet Maintenance
Reduced Repair Costs - Regular servicing and inspections ensure vehicles are not likely to break down and cause expensive engine repairs.
Improved Safety and Reduced Risk - Drivers are much safer in a car that’s been regularly inspected. They also reduce the risk to other road users and the liability of an organisation.
Reduced Operating Costs - A optimally running vehicle will have lower fuel consumption and better resale value as customers look at service history and maintenance schedules when buying a used vehicle.
Prevent Lengthy Downtime - without a running vehicle, a business cannot operate efficiently for its customers.
Drivers are More Satisfied - Without breakdowns, drivers are happier and can do their job without any disruption.
Satisfied Customers - An optimised business model relies on an efficient fleet. If there are no breakdowns then a customer receives their service on time and as promised.
Creating A Fleet Maintenance Plan
Tracking a high amount of data points is required to produce a well-oiled fleet maintenance plan. Let’s take a look at what is required for you to begin.
- Tracking Metrics of Your Existing Fleet - You need to ensure that each vehicle is onboarded to a software solution that reads data points about the vehicle. As a bare minimum, businesses should use a database to store purchase dates, inspection and maintenance history, accident history, mileage and engine running hours.
- Determine Service Schedule - Each vehicle will have its own specific requirements for services and inspection. Setting a range of service intervals is important to ensure maintenance is kept up. For driving longer distances, a vehicle will need more frequent servicing. The load weight, idle time and weather conditions play a factor in how much strain is put on a vehicle. Other examples include how often it’s used, the last time it was serviced, hours of operation, and external conditions.
- Come up With a Checklist - Producing reports on the varying conditions of the vehicle will help determine when maintenance is needed on your fleet. Tracking data points such as fluid levels, fuel economy, tyre wear, odometer readings, cooling system data, brake and suspension conditions and more. If any of these are below or outside the recommended window then booking in for a service and inspection should take place. If these are caught and dealt with early, it prevents more serious issues later down the line.
- Driver Reporting and Inspection System - Asking drivers to report on the condition of their vehicles might sound obvious. But it is essential as they know more about the vehicle than any fleet manager, driving them daily. If a driver notices an issue and they are required to fill in an inspection report, then fleet management can be notified and act accordingly. Tracking items such as interior and bodywork condition, steering ability, condition of glass and mirrors, radio and signal strength, and overall engine noise and condition.
Fleet Maintenance Types
Manual tracking is possible, but often a time-consuming task which can result in human error. To optimise your fleet maintenance, a software package is ideal as it onboards live vehicle data and can compare it to historic data to notice trend patterns.
Fleets operate best when they undergo preventative maintenance and run from a fleet management software solution. Vehicle tracking and diagnostic data can be automated and sent over the air to fleet management operators; Reports generated for garages, accounts and managers within the organisation to show the status of the fleet; Vehicle warranty records, purchasing new vehicles, and other admin tasks are made easier with a software solution.
Fleet Maintenance Examples
Automated Maintenance Booking - When a vehicle is due a service, it will be booked in automatically to reduce downtime, ensuring maintenance takes place when required.
Maintenance Logs - Recording the status of the vehicle will aid technicians at service centres.
GPS Tracking - Knowing where all fleet vehicles are will help managers allocate resources. For example when a vehicle has broken down in the field.
Tracking Fuel Usage - Using onboard ECU (Engine Control Units) and telematics devices, fuel economy and usage can be tracked to see any discrepancies that may lead to expensive repairs, which can be prevented.
Vehicle Health - Diagnosing a vehicle remotely will help solve a vehicle issue quickly.
Risk and Safety - Using telematics, driver safety and habits are assessed and can be acted upon. If a driver accelerates or brakes quickly then it can wear components out faster. Driver incentives can be introduced to improve safety and reward, well-behaved drivers.
At High Mobility, our advanced API and data partnerships allow live data transfer to fleet maintenance software. Data items including service status, location, fuel usage and diagnostic data are all sent to fleet managers using our advanced API that’s integrated with your fleet management solution.
Sign up for High Mobility today and start by trying out our simulator. You can get testing right away using our browser-based interface. Best of all, you only pay when you are ready to connect!