Preventing something is always easier than having to go back and fix it after it has broken. Nowhere is this truer than with maintaining your fleet. Of course, as so often is the case in life, it is easier said than done. Here are some expert tips on keeping your fleet well-maintained and on the road.
Create an Inspection Position
When you first started with a small fleet of a handful of trucks, it was quite easy to stay on top of the maintenance. However, as the fleet grew, the responsibilities grew as well and now the maintenance schedule is in a bit of disarray. When this happens, it is time to hire someone to fill the position of maintenance inspector. When you are relieved of these duties and delegate them to someone else, you can focus on running your business.
To complement the role of the inspector, as well as many other factors in your business, you should evaluate your need for a fleet management software platform. When you use software to help manage your business, you can easily reduce costs and prevent breakdowns by scheduling regular maintenance as well as impromptu repairs before they become an issue. Having a management platform also makes it infinitely easier to communicate with your drivers. Who knows if something seems incorrect more than the person who is actually driving it on a daily basis.
Used at Specs
When maintaining your vehicles, be sure that you are noting that they are being used for their actual purpose. Not every truck in a fleet is designed for the same purpose. You may be using a truck not powerful enough for the loads it has been carrying, which is an easy way to incur unnecessary repairs and shorten the lifespan of the truck. When purchasing new trucks for the fleet, or even if you are analyzing your current fleet, take stock of the specifications of each vehicle and make sure they are adhered to.
Diligence About Tires
Tires not only play a huge part in driving reliability, but they play a huge part in your bottom line as well. If the tires on the trucks are worn or not properly inflated, they can not only cause accidents but also decrease fuel economy and cause excessive general wear on the vehicle itself. If you have hired a dedicated inspector as was previously recommended, they should be inspecting the tires before and after each trip. The drivers should check the tires during long trips as well.
Clean Your Fleet
While keeping the trucks clean and washed may not immediately come to mind when talking about maintenance, it actually does come into play. When the trucks are filthy and covered with dirt and grime, it is very difficult to determine any spots of rust or decay on the body of the vehicle. It is also important in maintaining a positive image for your company. Nobody wants to do business with a fleet that looks grubby and unprofessional.