When it Comes to Fleet Maintenance, Take the Proactive Approach!

Have you just secured a brand new fleet of impressive vehicles for your business? Or perhaps you’re thinking of upgrading your existing fleet with some custom-designed features. From eye-catching branded vehicle wraps and trade-specific functionalities, to onboard Wi-Fi… the list is endless. But have you thought about vehicle maintenance? Not the routine time-dependent maintenance, rather the preventative kind that could potentially save your business thousands!


So, you may be wondering - what is preventative fleet maintenance? It’s the proactive plan you put into action to protect your fleet and in turn; your bottom line. This plan focuses on keeping your vehicles in tip-top condition, positioning you ahead of any potential problems before they spiral into safety hazards or costly repairs.

 

What are the other benefits?

On top of protecting your bottom line, a well-implemented fleet maintenance plan plays a crucial role in ensuring operational efficiency. Unfortunately, many Australian businesses have experienced costly vehicle downtime as a result of preventable vehicle repairs. As well as cost-savings, employee retention and satisfaction are also high on the list of benefits. When out on the road, no one wants to deal with a potential breakdown or put their safety at risk in an unreliable vehicle. Ensuring that your fleet is well-maintained, allows employees to confidently focus on getting their job done. A fleet maintenance plan will also positively impact your company’s brand image. The same way that your employee’s professionalism impacts your company’s reputation— the appearance of your fleet reflects the image of your brand.


So, how do you implement a smart fleet maintenance plan? Simply follow our guide below.

1. Perform Comprehensive Background Checks

A successful plan is always backed by sound research. In this instance, your research should focus on gaining a clear understanding of your vehicles. This knowledge will allow you to develop a maintenance plan that is specifically tailored to suit your fleet and it’s unique functionalities. Listed below are some key focus areas to look into:

  • Vehicle capabilities
  • Vehicle performance
  • Stock specifications
  • Customised add-ons (trade-specific and/or suited to Australian conditions)
  • Local supplier of spare parts
  • Local contacts for repairs and maintenance work

 

2. Fleet Maintenance Schedule and Reminders

Your plan will start with a well-defined inspection schedule, backed by a comprehensive understanding of your fleet’s functionality. On-top of time dependent or kilometre-driven servicing, the schedule should also incorporate regular inspections of your vehicle’s oil levels, tyre tread levels and engine health. We also recommend utilising a reminder system to keep track of upcoming vehicle inspections. This allows for forward planning, ensuring that your business is operating at maximum efficiency.

 

3. Regular Check-ins and Training with your Team

As your employees spend the most time with your fleet of vehicles, having an open communication channel with your team is amongst the most important aspects of a successful maintenance plan. Regular check-ins will ensure that you have an accurate picture of your fleet’s health, optimising your maintenance schedule. To open these communication channels and encourage a strong sense of responsibility within your team, training is key. Some areas to focus on are detailed below:

  • How to complete you pre-start and post-drive reporting checklist
  • How to report a fault or issue with your company vehicle
  • How to report an incident involving your company vehicle
  • What is the general upkeep requirement for your company vehicle
  • Common mechanical issues and how to fix them
  • The importance of being self-aware and alert when on the road
HubSpot Video

Vehicle inspection app

4. Forward Plan for your Fleet

Forward planning is crucial for proactive maintenance as it forecasts upcoming priorities. For example, you may envision rapid growth for your business and be looking to secure new vehicles and improve functionality for your fleet. At the same time, you may have vehicles that are due for major costly services. With a forward plan in place, you could avoid costly services and instead prepare to secure the new vehicles for your business sooner. Detailed below are some helpful questions to answer when preparing a forward plan for your fleet:

  • What is the expected life cycle of the vehicles in my fleet?
  • What are the interim, full and major service points for the vehicles in my fleet?
  • Where do I see my business in 3, 5, 10+ years? What does this mean for my fleet?
  • If my business grows, will my fleet meet the increase in demand?
  • If my fleet grows, do I need to consider fleet maintenance software and systems?

 

5. Invest in Fleet Management Software

As with any plan or process, fleet management plans are only effective when well executed and documented. This is made easy with fleet management software, equipped with various telematic tools to assist in managing all aspects of fleet maintenance. The advanced technology provides businesses with the ability to automate tasks such as service and maintenance scheduling. They can also provide detailed reports and information on fuel consumption, GPS tracking, real-time vehicle diagnostics and more. Therefore, allowing for a more efficient and effective way to manage your fleet and implement your proactive fleet maintenance plan.

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To learn more about how we can help your business, request a free Fleet Complete Demo. Our solutions are specifically designed in compliance with Australian standards and suited to businesses operating in the Australian market. Fleet Complete offers an extensive range of telematic tools for customised fleet tracking, convenient scheduling and comprehensive insights on all vehicles within your fleet.

Want to speak to our specialised team? Get in touch here.

 

Date published.   Feb 21, 2022  |  Author: Marketing FC