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Top tips for managing fleet maintenance

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

By: Bill Jones, Managed Maintenance, Element Fleet Management

Keeping your vehicles and drivers productive and on the road is essential to achieving your organization’s sales and service goals. So, what can fleet managers do to keep their fleets in top shape?

Here are some of our best fleet maintenance tips:

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1. Know the importance of preventive maintenance

Properly maintained vehicles reduce unscheduled repairs and downtime, keeping your drivers on the road and productive with safe vehicles. Preventive maintenance may include oil changes, tire rotation/inspection and general vehicle safety checks. Whether you’re following oil change intervals at a set mileage or use an oil life monitor, be sure to maintain tire rotations and overall vehicle inspections on a regular basis. 

2. Pay attention to your total cost of ownership

Keep an eye on your maintenance costs and notice when they begin to rise based on vehicle age. Additionally, understand the manufacturer’s warranty coverage and how it impacts your maintenance cost. Understand the residual value of the asset, trends in the used vehicle market and the optimal time to sell the vehicle.

3. Spec vehicles properly

It’s important to be aware of the demands each vehicle will face. Take the time to outline vehicle usage. Under-spec’ing a vehicle, based on usage and load carried for instance, leads to maintenance issues down the road that could impact your budget. Similarly, utilizing an over-spec’d vehicle will drive increased cost. Work with your fleet management company when spec’ing replacement vehicles based on usage, operating conditions, what’s being carried, etc. 

4. Communicate company policy with drivers

Make sure all drivers are aware of their responsibilities and company vehicle use policies. They should have a complete understanding of your company’s Maintenance policies and know what to do if the vehicle needs repair, or is involved in an accident.

5. Check tire pressure regularly

We hear about the importance of tire pressure all the time, but oftentimes overlook this important aspect of vehicle maintenance. Tire pressure affects vehicle handling, tire wear and fuel mileage – all contributing to vehicle and driver safety. Also overlooked is the effect of air temperature on tire pressure with the changing seasons. Instill the importance of checking and maintaining tire pressure with your drivers.

6. Develop a partnership with your fleet maintenance provider

When you run into issues, work with your fleet maintenance provider.  For example, if a vehicle is in for repair and there’s a setback, be sure and notify your fleet maintenance provider so they can step in and assist with a parts delay or expediting the repair.

Minimize downtime, improve customer satisfaction and optimize productivity with a successful fleet maintenance program. Want more fleet maintenance tips? Contact the experts at Element.

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