Companies and small businesses that rely on their vehicle fleet to operate must consider their cars as one of the most important assets. That's why it's of vital importance to maintain your fleet and ensure that your cars are in good health.
That way, you can guarantee that your company will remain operational and that your employees will be safe on the road. Providing your fleet with proper maintenance isn't difficult, but it requires you to be organized and timely with your inspections.
It's also very important to assess the situation so that you can determine optimal maintenance for your fleet since day one. If you do this right, you won't miss out on any checkups and repairs that your vehicles will need over time. With that in mind, here are a few tips for company cars and small business fleet maintenance.
Create proper policies
The first thing you should do is to create company policies regarding car maintenance and inspection. As you may already know, every car needs to be inspected properly and regularly. Moreover, the longer the vehicle is on the road, the more frequent these checkups should be.
Therefore, company policies are required so that your employees can conduct those checkups whenever it's needed or whenever the schedule demands it. That way, you can prevent most of the issues that may occur by being one step ahead of the problem.
For instance, if engine belts show signs of wear and tear during a checkup, you can replace them before they cause any serious damage. Your employees, guided by company policies, can conduct regular inspections and report any issues on time.
Have a reliable supplier
The show must go on, or so they say. When it comes to company cars that require repairs, small business owners simply can't afford to have any vehicle off the road for too long. The longer the vehicle is out of commission, the more money you lose on lost opportunities.
Therefore, it's very important to have a supplier on standby that can deliver spare parts to you as soon as possible. For example, companies such as Carparts2u are a good example of such suppliers for the Australian market.
When you have a reliable supplier, you can order parts on time and have the car repairs conducted seamlessly. Your vehicle will be out of order for the shortest period possible required for conducting the necessary repairs or replacing spare parts. After that, it's ready to get back on the road again, and your losses are down to a minimum.
Save costs on regular checkups
Maintaining an entire fleet of vehicles can be expensive, especially for small businesses on a tight budget. That said, fleet maintenance can also help save some money in the long run if done properly, of course.
That includes being aware of the demands for each vehicle you own. If every car is the same model for the same manufacturer, it doesn't mean that they'll all perform equally or that their parts will last as long as the others.
It all depends on where you drive the vehicle and for how long. Therefore, preventive maintenance is oftentimes the best solution to keep your vehicles operational and healthy, as well as to save money on costly repairs.
For example, you must properly spec vehicles so that you can understand when and why they'll require maintenance. If one vehicle carries more load than the others, but it's on the road approximately the same amount of time as the others, it will still experience more wear and tear sooner than other vehicles.
Change what you can even if you don't have to
A common practice for every vehicle is to undergo specific maintenance after a certain number of miles it's been on the road.
For example, after every 3000 miles on the road, you should replace engine oil, brake fluids, filters and other things. This is a common practice for a good reason. By replacing what you can even if you don't have to, you maintain your vehicle properly.
Don't try to cut corners here by thinking that engine oil doesn't need replacement or refill for a few more miles. Extreme weather, such as hot, dry air, for instance, can deplete engine oil much faster than you've anticipated.
That said, replacing engine oil is much cheaper than replacing the entire engine on a vehicle. Therefore, change what needs to be changed on a vehicle when it's needed. If you're uncertain when these changes should occur, you should check with the manufacturer's specifications and recommendations for that particular vehicle.
Proper vehicle fleet maintenance for companies and small businesses is crucial. It may seem like a monumental challenge to keep a close eye on every vehicle regularly, but it's necessary if you want to continue doing business. That said, create policies and schedules that suit your business the most so that you can properly maintain your cars and ensure they can serve you well for years to come.