For many fleet managers, the chief responsibilities of operating a fleet are restricted to real-time vehicle tracking, fuel economy, mapping routes, asset management, and inventory and equipment control. Vehicle maintenance becomes a priority only when a vehicle breaks down.
The consequences of missing out on a maintenance schedule are both serious and costly. It compromises driver safety. Unavailability of vehicles impacts operational efficiency resulting in heavy financial losses to your business. To add, a repair job, especially one that’s long overdue, is a major expense against your labor budget. Fleet maintenance software with its routine inspections and preventive maintenance schedules can reduce downtimes for your travel and transport business.
Here’s how an organized and regular preventive maintenance schedule can prolong the life of your fleet.
What is Preventative Maintenance?
A good fleet maintenance software will always include a preventive maintenance component in the package. It is a proactive approach towards extending the life of your vehicles. Thus, they do not wait for a vehicle to breakdown before they take a look at it. Through automated routine checks and records, the fleet maintenance software identifies and resolves problems that have the potential of becoming major issues.
Fleet maintenance software schedules preventative vehicle maintenance either based on time or use. In the case of the first, the maintenance is carried out periodically, say every month or three months. Usage-based preventative maintenance is determined by select parameters. This includes engine hours, number of kilometers, production cycles or fuel consumption. The fleet maintenance software logs such details and hence provides timely maintenance alerts.
What does Preventative Maintenance Include?
There are several problems that could render a vehicle inoperative. Preventative maintenance processes attend to varied issues.
- Tire pressure and tread: The tread pattern affects handling, traction, and noise. Over-inflated or under-inflated tires wear out unevenly and negatively impact vehicle stability, cornering, handling and stopping. Bad tires also increase fuel consumption. Given that fleets are mostly used in industries dealing in deliverables, the tires see the most wear and tear. Fleet maintenance software prompt managers to check tires for both tread and pressure periodically, keeping them in good shape.
- Parts replacement: Worn out and malfunctioning parts, for instance, bad breaks, a poorly functioning battery, alternators or starters are replaced during preventative maintenance. Fitting new components can be expensive. If the parts on your vehicle are covered by a warranty, it could save some money. Regular preventative maintenance can enable you to take advantage of warranties before they expire.
- Fluid checks: A routine maintenance session monitors the fluid levels in the vehicle. Technicians check and refill oil, transmission fluids and coolants maintaining them at an optimum level. They change the engine oil and filter. They also inspect vehicles for fluid leaks.
- Driver safety items: There are several components on a vehicle that do not affect performance, but are important for vehicle and driver safety. For instance, there are seat belts, airbags, and wipers. Preventative maintenance checks that these mechanisms are working and should your vehicle be involved in an accident, it reduces your liability.
Record keeping is a must in preventative maintenance for it helps schedule the next session. It can be done manually or it can be automated. Manual recording can be very time consuming and tedious, more so for larger fleets. Fleet maintenance software automates record-keeping, making it more efficient, affordable and time-saving. You can use a fleet maintenance software to schedule a meticulously planned preventative maintenance.