In order to ensure smooth operations of your business, all your resources have to be in tip-top condition and for those operating shipping businesses this especially applies to your vehicles. When your vehicles go through routine fleet maintenance, they remain in good condition and subsequently, ensure the safety of your employees, reduce excess spending from emergencies and increase your companies positive reputation and brand.
What is Fleet Maintenance?
Fleet maintenance is the activity of maintaining a good condition in your vehicles so they are reliable, safe and ensure longevity in operation. In fact, its been proven that with good maintenance you can extend your equiipments longevity – for instance, keeping tires at the proper pressure and regular rotations increases their mileage. Developing a preventative maintenance program such as servicing vehicles routinely is integral in helping your business reduce its operating costs and other benefits.
To ensure you are are planning and implementing adequate maintenance procedures here are 3 things to consider.
1. Know your fleet: Knowing your vehicles would allow you to determine when they need servicing. This is the first and the most important step because once you know all the required information it becomes easier to determine what parts are needed or plan a schedule. Ensuring you have this practice can also prevent any malfunction and help estimate costs for the job.
2. Regular inspections: Your drivers should have adequate training in maintenance to be able to recognize and report the problem.
3. Employing the right people for the job: Employing skilled staff and supporting them through on-going training is an investment for any business and would come in handy when implementing a fleet maintenance program.
4. An optimized inventory is key: An optimized inventory ensures that the right parts are in stock. This will help your technician complete the service and repair your vehicles saving you time and reducing labor costs.
Why is Fleet Maintenance Important?
A frequent question we get is why is fleet maintenance important? This is why we have compiled an extensive list to show the benefits of fleet maintenance for your business.
1. It reduces operating costs:
Neglected equipment leads to higher fuel costs. A poorly maintained engine can consume up to 50% more fuel and underinflated tires are capable of reducing mileage by as much as 10% ultimately contributing to more wasted fuel. Preventative maintenance is a good practice to have because you can easily detect expensive repairs before they happen and ensure problems are caught early on before they become exceedingly costly. This will help save maintenance costs as well as generate income for the company because your trucks are on the road longer.
2. Ensures safety: Safety is significant for all businesses in the transportation industry and is paramount to all operations. That means you have to take extra care in the maintenance of your vehicles because this not only impacts the health and safety of truck drivers but other drivers on the road and pedestrians. Ongoing fleet maintenance would provide regular inspection for your vehicles that check for programs like faulty headlights, breaks or other parts of the vehicles. By keeping your fleet in working order, you ensure that your trucks are safe to be driven on the roads and will perform as they are supposed to.
3. Employee Retention: For truck companies, the drivers are integral to the business operations. Retaining the employees increases performance and reputation. For a truck driver, there is nothing more frustrating than being stuck on the side of the road with a broken-down rig or making a long journey across through provinces and having to stop due to a malfunction in the vehicle. It causes a huge inconvenience and would lead to late deliveries. When your fleet is maintained, drivers are assured they can carry out tasks efficiently and have time for their personal needs and the business. This would lower the employee turnover and increased satisfaction in their jobs.
4. Improves uptime: For transportation companies, uptime—the time when trucks are working and on the road making deliveries—is the difference between lost money and improved performance. If trucks aren’t on the road, they aren’t making any money.
Because of this, there could be negative consequences. Depending on the severity of the problem, the vehicle may be off the road for days or even a week, which is not ideal for any business that relies on this operation. Deliveries will be delayed and deadlines will be missed, which will likely harm customer satisfaction.
The benefits of running a safe and well-maintained fleet will bring in high returns to your business. Firstly, a good reputation is important in maintaining a contract. The last thing a customer wants is to be embroiled in a negative news story concerning a breakdown in your vehicle. Similarly, end-users are more likely to purchase products and services from a company that has a compliant supply chain that cares about the welfare of its employees and customers.
Secondly, having a safe culture within your business boosts staff morale and promotes integrity. Employees feel valued by working for a company that prioritizes their safety and is prepared to put the necessary processes in place to maintain welfare.
So whether you are operating trucks for LTL freight or vans for commercial shipping, remember your vehicles are your investments and taking good care of them, would result in a high return of investment!