Preventive maintenance is paramount to sustaining your fleet’s health and minimizing downtime. It’s crucial to have a solid preventive protocol to ensure your vehicles are in top shape for as long as possible; however, creating a preventive maintenance plan or schedule from scratch is impossible without the right tools.

We advise fleet managers/owners to get familiar with the best practices you can implement to optimize fleet downtime prevention.

Preventive maintenance

We’ve listed down five most crucial tips: save them to make sure your business is on its way to growth!

1. Streamline Your Maintenance Schedule

Keeping track of maintenance work and schedules written down on documents somewhere in an office can quickly become disorganized — without timely reminders, alerts, and notifications, piles of other work can overshadow the vital plan. Appointments that should have been made a week ago are only resurfacing now, and chaos sets in as everyone frantically scrambles to catch up on servicing work.

The picture has changed dramatically in recent years — now fleet preventive maintenance can be intuitive and easy.

  • you can make a list of all your assets in the software
  • outline a maintenance schedule for each vehicle via the program
  • when the appointment approaches, you’ll receive an automatic reminder, so you’re never behind on maintenance management;
  • you can get an overview of all the dates of servicing and the respective vehicle parts that are to be examined.

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2. Make Data-driven Decisions

Make Data-driven Decisions

To get the most accurate representation of the state of your vehicle, relying on your drivers (or other employees) to obtain odometer readings, inspection results, etc., is insufficient. Not only has this information become irrelevant by the time it has reached your hands in the form of a spreadsheet, but further back-and-forth communications prove challenging to keep a comprehensive record of.

The importance of tracking precise fleet metrics cannot be overstated when it comes to making educated predictions about service needs and using this as a basis for a maintenance schedule.

Thankfully, there is a simple solution on the market — fleet management & tracking software.

You can now track fleet metrics directly from your assets and see them reflected instantly on your computer screen. Values like miles traveled, average speed, asset usage, average daily consumption, idling time and more are readily available in digital form. Conversing with employees is also fast and organized, since it’s carried out all on the same platforms.

3. Derive Maximum Value From Inspections

Inspections carry a lot of information in regards to what vehicle part would potentially need to be fixed, and what to keep an eye on. These regular checks serve as essential tools for identifying and addressing impending issues before they escalate into more significant problems.

While traditional inspection methods include driver-conducted pre-trip inspections and inspections by trained maintenance personnel at various checkpoints, there is a growing trend towards electronic reporting through Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs).

Electronic DVIRs (eDVIRs) have emerged as a game-changer in fleet preventive maintenance. By utilizing digital inspections, fleet operators can overcome the drawbacks associated with traditional inspection processes.

Firstly, eDVIRs provide a standardized and streamlined approach to inspections. Drivers can complete the prescribed checklist electronically, ensuring consistency and accuracy in reporting. This eliminates the potential for missing or incomplete information that could lead to overlooked maintenance needs.

Secondly, eDVIRs enable real-time reporting and communication. Instead of relying on manual paperwork, drivers can electronically submit inspection reports directly to the software. This expedites the identification of issues, allowing for timely response and maintenance interventions.

4. Train Your Employees

The effectiveness of preventive maintenance lies in the hands of qualified, knowledgeable technicians.

Train Your Employees

Additionally, in order to ensure that your fleet is receiving top-notch service every time an asset is sent to the shop, experienced technicians should also be regularly coached to keep their quality of work on a high level.

You should undoubtedly coach your drivers, as well. They are responsible for your asset while it’s on the road, and are the ones who take the vehicles in for inspection. Drivers should be trained based on proper protocols to follow when operating the vehicle and taking care of it — for example:

  • avoiding idling not to rack up engine hours;
  • going through proper servicing work, reporting issues as they happen, etc.

You can make your personnel go through a generalized course to solidify their knowledge and skills. Remember, your employees are an investment, and if they receive quality training, your organization’s efficiency and productivity skyrockets in return.

5. Strategic Route Planning for Fleet Maintenance

While navigation apps have transformed how we navigate, relying solely on them may not always be the ideal solution for maintaining your fleet's condition. The routes offered may not take the specific features of your vehicles into account, making the route inconvenient or damaging to asset performance.

To address these challenges, investing time in route management pays off. By planning routes strategically, you can save time, reduce costs, minimize wear and tear, and enhance customer and driver satisfaction.

Consider industry-specific examples: For delivery services, planning routes that avoid congested areas and focus on smoother driving conditions can minimize fuel consumption and lower maintenance costs. Likewise, for transporting sensitive goods, selecting routes with fewer potholes or smoother roads can prevent damage and prolong the life of your vehicles.

Let’s sum it up

So, what do we know so far?

A lot of factors come into play to create a sufficient, reliable maintenance routine that your team can stay on top of. The individual components of a successful preventive maintenance program:

  1. Skilled and experienced drivers, servicemen, technicians.
  2. Effective communication between parties.
  3. Ready access to accurate data.

All mentioned components play their significant role and are not to be neglected. Use these tips to streamline your preventive maintenance program to boost revenue and cut costs in return. At the end of the day, it’s recommended to opt for a fleet management software in order to run operations more smoothly, track precise data and enable fast communication.