If you want your business fleet to operate smoothly, one of the ways of helping to achieve that aim is through preventative maintenance.
A poorly maintained car can present a personal injury risk as well as let you down if it ceases to work, according to personal injury lawyers in Clifton, David Resnick & Associates, PC.
Here is a look at ways to ensure that your fleet of business vehicles stay on the road and free of any problems.
The argument for implementing a maintenance schedule
There are always going to be some unforeseen problems with a vehicle at some point in its life on the road, but generally speaking, your operating costs, breakdown expenses and time spent in the workshop, are often a good indication of how good your maintenance schedule is.
Your main starting point for creating a workable fleet maintenance schedule is to collect all of the required information on each vehicle in your fleet, so that you know when each vehicle last had a service and what maintenance they have had done up to this point.
Set to work creating a maintenance schedule which incorporates the existing data and then plots a workable schedule going forward with target maintenance and servicing dates for each vehicle.
Doing this will give you a greater level of control over costs as well as allowing you to plan when repairs and servicing need to be done.
What to include in your maintenance schedule
There are varying degrees of maintenance schedules that you can create and you ideally want to create one that you can follow easily and doesn’t take too much of your time to complete, as this could dissuade you from sticking to it.
Your primary aim is to achieve is to save money through greater efficiency and better vehicle performance.
The basic essential tasks should be to make monthly scheduled checks of engine and warning lights, tire inflation and condition and windshield washer levels, as well as other regular items.
In addition, every three months or 3,000 miles, whichever comes soonest, you need to carry out a more comprehensive check of each vehicle’s condition.
The 3 month or 3,000 mile check should cover things like engine oil and filter, power steering fluid and other fluid levels, tire inflation levels and condition, plus an inspection of hoses and battery cables etc, so that you can spot any potential issue before it leads to a breakdown.
Work on putting together a series of different maintenance schedules which involve checking the vehicle every three months, with additional checks added as you reach the six month, nine month and then twelve month dates for each one.
Setting up a system
There are fleet maintenance database programs available, which might help prompt you for what you need, but it is not too difficult to use a program like Microsoft Excel to keep track of things.
You can also use technology to keep on top of things, such as using a vehicle tracking system, which will be able to alert you each time you hit a maintenance mileage mark, by sending an alert to your computer.
Implementing a preventative maintenance schedule should help you to keep your vehicles on the road and help to preserve the safety and efficiency of the drivers.
Jennifer Bradshaw is a transportation fleet manager and has been in this role for a few years now. Her articles appear on business blogs and usually focusing on fleet management.