What is Fleet Maintenance?
Fleet maintenance refers to the process of maintaining the condition of commercial motor vehicles. It aims to improve the utility of CMVs over a longer period, allowing carriers to get more mileage out of their trucks and other vehicles.
Fleet maintenance involves repairs, replacement of parts, washing, painting, polishing, checking and testing vehicle functions and the conditions of their parts, and more.
Unexpected vehicle breakdowns can be very disrupting for carriers and fleet operations. That’s why fleet maintenance is considered an integral part of the success of transportation and trucking companies.
Two approaches to fleet maintenance
Fleet maintenance can be categorized into two different approaches. Maintaining fleets can be preventive or reactive:
1. Preventive fleet maintenance
Also called “predictive maintenance,” preventive fleet maintenance refers to a more proactive approach. It requires:
- Keeping a close eye on the health of the vehicles, and
- Taking the necessary steps to ensure vehicles remain in optimal conditions for longer periods.
Preventive maintenance minimizes the chances of unexpected vehicle breakdowns.
Activities for preventive maintenance include scheduling routine check-ups with your vehicle manufacturer or automotive technicians, changing your engine and oil filters at regular intervals, monitoring your exhaust and cooling systems, and more.
2. Reactive fleet maintenance
Reactive fleet maintenance is when you apply unplanned fixes after vehicle problems have already occurred or been discovered.
These can be emergency fixes or corrective measures to issues discovered during operations. Reactive maintenance is also needed to get vehicles back on road after unexpected breakdowns.
This approach aims to restore vehicles to the best possible condition as soon as possible.
Fleet maintenance software
Fleet managers often use fleet maintenance software to streamline their workflows for monitoring and maintaining vehicle health. These tools are equipped with capabilities to allow preventive vehicle maintenance tasks.
Features may include telematics, asset information, schedule management, inventory or equipment control, and others.
Using fleet maintenance software, you can build a robust vehicle database, track your vehicles with GPS tracking, schedule maintenance activities based on vehicle usage, and develop an effective fleet maintenance program.
Advantages of fleet maintenance
Carriers enjoy several benefits when they monitor the health of their vehicles closely. Some of the advantages of proactive fleet maintenance are:
- Reduced possibility of engine failure
- Smoother and more efficient trips
- Timely deliveries, which lead to higher productivity and improved customer relations
- Less operating expenses because of fewer vehicle breakdowns
- Less possibility of vehicle violation penalties
- Reduced risk of vehicle breakdowns and accidents, resulting in improved fleet safety
- Increased driver safety
- Increased life cycle of vehicles
Fleet maintenance is an integral part of successful fleet management programs. With modern tools and software, fleet managers can improve the condition of their vehicles more effectively.
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