Learn Why It Is Essential For Your Fleet Business To Have A Preventive Maintainance Program

Jul 9, 2020 7:30 AM ET

Running a fleet business is no mean feat. You have got to be constantly on your toes, and take actions as swiftly as possible to ensure optimal results.

A single misstep could result in:

A safety hazard
Drastically increased costs
An unsatisfied client
Regulatory violations
Environmental damage

Most fleet managers recognize this and, thus, proactively think on their feet while making decisions at the right place and the right time.

With all this being said, there is one essential aspect of fleet management that is systemically overlooked, that is – a solid preventive maintenance program.

This may have got you thinking – what exactly is a preventive maintenance program?

According to Government Fleet – 

Preventive maintenance (PM) consists of scheduled servicing, inspections, and vehicle repairs to prevent potential problems and maximize vehicle availability. It is used in fleet management to proactively avoid or reduce vehicle breakdowns and is based on time, mileage, engine hours, or gallons of fuel used.

Some of the actions that are part of preventive maintenance include:

Regular cleaning
Timely testing of vehicles
Replacement of worn-out parts

Simple enough, isn’t it? And yet, most fleet managers do not take adequate steps to build a preventive maintenance program that is truly effective.

Not having a regular maintenance program can prove disastrous for your fleet business, whereas a good preventive maintenance program can help your business scale to new heights.

Here are some reasons why it is absolutely essential for your fleet business to have a preventive maintenance program:

1. Reduced operational costs 

Every business, no matter the industry, seeks to do one thing – lower their costs. In the fleet management business, one incurs significant costs in daily operations, which can become a pain point for many.

How fleet PM can help:

Timely maintenance helps your vehicles run at top fuel efficiency, resulting is fuel cost savings
Vehicles retain more of their monetary value in case you decide to liquidate them later
Repairing your vehicles before it is too late helps to save greater costs in replacements later in time

2. Higher safety standards 

Let’s face it; fleet management is a risky business. There are plenty of things that can go wrong if due diligence is not taken. Therefore, the safety of all involved must be a top priority for anyone in the fleet business.

How fleet PM can help:

Preventative maintenance ensures that the vehicles are always free from life-threatening wear and tear
You are always in the know of when repairs are due
You can make the best decision well in advance with everyone’s safety in mind

3. Reduced liability risks 

The fleet business is subject to plenty of regulatory oversight, which is in a way necessary to make sure that adequate safety standards are followed.

How fleet PM can help:

Preventive maintenance (if properly implemented) coupled with software that provides details about fleet tracking, nearly eliminates any risk owing to negligence that may result in an added liability
In the event of a vehicle breakdown leading to a serious mishap, your vehicle will be investigated by authorities, but by having a solid PM program, you can avoid all of that
You can even consult with your drivers based on their past experience and build the optimal PM program for your business

4. Reduced costs on repairs

Operational costs are one thing, and repair costs are quite another. An organization’s costs on repairs can vary widely depending on the kind of repairs needed, but one thing is for certain – the lesser you have to shell out, the better.

How fleet PM can help:

Although spending on preventive maintenance may seem expensive in the short run, the long terms savings are unparalleled
Even if you reach a point where repairs are the only solution, by getting your vehicles repaired early, you can spare the costs of replacement later in the future
The program even gives you just enough time to find the best person to do the job while burning the smallest possible hole in your organization’s pockets

5. Better for the environment 

The logistics industry has been taking a lot of steps to reduce its carbon footprint. There is a lot that can be done by organizations through proactive decision making that puts the environment first.

How fleet PM can help:

The longer a vehicle goes without the required maintenance, the lower its fuel efficiency – which only leads to a greater strain on the Earth’s limited resources
By maintenance your fleet as well as possible, you lower the need for replacement parts and that in turn, reduces waste
A PM program helps you discover the best ways to keep the planet healthy and your surroundings free from avoidable pollution

6. Happier clients 

Your business essentially boils down to this – keeping your customers happy and coming back for more. This can be done in a myriad of ways, which gets better with experience and with great customer-centric thinking.

How fleet PM can help:

Preventive maintenance helps keep your vehicles running smoothly as ever, which speeds up delivery resulting in lower turnaround times
It builds a positive image of your company in the eyes of your client knowing that you take care of your fleet as best as possible
The improved safety alleviates a lot of client anxiety over the secure delivery of their shipments

In conclusion 

As I mentioned at the start, running a fleet business sure isn’t easy. There are a ton of things to manage, which can end up being stressful. However, like most other successful businesses, it is about making the right decisions keeping the long term horizon always in mind.

Preventive maintenance is not something that can be implemented overnight. It requires a strong foundation that is built on dedication and a clear vision for the future.

Today, there are plenty of resources to learn the best practices followed in the fleet industry. You can download apps, visit their websites, or read books to learn from the best and implement it even better.

You may make mistakes at first, sure, but that is precisely how you learn and grow.

So put your game face on, and get ready to turn your fleet business into a roaring success!


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