It's not easy being responsible for the maintenance of a truck fleet these days, as there is a lot riding on the outcome. You have to ensure that both your drivers and your vehicles are being as productive as possible, as downtime on either side of that equation is costly. You always need to be focusing on best practices, so what are some of the latest tips when it comes to optimising your fleet maintenance?
Watching Out for Trouble
In the majority of cases, any breakdown is the result of circumstances that could have been foreseen. Of course there are anomalies, but it will pay over and again if you adopt a process of preventive maintenance. This will include the obvious culprits such as fluid changes, tyre rotation and basic checks. However, you should also be aware of any historic weak spots linked to a particular brand of vehicle, even if you have to do your own research to find out.
Getting to Know Each Vehicle
Get to know each vehicle intimately in terms of what they are designed to do, so you can optimise their role within your particular organisation. If you don't, you may utilise a truck beyond its specification and this will invariably lead to maintenance issues in the future. You shouldn't fall into the trap of allocating a vehicle that is "over specification" either, just because you think it will be easily able to handle it. This will just waste costs, instead of helping with the budget.
Making Sure the Drivers Are on Board
You need to make sure that your drivers are all educated when it comes to the limitations of the vehicles that they drive and your specific usage policies. They should be on the lookout for any early warning signs of needed truck repairs and be ready to let you know as soon as possible.
Scrutinising the Data
Ensure that you maintain comprehensive logs relating to each vehicle, with details of preventive and emergency maintenance actions and costs. You will need to compare these costs to the total price of ownership for the vehicle in question, so that you optimise its value and know the best time to sell it.
Bringing the Team into the Picture
Finally, maintain a close relationship with your parts supplier so that they can expedite any deliveries to you if needed. Get in touch with your repair facility to bring them up to speed with your new maintenance policies, to ensure that everybody is working for the overall good of the organisation.