When it comes to keeping both your drivers and your vehicles safe and thriving on the road, there’s a list of easy steps to help. The golden rule to effective fleet maintenance is that ‘prevention is better than cure’. Taking a hands-on and prepared approach to managing your fleet maintenance will not only lower your operating costs, but it can prevent dangerous safety hazards. Here’s 7 essential tips to help you manage the maintenance of your fleet from Insure my Van.
1.Implement a regular fleet inspection schedule.
A well thought out, and regular inspection schedule is the first essential step to maintaining a healthy fleet. Set up an alert that you can receive monthly to remind you that some preventative maintenance is due.
While you might consider preventative maintenance a pain at the time, in the long run it’s going to make your life easier. Remember to carry out several checks, including oil changes, tyre inspection, and regular engine check-ups. If you need some expert assistance, it might be worth getting in touch with a professional maintenance provider to help you. This will offer peace of mind that the job is being done as safely and as effectively as possible.
2.Talk with your drivers often.
No one spends more time in your vehicles than your drivers do. Chances are, if there is something awry with one of your vans your driver will know. Encourage drivers to carry out their own routine checks while they are on the road.
They can check for oil levels and water levels or report back if a more significant component of the vehicle isn’t working as it should. When drivers are encouraged to report any issues as soon as they become aware of them, it prevents any small problems developing into larger and more expensive ones.
3.Make sure every vehicle in your fleet is fit for purpose.
While we all get complacent and while many of us tend to shy away from the expense of purchasing new vehicles, it’s vital to ensure all our existing vehicles are fit for purpose. According to the Green Fleet Magazine, ‘Specifications should be defined by the application and the mission requirements’, essentially, the vehicles in your fleet should be easily capable of carrying out the tasks required.
If an element of your fleet is technically not capable of the day to day work it has to do, it’s known as ‘under-speccing’. Under-speccing can grossly increase the maintenance costs for a vehicle in the long run. This is because you’re putting the vehicle under more pressure than it was initially designed for.
Additionally, under-speccing can sometimes impact the company’s liability exposure if an accident were to occur. This is an important factor to remember when weighing up a new purchase for your fleet.
4.Offer continuous comprehensive training for drivers.
While the drivers of fleets are always qualified and up-to-date with the requirements of their job, additional top-up training is incredibly beneficial. It’s a good idea to arrange courses where drivers can refresh their memories on safe driving practices.
When regular safety training programmes are running successfully, the number of accidents decreases and when the number of accidents decreases so too does the cost of repairing vehicles. Maintaining a solid knowledge of safe driving is not only going to benefit your drivers personally, but it’s going to have a positive spin on effect on your operating costs.
5.Keep your vehicles clean.
When you think of vehicle maintenance, cleanliness might not be a word that you immediately associate with it. However, you also want to maintain your business’ reputation, and your fleet should reflect a positive and professional image.
A clean and tidy environment will additionally have a positive impact on the mindset of the drivers who have to operate in these vehicles all day. It will also save you having to splurge on valet services if the untidiness worsens.
By keeping the exterior of your fleet clean, you can identify rust and signs of wear and tear early on. Early detection of these two elements is vital as they can become expensive to reverse if the damage goes unnoticed.
6.Ensure you have appropriate fleet insurance.
Even when we implement regular maintenance and ensure that all our drivers on the road are as up to date with safety precautions as possible, accidents still happen.
It’s imperative for fleets to have appropriate coverage in case the unexpected happens. When a vehicle has an accident, there are number of repercussions from personal injury to vehicle damage to missed deliveries or deadlines. These are unforeseen costs that could have a major impact on your business’ bottom line.
Talk to an informed insurance broker who can advise you on the best type of cover that you can purchase for your fleet. This will protect you in the event of liability and give you peace of mind.
7.Implement a fleet management software.
Remember when someone said ‘there is an app for everything’ well they were right. There’s a whole host of great software’s out there for fleet management for example, smartfreight.
With an appropriate fleet management system, managers can track and maintain their fleet in a quick and accessible way. Desktop, as well as mobile based fleet management applications, are now available to manage various types of transportation.
Such software helps to take complete control over almost every aspect of the fleet’s operations. Along with adhering to regulatory requirements, certain apps can reduce the operational costs, improve fleet visibility, and fuel management and increase profitability.
With this type of software, you can also benefit from features such as real-time alerts, route optimization plans, planning for deliveries on-time, and more. Remember however, to choose a software that can easily adapt with the current system you have in place.
If you’re looking for fleet insurance and you want to talk to an expert about various covers and the disparities in price then why not reach out to www.insuremyvan.ie? Insuremyvan.ie has a number of informed experts ready and waiting to help you manage your fleet in the safest way possible