Preventative maintenance involves the individual adhering to a regularly scheduled maintenance on one or more vehicles. Also known as PM, this form of maintenance is often employed on vehicles that are still in working condition. As preventative maintenance is designed to help vehicles achieve optimal performance levels and significantly reduce downtime, it helps save fleet owners and managers money. However, there is an issue that some companies still refuse to employ preventative maintenance practices. Find out why you should avoid making this mistake and how you can ensure effective fleet management.
Understanding the Importance of Preventative Maintenance
If you do not have a preventative maintenance program in place, your drivers and vehicles are exposed to a higher risk of costly downtime and breakdowns. The condition of your vehicles may also have a direct impact on the fuel economy and efficiency of your vehicles. Some of the reasons why companies are apprehensive to these practices are the initial costs and time investment. The problem is that they fail to look at the entire big picture when it comes to the implementation of a preventative maintenance program. Yes, the initial investment may be substantial, but one needs to understand that the pay off in the long run is well worth it.
Creating a Sound Preventative Maintenance Plan for Effective Fleet Management
- Select a suitable method of keeping records for ongoing maintenance activities. Decide on the best way to store the data and how it will be reported.
- To establish appropriate PM frequencies, you may need to consult the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules. You should also set up a system that automatically sends alerts when maintenance is due.
- Establish an annual budget for maintenance.
- Choose between monthly meetings with a structured agenda (formal); or weekly updates, calls, and emails (informal) to communicate maintenance plans as well as receive feedback and reports.
- Implement a reliable fleet management system to streamline and automate reports, purchases, inventory management, PM scheduling, and work orders. These systems also allow you to analyze and measure key program metrics including maintenance by type, low stock report, closed work orders with all costs, and more.
- This step involves performing an inventory of one’s fleet vehicles, establishing a list of priority vehicles, and reviewing the maintenance records for each vehicle (an essential task that helps you determine regularly required maintenance parts and activities).
- Review ongoing PM program on a regular basis. This helps ensure that you meet your expectations and budget, and also identify any areas of improvement.
Vehicle & Service Fleet Tracking Helps to Make the Job Easier
Today, you can find a wide variety of vehicle tracking solutions out there on the market. When searching for the right system, make sure you choose one that offers you and your fleet managers the ability to actually communicate with the vehicles in real time. When a maintenance management system enables direct communication with your vehicles, you can automate the entire process and reduce human error. Various tasks such as preventative maintenance, notifications regarding engine and odometer faults, vehicle engine data reports, etc., can be automatically triggered to schedule within the software.