What Is Proactive Maintenance?

Are you a fleet manager or owner striving to find a solution to some of the core fleet maintenance challenges, including excessive downtime and equipment failure?

One of the ways to achieve this is via proactive maintenance.

But what exactly does this approach to fleet maintenance represent?

In the next sections, we take a deep dive into the topic. We offer a proactive maintenance definition, proactive maintenance examples, and more.

Let’s get started.

What is proactive maintenance?

Before we can dig into the essence of proactive maintenance, it’s important to outline what this term represents in the first place.

In fleet maintenance, there are different types of approaches you can take – reactive maintenance, predictive maintenance, and preventive maintenance.

However, there’s also a broader approach called proactive maintenance.
Under this form of maintenance, fleet owners and managers focus on identifying the root cause behind the fleet vehicles’ failures and downtime. This enables them to put in place corrective measures in advance, before the root cause creates additional challenges and breakdowns.

It’s important to note that preventive maintenance is part of proactive maintenance. The key difference is that preventive maintenance is ideal for vehicles that are not considered high-risk, while proactive maintenance is recommended for major repairs involving decision-making data.

Types of proactive maintenance

Let’s look at the three core types of proactive maintenance and find out how they differ from one another.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is among the most popular types of proactive maintenance. It’s also an approach that we’ve previously discussed in our blog.

The preventive maintenance approach works with PM intervals. As part of a preventive maintenance program, the fleet team concentrates on executing regular maintenance activities in order to make sure the vehicles are in perfect, fully operating condition.

These tasks are executed according to a PM calendar, based on usage, based on historical data, or automatically recommended by technology.

Condition-based Maintenance (CBM)

On the other hand, condition-based maintenance pays close attention to the way vehicles and other fleet assets operate.

Instead of sticking to a fixed PM schedule, this fleet maintenance method evaluates the current condition of the vehicle by relying on real-time data gathered from sensors and monitoring systems.

Via such technology, fleet managers can track vital parameters and metrics, including oil quality, tire pressure, engine performance, and more.

Once the data suggests that a vehicle part or system is coming close to its wear limit or indicates signs of potential failure, maintenance is scheduled to address the issue before it leads to a breakdown.

Condition-based maintenance is especially valuable when it comes to enhancing maintenance activities and increasing the lifespan of fleet assets.

Scheduled and Routine Maintenance

Finally, scheduled and routine maintenance represents a manually specified approach to proactive maintenance.
Under this scenario, the fleet manager or person responsible for maintenance scheduling can recommend routines designed to analyze the performance of vehicles and fleet assets.

In most cases, fleet companies don’t rely on a single approach. Instead, they work by combining parts of these three types of proactive maintenance methods in order to achieve the best results for the company.

Pros and cons of proactive maintenance

Just like any other form of fleet maintenance, proactive maintenance goes hand in hand with a set of advantages and disadvantages.

From a benefits perspective, this form of maintenance empowers fleet owners and managers to dramatically lower expenses over time. By minimizing downtime and improving the lifespan of your assets, you can enjoy significant cost savings.

In addition, proactive maintenance guarantees peace of mind, knowing that your vehicles and assets will be in optimal working condition. This will allow you to perform your duties on time, satisfy customers and partners, and build a positive reputation in the industry.

Not to mention that this approach can also substantially reduce safety-related accidents. As a result, drivers and employees will feel in better hands, while the business will be fully compliant at all times.

However, there are also drawbacks to address.

For example, proactive maintenance requires hefty investments in the form of finances and time.

In order to set up proactive maintenance for your fleet, you’ll need to be fully prepared for pricey initial costs. These could include implementing the necessary technology, training your staff, and more.

Proactive vs. reactive fleet maintenance

But how does proactive maintenance compare against reactive maintenance?

As noted above, proactive maintenance helps to extend the lifespan of the fleet, improve safety, and minimize disruptions in operations by addressing potential issues early.

On the other hand, reactive fleet maintenance occurs in response to vehicle breakdowns or failures.

Maintenance and repairs are performed only after a problem has been identified, often resulting in unscheduled downtime and potentially higher repair costs.

This approach can lead to longer periods of vehicle inactivity, disrupting operations and increasing the risk of further damage.

While reactive maintenance might seem cost-effective in the short term, it can result in higher overall expenses and decreased fleet reliability in the long run.

Examples of proactive fleet maintenance

To truly understand the nature of proactive maintenance, let’s look at a few examples.

Example of proactive maintenance

For instance, these can include regularly scheduled oil changes, tire rotations, brake inspections, and fluid checks. These tasks are performed at predetermined intervals based on time, mileage, or other factors to prevent potential issues before they occur.

Other examples include:

  • Engine diagnostics – Regularly using diagnostic tools to check for issues with the engine and other critical systems to catch and address problems early.
  • Battery testing – Periodically testing the battery to ensure it is holding a charge properly and replacing it before it fails.
  • Filter replacements – Changing air, fuel, and cabin filters as recommended to maintain optimal engine performance and cabin air quality.
  • Alignment and suspension checks – Ensuring wheels are properly aligned and the suspension system is in good condition to prevent uneven tire wear and improve handling.
  • Fluid analysis – Conducting regular analysis of engine oil, transmission fluid, and coolant to detect contaminants or degradation, allowing for timely replacements.
  • Software updates – Keeping vehicle software systems up-to-date to ensure all components function correctly and benefit from the latest performance and safety enhancements.


These proactive measures help maintain the health and efficiency of the fleet, reduce unexpected breakdowns, and extend the lifespan of the vehicles.

Unlock the potential of proactive maintenance with Fleetpal

Are you ready to take your fleet maintenance to the next level and explore all of the opportunities for proactive maintenance?

Say goodbye to reactive repairs and always be one step ahead! With the Fleetpal software solution, you can take advantage of powerful fleet data at your fingertips, enabling you to create a bullet-proof proactive maintenance plan.

Find out more and learn how the tool works by scheduling a free online demo with a member of our team.

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Mike Valnev