Operating a fleet of commercial vehicles is undoubtedly a challenge that encumbers fleet managers and owners alike. Luckily, with the evolution of technology, fleet maintenance software solutions are here to make this task much easier and more guaranteed than ever.
In the following sections, we’ll take you on a journey to answer the question of what is fleet maintenance software. We’ll review all this solution offers and point out its value for businesses of all sizes.
What is fleet maintenance software?
Before we go into the details, it’s worth mentioning that not all fleet maintenance software is created equal. It comes in different shapes and sizes and has different features to offer.
Overall, fleet maintenance software is a specialized tool designed to aid in managing and upkeep a company’s vehicles. This technology centralizes information, automates tasks, and provides critical insights in ensuring that the fleet is running efficiently and cost-effectively.
Let’s delve into the features and capabilities of fleet maintenance software and explore how leveraging these can significantly improve fleet operations and increase company profits.
Fleet maintenance software features & capabilities that can help you improve fleet operations
Although we noted that there are diverse fleet maintenance software solutions, the following are the popular features and capabilities that can transform how you operate your fleet.
- Predicting maintenance needs
- Real-time DVIRs
- Maintenance scheduling and reminders
- Preventive maintenance planning
- Real-time diagnostic data
- Work order management
- Parts and inventory management
- Vendor and service provider integration
- Maintenance cost tracking and analysis
- Compliance and documentation
- Performance monitoring
Let’s dissect each feature to understand more about its value.
Anticipate maintenance needs, reducing downtime and repair costs
One of the most powerful abilities of high-quality fleet maintenance software is to predict when a truck or another type of vehicle is likely to require maintenance.
By analyzing historical data, the software can identify patterns and predict the optimal time for maintenance. This allows for timely service scheduling before a breakdown occurs.
As a result, downtime is minimized, as vehicles are serviced in a controlled and planned manner, while repair costs are reduced by preventing major issues.
For instance, if a delivery truck has historically required tire replacement every 25,000 miles, the software can send alerts as the vehicle approaches this mileage.
This predictive approach enables the fleet manager to schedule maintenance proactively, minimizing the chances of unexpected breakdowns that can cause significant downtime and incur high repair costs.
Make informed decisions based on real-time DVIRs and fault code alerts
Another essential feature in fleet maintenance software is DVIR (Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports) and fault code alerts. These components provide critical real-time information about the status of vehicles, enabling immediate notifications regarding issues.
For example, a driver can complete a DVIR at the end of their shift, indicating any issues they noticed with the vehicle. Fault codes, on the other hand, are generated by a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics and can reveal issues such as engine overheating or emission problems.
Access to this real-time data empowers fleet managers to make quick decisions, such as routing a vehicle to the nearest service station or notifying the driver to stop the vehicle immediately to avoid engine damage.
Maintenance scheduling and reminders
A core feature of fleet maintenance software is also the ability to schedule maintenance activities and set up reminders. This ensures that all vehicles receive regular maintenance, contributing to longer vehicle life and lower costs in the long term.
Maintenance scheduling and reminders are vital for ensuring that no maintenance activity is missed. Fleet maintenance software allows you to set up maintenance schedules based on parameters such as mileage, hours of operation, or time intervals.
For example, you can schedule an oil change every 3,000 miles or three months. The software will then send reminders to the fleet manager and, in some cases, directly to the drivers as the maintenance date or mileage approaches.
Preventive maintenance planning
Preventive maintenance in fleet management is all about preventing breakdowns and keeping vehicles in optimal condition.
This involves activities such as regular oil changes, tire rotations, brake inspections, and more. A reliable fleet maintenance software can help you achieve this with minimum effort yet with bullet-proof results.
For example, the software can be set to schedule maintenance every 10,000 miles for tire rotations. By keeping on top of these activities, you can extend the life of the vehicles and reduce the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns, business disruption, and unsatisfied partners or clients.
Real-time diagnostic data
Real-time diagnostic data gives fleet managers instant access to information such as fuel consumption, engine temperature, and tire pressure.
For example, if a truck’s engine temperature rises beyond the normal range, the fleet maintenance software can alert the manager.
The manager can then contact the driver to take necessary actions, such as reducing speed or stopping for a cooling period, to prevent engine damage.
The information can be used to detect issues early and to make informed maintenance decisions.
Work order management
Work order management is one of the most critical aspects of fleet maintenance, no matter how big or small your fleet is. It’s a crucial element for tracking repairs and maintenance activities.
Fleet maintenance software simplifies and digitizes this process by enabling the creation, assignment, and tracking of work orders, ensuring that maintenance work is carried out efficiently and documented accurately.
For example, if a vehicle requires tire replacement, a work order can be created and assigned to a technician. The software tracks the progress of the work order and updates the status. This ensures that maintenance activities are carried out efficiently and that there is a record of the work performed.
Parts and inventory management
Maintaining an inventory of spare parts is essential to reduce vehicle downtime. Fleet maintenance software helps track inventory levels and can automate reordering processes to ensure that parts are always available when needed.
For instance, let’s say that there are only two oil filters left in the inventory of your repair shop. If the reorder level is set at five, the system can automatically place an order with the supplier for more oil filters.
This will save you headaches down the road and will ensure a smooth servicing with zero time waste.
Vendor and service provider integration
No matter how well-developed your fleet business is, chances are that you will occasionally partner with vendors or service providers for specific tasks and activities.
Fleet maintenance software can integrate with vendors and service providers., simplifying the process of scheduling services, ordering parts, and communication. All of this leads to seamless collaboration with external parties.
For example, imagine that the software is integrated with a tire supplier. When the system identifies the need for new tires based on wear patterns, it could automatically communicate with the supplier, get quotes, and even schedule the tire fitting.
Maintenance cost tracking and analysis
Understanding the costs associated with maintenance is key to optimizing fleet operations. Fleet maintenance software enables the tracking of expenses and provides analysis tools to evaluate how maintenance activities are impacting the bottom line.
For example, the software can track how much is spent on oil changes for a particular vehicle model. By analyzing this data, the fleet manager can identify if a specific vehicle model has higher than average maintenance costs and make informed decisions regarding future vehicle purchases.
Compliance and documentation
Compliance with regulations is another aspect of fleet management that must be addressed.
Fleet maintenance software helps maintain the necessary documentation and ensures that vehicles meet regulatory standards, which can be pivotal in avoiding fines and legal issues.
For instance, heavy trucks are required to undergo regular inspections according to the DOT. The software can track when inspections are due, ensuring that vehicles remain compliant.
Without accurate and reliable data to assess your vehicles’ performance, it’s impossible to identify the performance of your business as a whole.
Some types of fleet maintenance software provide tools for analyzing fuel consumption, driver behavior, and route efficiency, which can be used to make necessary improvements.
For example, by monitoring fuel consumption across different routes, a fleet manager can identify fuel-efficient routes and adjust schedules accordingly to reduce fuel costs.
Investing in fleet maintenance software can make a difference
Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, fleet maintenance software is a must if you’re aiming to optimize fleet operations. Its features facilitate efficient management and enable business growth in the long term.
Choosing a solution that aligns best with your goals and resources and leveraging its capabilities to achieve streamlined and cost-effective fleet operations is key.
At Fleetpal, we make all of this possible, and more. Get in touch with our team of representatives and learn more about the features and capabilities of our fleet maintenance software.