In the realm of modern transportation, fleet management plays an essential role for businesses that bank on a reliable fleet for delivering products or providing services.
Fleet maintenance is a crucial part of this management, but at the same time, it is often overlooked. In this article, we answer a fundamental question – why is fleet maintenance important?
We’ll emphasize the importance of fleet maintenance and explain how incorporating successful and efficient practices can bring tangible benefits to both businesses and drivers.
Why is fleet maintenance important from a business perspective
To understand why fleet maintenance is important, it’s key to take two points of view – that of the business and that of drivers.
Let’s start by exploring why fleet maintenance is like a cog in the wheel from a business perspective.
The nerve center of your fleet
Fleet maintenance is vital for many reasons, but perhaps one of the most important ones is the centralization of control.
Regardless if the company is hoping to keep expenses under control, minimize manual input and administrative challenges, reduce downtime, monitor performance, or else, a top-notch fleet maintenance plan keeps everything in one place.
Furthermore, executing all of these activities through a fleet maintenance software system will create full transparency across the organization.
It can help all parties involved quickly spot trends, establish benchmarks, and make data-backed decisions for to improve fleet KPIs.
Protecting your investments
Remarketing fleet assets is a popular practice among large and small companies.
But if you continue exploiting trucks and other vehicles beyond their best years, the business may accumulate exorbitant maintenance and repair bills. Implementing a maintenance program, which tracks all essential data, problems, and costs, can provide a strategic vision of when the time is ripe for fleet vehicle replacement.
Regrettably, some businesses adopt a reactive rather than proactive approach to vehicle replacement, waiting for an asset to break down before crafting a replacement plan.
In addition, ongoing vehicle supply shortages are forcing fleets to retain vehicles for extended periods.
However, if your business model involves leasing a fleet, these ‘strategies’ could negatively impact your profitability. You can fully capitalize on their resale value by adopting a strategic perspective and meticulously planning your vehicle remarketing timings.
Fleet maintenance stands as a critical pillar of effective fleet management and warrants diligent attention.
A competent business will use a dependable fleet maintenance software solution to tailor a maintenance program that matches the business objectives, requirements, and budget.
At the same time, it will prioritize safety, ensure efficiency, facilitate cost savings, and ultimately achieve the desired results.
The silver bullet for downtime
The fleet’s level of productivity directly translates into the success and profitability of the whole company. For example, imagine that an unexpectedly broken down truck prevents the business from delivering products to a client or partner on time.
As a result, the company is forced to use another asset to perform the task, potentially disrupting regular business operations and creating a force majeure situation.
In addition, there are high chances that the delivery will be delayed, causing client dissatisfaction and potentially weakening trust. All of these factors ultimately lead to poor business reputation and brand damage.
This scenario can be easily avoided via fleet maintenance procedures. By taking into account the condition of every asset and taking a predictive rather than a reactive approach, the business can stay in control of repairs and boost productivity.
The acquisition of new fleet vehicles is often a burdensome process on a business level. The challenges are mostly associated with the expensive prices of new vehicles, the obstacles related to identifying the perfect fit for the company’s needs, and more.
Considering this, it’s essential that the existing vehicles in your fleet enjoy a maximum lifespan, keeping operations smooth and processes undisturbed.
Implementing preventive maintenance measures and staying in control of asset servicing decreases the chances of emergency breakdowns and urgent repairs.
This ensures that your fleet’s trucks and other vehicles are kept in perfect working condition, enabling them to last longer and offer extra value to your business.
Rather than dispose of vehicles prematurely, exploit your assets to their fullest potential by putting in place a reliable fleet maintenance program.
Minimizing operational and repair costs
Repair and operational expenses are inevitable business costs that, unfortunately, can’t be avoided. However, they can be brought down to a minimum, thanks to proactive fleet maintenance practices.
Research reveals that unplanned downtimes cost companies an estimated $50 billion every year. Reducing this expense can enable the prioritization of other, growth-oriented tasks and can make businesses more competitive on the market.
Regular fleet maintenance can eliminate the need for large, costly repairs. Smaller but timely repairs are usually much more affordable, taking substantial weight off company budgets.
For example, replacing a truck engine after years of neglect is more expensive than regular, strategically planned oil changes.
But let’s not forget that repair costs are not all the expenses that must be factored in. Operational costs are also unavoidable, as the vehicles incur costs like fuel consumption, oil use, insurance, and more.
By carefully tracking the performance of assets via consistent fleet maintenance processes, businesses can pinpoint improvement points to decrease operational costs dramatically.
To achieve this, most well-developed and high-quality fleet businesses utilize reliable fleet maintenance software like Fleetpal, with powerful analytical features.
Why is fleet maintenance important: The drivers’ perspective
Now that we’ve analyzed why fleet maintenance is vital for the business, let’s jump into the shoes of drivers.
Fleet maintenance holds equal, if not more, importance for the drivers who are at the helm of these vehicles.
A road without peril
For drivers, an adequately shaped fleet maintenance plan can be compared to a guardian angel. It ensures they remain safe at all times while at work and guarantees their well-being.
After all, a well-maintained and properly looked-after vehicle is drastically less likely to break down, thus, significantly reducing the risk of accidents.
The effects of fleet maintenance and management programs and software solutions are already evident. For example, surveys reveal that 42% of responding companies have seen fewer safety incidents due to fleet tracking software.
By automating the majority of the tedious tasks that traditionally required manual input, such as logging maintenance schedules, fleet maintenance liberates drivers from clerical tasks.
This saves invaluable time and ensures that no critical maintenance milestone falls through the cracks.
For instance, rather than requiring drivers to spend hours manually inputting vehicle data into paper-based forms, fleet maintenance software solutions can automatically export information from telematics integrations.
This empowers drivers to focus on what matters most – safely transporting the truck or other vehicle types to the desired destination on time, with zero disruptions.
The human element, perfected
The automation possibilities that we discussed above bring more than just time savings. They ultimately minimize the chances of human error, which can often be the weak link in the chain for a lot of companies.
Be it data entry or scheduling maintenance, automation fine-tunes the human element, ensuring a well-oiled machine with fewer errors.
The paperless revolution
Modern fleet maintenance is strongly tied to software solutions. These systems are at the forefront of the paperless revolution, digitizing critical processes such as maintenance scheduling, compliance management, and reporting.
This transition not only takes a substantial portion of the weight off drivers but also makes the remaining duties much more pleasant, stress-free, and quick to complete.
Digital work orders, for example, allow drivers to access critical data from the comfort of a mobile device or desktop. This omits the need to rely on paper carriers and other, outdated data storage techniques.
Creating change with powerful fleet maintenance software
In a nutshell, fleet maintenance creates tremendous opportunities for businesses and fleet drivers alike. But to be able to implement accurate and efficient processes, and keep track of fleet management metrics, you’ll need a reliable tool to equip you with the necessary features.
Fleetpal is a complete fleet maintenance software solution that caters to the needs of both small and large businesses.
With capabilities like digital work order management, vendor management, asset and inventory management, preventive maintenance intervals, and more, it makes fleet maintenance easier than ever.
Get in touch with our team to find out more, or schedule a free online demo, where we take you on a walk through the software’s features.