If you have a company fleet of cars at your business, it goes without saying that you need to keep these vehicles as safe and well-maintained as you can. The last thing you need is for one of your employees to be stranded out in the middle of nowhere because the fleet car broke down — not only will she probably miss her appointment with a client, but you or another team member will have to put aside your work to go help out.
Fortunately, keeping your vehicles and your drivers as safe and productive as possible is not difficult, it just requires some organization and scheduled maintenance, as well as keeping some parts and supplies on hand.
Keep Equipment on Hand
Depending on the automotive maintenance skills and experience of your team, you may be able to do some of the fleet maintenance and repair yourselves. Or, if you send your company cars in to local automotive shops, it may behoove you to have certain vehicle parts on hand; this way, if a repair is needed, you can provide the part and not have to wait for it to be special ordered.
A prime example of this involves having a good supply of o-rings on hand; o-rings are found in different parts of vehicles, including the oil pump. In addition to o-rings, other parts you may want to stock up on and possibly change yourself include air filters, spare tires and needed fluids like oil, power steering and brake fluid.
Schedule Preventative Maintenance
Just as you want to bring your own car in for the factory suggested scheduled tune-ups, the same is true for fleet vehicles. According to Element Fleet, if you take a proactive approach to fleet maintenance, you should see a drop in unscheduled repairs and times when the cars are out of commission. Examples of this type of maintenance include tire rotation and inspection, car safety checks and oil changes.
If you are unsure of how often to perform these tasks, check the driver’s manual for each of your fleet vehicles; it will typically say how often each service should be performed. If you have a large fleet of vehicles, you may want to create an Excel spreadsheet or other organizational tool to help note when each car is maintained; this way, none of the vehicles will fall through the proverbial cracks.
Optimum Times for Maintenance and Repair
In order to keep your team on track with their work, be sure to communicate with them when the fleet vehicles will be brought in for repair. As Fleetio notes, work with your operations team on what they feel is the maximum amount of downtime for a fleet car and the best time for the repair work to start.
For instance, if three of your employees are scheduled to head out for a two-day business trip in a certain fleet vehicle that is due for some maintenance work, you may want to schedule that repair about a week in advance; this will give the auto repair people enough time to complete the work well before your team needs the fleet car for their trip.
By being aware of your team’s work schedule and organizing any repairs around when they need the fleet cars, you will avoid having a company vehicle miss a crucial maintenance checkup, as well as having to reschedule the team’s work because the car is in the shop.
A Well-Maintained Fleet
Keeping your fleet vehicles well-maintained does require a good mix of organization and proactive behavior, but it can be accomplished. By ordering certain parts and keeping them on hand, creating a maintenance schedule for each vehicle and being transparent with your team as to when these repairs will take place, your fleet of vehicles and your company should run very smoothly.