A fleet of company vehicles can be a big investment for any business. Not only do you have to purchase the vehicles, but you also have to maintain them. Proper maintenance is essential to keeping your vehicles on the road and avoiding costly repairs down the road. Here are a few tips on how to maintain your fleet of vehicles.
1. Keep up with scheduled maintenance.
One of the best ways to avoid costly repairs is to keep up with scheduled maintenance. This means changing the oil on time, getting the brakes checked regularly, and rotating the tires. By staying on top of scheduled maintenance, you can avoid larger problems down the road.
If you extensively use your company vehicles, it’s important to have the proper tools and staff dedicated to vehicle maintenance. This includes having a mechanic on staff who can perform routine repairs and maintenance, as well as a fleet manager who can keep track of schedules and make sure all vehicles are properly maintained. You may also want to invest in a toolkit that includes all the necessary tools for performing repairs and maintenance yourself. If you have a construction company, a trucking business, a taxi company, or even a restaurant that offers food delivery, you need to make sure that you can rely on your vehicles.
By having the proper tools and staff in place, you can ensure that your vehicles are always in good shape and ready for the road.
2. Perform regular cleaning.
Another way to keep your fleet of vehicles in good shape is to perform regular cleanings. This includes both interior and exterior cleanings. Dust and dirt can build up over time and cause damage to the paint job and exposed metal parts. Mud speeds up rusting, too, so make sure to have more frequent washing during spells of rain.
Additionally, it’s important to keep the interiors of your vehicles clean. Debris, both organic and inorganic, are at its best a minor inconvenience; at worst, it presents severe health hazards. Food debris attracts pests that can cause health problems. Other kinds of debris can cause accidents like tripping while getting out or small particles getting stuck in moving parts of the interior, like the gear selector. To prevent debris from accumulating, implement a policy that makes staff pick up after themselves and have your fleet manager make it a part of the vehicle return procedure. Then, get the vehicles vacuumed once or twice a week.
Regular cleanings will help extend the life of your fleet and keep it looking its best. Apart from that, with pristine-looking interiors and exteriors, you can maximize their resale value if it comes time to sell them.
3. Inspect the vehicles regularly.
In addition to scheduled maintenance and regular cleanings, you should also inspect the vehicles regularly. This means checking for fluid leaks, tire tread wear, and any other signs of wear and tear.
Inspections should be done before and after use, so if you have a fleet manager, you can make it part of their procedure. In addition, have your mechanic do regular checks of mechanical parts. Let them do test drives as part of the inspection so that they can feel for themselves if something is wrong. Draft up checklists for your fleet manager, mechanic, and other staff to use as part of the procedure and for keeping documentation. It’s hard to miss things with a checklist unless the checklist is missing items itself.
By inspecting the vehicles regularly, you can catch small problems before they become big ones.
4. Park your vehicles somewhere safe.
According to a study published in 2021, about 95% of all vehicular accidents occurred between a moving vehicle and an immobile one, while there were 268.2 vehicle thefts per 100,000 people in the US. These numbers are worrying, but there are ways to keep your vehicles safe from theft or accidents.
The best way to protect your vehicles from accidents or crime when they are not being used is to park them somewhere safe. Ideally, the best place to park is in an interior garage in your establishment; it’ll be hard for a vehicle to be damaged by accidents or targeted by criminals if it’s hidden behind a sturdy garage door. However, not every business has this luxury; even some trucking and delivery companies do not have interior garages. As such, your next best option is an outdoor, fenced-off parking lot, or at the very least, a parking lot that you can close at night when no one is in the area.
If your business does not have this either, try to in a parking building or lot nearby. That way, you have easy access to your vehicles, and your fleet manager and mechanics can work in peace. These places also have security staff and measures, like cameras, guards, and attendants. Only park on the street as a last resort, and even then, try to have a CCTV camera or two pointed in your vehicles’ direction.
Maintaining a fleet of company vehicles can be a big investment, but it’s important to keep up with proper maintenance in order to avoid costly repairs down the road. By following these tips, you can help extend the life of your fleet and keep it running smoothly for years to come.