Scheduled, predictive maintenance is the key to maintaining fleet health and increasing the lifecycle of your equipment, but crafting an effective preventive maintenance program takes time, energy, and buy-in from your team.
If you’re in the process of creating a full-fledged maintenance program, but you’re looking for some quick wins to get the ball rolling—or even if you’re simply on the hunt for some new suggestions—these fleet maintenance tips can help you immediately mitigate wear and tear on your fleet.
1. Automate maintenance reminders
Maintaining your equipment before it breaks down is the goal, but it requires juggling the maintenance needs of all your assets. The whole process requires tune-ups and part replacements to happen regularly and on time. If upkeep starts falling through the cracks, it creates an avalanche effect—and it can be a struggle to get the system back on track.
Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to craft set-it-and-forget-it reminders for scheduled maintenance. With Whip Around, you can quickly create service schedules for every asset based on the criterion that makes the most sense: miles driven, hours in service, or specific time period.
As that scheduled maintenance approaches, you receive “due soon” reminders, so you can plan for equipment to be out of commission and ensure you’re not missing any preventive maintenance tasks.
2. Manage routes when possible
It’s difficult to remember how we got anywhere before navigation apps. But having drivers load up Google Maps to get to their destination isn’t always the best way to keep your fleet in the best possible condition. For instance, you may not want semis driving city routes that will force them to brake often or put them at risk of expensive fender benders.
Depending on your industry, route management may be challenging. But the time investment into planning some routes can save time, money, wear, and ultimately improve your customer (and driver) satisfaction.
3. Cut down on idling vehicles
Idling vehicles doesn’t simply drive up fuel costs—it adds to engine hours. This not only puts excess strain on your equipment, but it’s even been known to accelerate warranty expiration. It also contributes to the estimated 6 billion gallons of fuel idling puts into the air every year. Many states have enacted legislation to minimize vehicle idling time, including New Jersey, Texas, and Colorado.
Like many areas of preventive maintenance, this is a training opportunity. Drivers are the ones on the field who need to turn off engines when they’re not being used, stick to manufacturer recommendations on warm-up time, and follow anti-idling statutes.
4. Continually coach your drivers
Amidst the day-to-day chaos, coaching feels like the last thing in the world you have time for. But the investment in training pays off. It cuts down on urgencies and saves you money. Taking the time to communicate your expectations and equip drivers to follow through makes the roads safer and extends the life of your assets.
Offer thorough training for new hires that walks through your values and expectations for driving and inspections. Keep them abreast of FMCSA regulations, and create coaching opportunities where they can learn what to watch for during inspections from experienced drivers and mechanics.
5. Invest in fleet maintenance software
A quality fleet maintenance program enables you to monitor fleet health, manage maintenance schedules, and coordinate equipment downtime, no matter your industry. But unlike managing paper files, log books, or spreadsheets, your fleet data is aggregated in ways that make it more usable over time, allowing you to keep track of critical trends and spot issues before they become problems.
A tool like Whip Around puts the right information right at your fingertips. Driver inspection reports are uploaded to the cloud and instantly available, allowing you to create work orders for any noted defects. And you can easily access the inspection history of an asset to monitor trends and issues.
Prevent downtime and extend equipment lifespan
The goal of all preventive maintenance is to keep everything running smoothly and get the most use out of your assets. These fleet maintenance tips can help you accomplish both tasks, and if you’re interested in discovering how Whip Around can help you stay DOT compliant and protect the health of your fleet, try a free trial today!