Keeping your vehicles in top condition so that they perform as expected (and when they’re needed) can be easier said than done depending on your process of servicing them…including submitting work orders.
Is your entire work order process as efficient and simple as it should be for addressing faults, or basic maintenance-related tasks? Since daily vehicle inspections are an essential aspect of your fleet’s maintenance, any faults that are noted during a driver’s daily inspections must be immediately addressed.
For many years, work orders were simply submitted using paper forms completed by the driver which were passed on to the mechanic and subsequently filed by management. Paper makes handling off work orders a hassle, but even telematics companies can make these digital interfaces and workflows more complicated than they need to be.
The good news is that there is a better way of managing work orders digitally for your entire team: using a work order app.
Here are 5 key benefits of using a simple and user friendly app for managing work orders that drivers, mechanics, and fleet managers will appreciate.
1. Elimination of Paperwork
Digital work orders simplify the process of documenting vehicle faults by eliminating paper forms. This makes it so drivers no longer have to carry paperwork in their truck, find a pen, or take the time to insert repetitive information.
There’s a better way…without paper
With digital work orders, there’s no risk of drivers losing one or more copies of the work order (or damaging papers) prior to turning them in. You also don’t have to worry about a mechanic misplacing a work order once it’s submitted.
Digital work orders are an easy, yet efficient way of documenting vehicle faults. Here are a few of the added benefits you can expect to experience:
- No need to order large quantities of multi-copy forms to distribute to drivers, saving your team money
- No more waiting for work orders to be delivered to a mechanic—this happens automatically
- No risk of running out of forms that drivers need
A work order app only requires that the driver uses a connected device such as a smartphone or tablet, ensuring everyone is always on the same page, viewing the same information no matter where they are.
2. Improved Internal Communication
Communication is paramount when it comes to fleet vehicle maintenance and repairs, which is why it’s critical for mechanics to know what is expected of them each day.
Since management and mechanics rely upon drivers to find and report on any faults, digital work orders eliminate the back-and-forth commonly associated with hand delivering notes taken using paper.
Clarity and legibility benefits
In order to know what needs to be performed when a work order is submitted, accurate descriptions of all faults (and actions taken to correct them) are essential. A work order app keeps the lines of communication open and clear.
Here are a few problems that you don’t have to worry about using an app for work order creation and management:
- Poor penmanship, spelling errors, or other issues associated with hand-written work orders that cause confusion and delays
- No need for drivers to take notes by hand, and no more hunting for a writing utensil or missing forms with digital work orders
- No delays in dropping off work orders (or sorting through huge stacks of them for the mechanic). All information can be acted on immediately.
3. Simplified Repair Scheduling
Regularly scheduled maintenance on your equipment is more than just a good idea, it’s imperative.
The same holds true for repairs that need to be completed.
Any fault, no matter how small, needs to be scheduled for repair in a timely manner to ensure that the vehicle remains roadworthy and safe.
The earlier your team can get a vehicle into a garage for repairs, the more productive your entire fleet will become by avoiding unplanned downtime. Here are a few of the key features to look for in a work order management app related to repair scheduling that the Whip Around application can help with:
- Ability to instantly communicate a repair need to your mechanic so they are aware of the issue
- Ability for mechanics to prioritize repairs based on urgency
- Digital signature sign off by the mechanic
As a result of simplifying repairs digitally, this makes it easier on your mechanics and gets vehicles back on the road faster. Submitting work orders digitally also needs to be coupled with a maintenance portal mechanics can access to address repairs.
4. Extended Vehicle Useful Life
Your drivers and vehicles are always on the move through city streets, highways, and backroads. For this reason, well maintained and operating vehicles are critically important to keeping your company competitive, productive, and profitable.
Since a work order management app is so efficient at kicking off the repair process as opposed to than paper (and many other complex tools), your team can extend the life of your fleet by planning, scheduling, and performing them as soon as faults are detected.
From small things like replacing a belt or hose to larger repairs like replacing a major part, managers can instantly act on this information, submit a work order, and get your vehicles back on the road.
Letting even the smallest repair go for too long can result in a breakdown, additional costs, and downtime for your driver. Ignoring a repair also can have a real impact on a vehicle’s useful life, meaning it will have to be replaced far sooner than you expect or want to.
5. Improved Regulatory Compliance
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires all motor carriers and intermodal equipment providers to systematically inspect, repair, and maintain their vehicles. All parts and accessories that may affect the safety of the vehicle’s operation must be in proper operating condition at all times.
Since carriers are also required to keep records of the maintenance and repair activities for all vehicles under their control for 30 consecutive days. These records must be maintained for one year, or six months after the vehicle leaves their control.
How accessing maintenance records digitally makes compliance a breeze
Record keeping has long been a difficult task for carriers as they had to maintain physical copies of daily inspections, maintenance, and repairs. Limited space and lack of organization also made it difficult for some carriers to produce records when required by inspectors or law enforcement.
With digital vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) and work order records submitted through an app, producing the records you need to stay compliant is much easier than digging through file cabinets all day.
Keeping track of work orders and repairs with an application for your fleet manager, in the event of an audit you have everything you need. Archiving work orders and other service records digitally also eliminates the needs to worry about physical space and storing records.
As a fleet manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure that drivers are safe and that they’re able to remain productive throughout their shift. Addressing faults with a proper work order creation app is such a key piece of the puzzle to get right.
Since you can’t afford to leave anything to chance when it comes to regulatory compliance, why not give your team the tools they need to make inspections, maintenance, and compliance easier? Whip Around was designed with fleet owners like you in mind.
Contact us to learn more about how the Whip Around app can make inspections and maintenance (including a better way to generate work orders) so much easier. To see for yourself, start your free trial today.