Time Management in the Fleet Maintenance Process

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Time Management in the Fleet Maintenance Process

Investing time in fleet maintenance is a worthwhile endeavor, as regular maintenance enhances the uptime of your fleet. This crucial aspect of any fleet company can be taken from good to great by streamlining processes for inspections and communications, plus implementing efficient fleet maintenance practices — all which can dramatically reduce unexpected downtime, safety violations and the cost of running your business.

Keep reading to discover how to optimize time management in the fleet maintenance process.

 

Are your inspections optimized for efficiency?

The first step in any growth process is accurately assessing current performance. To gauge your fleet’s inspection rate efficiency, analyze the costs associated with the time and equipment invested in the inspection process (“input”). Then, compare it against the number of completed Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) within a specific timeframe, calculate vehicle uptime, identify key decisions made by fleet managers, and evaluate compliance success (“output”). This evaluation of “resources in” versus “productivity out” will provide insights into areas that need improvement to increase output.

Turning the inspection process into a reliable system promotes standardization, enhances compliance, and reduces the time invested in inspections in the long term. Training all drivers to perform vehicle inspections consistently with the system from the moment they’re hired will naturally reduce average inspection time through habituation, while also ensuring that drivers pay attention to key aspects of the inspection. 

The use of digital tools, such as mobile apps associated with fleet management software, is essential for cost reduction. By replacing paper forms and lengthy handwritten descriptions with electronic forms and digital communication, drivers can easily complete the fleet inspection in a standardized way that leaves no stone unturned.

For example, by using Whip Around for customizing forms, providing clear driver instructions and making certain photos mandatory, fleet managers prevent errors or misinterpretation. Once submitted, this information becomes immediately accessible to fleet managers, mechanics and other relevant parties within the platform. 

 

Boosting communication to accelerate processes 

Fast, efficient, accurate, and timely communication can save a fleet significant time and money. In this industry, time equals money, and poor communication can lead to expensive repairs and unexpected downtime. 

Let’s explore ways to avoid these and other complications caused by communication gaps.

Utilizing fleet maintenance technology that automatically connects every key team member streamlines and simplifies the communication process. Customizable forms ensure key information is captured, promoting thoroughness and accuracy. Digital communication tools also eliminate the delays inherent in older paper-based, in-person or phone communication systems.

Creating a company culture that encourages communication between drivers and maintenance personnel should be part of the onboarding and education process. Ensure drivers understand how to use fleet technology to communicate directly with managers and maintenance crews, and encourage the use of photos when reporting defects. This can help reduce the time drivers spend explaining issues and provide mechanics with a better understanding of the repair requirements.

 

Make the fleet maintenance workflow a well-oiled machine

Regularly scheduled preventative maintenance helps maintain the health of your fleet and prevents costly repairs from popping up unexpectedly in the future. Fleet maintenance tools that allow for automated scheduling and streamlined communication can significantly cut down on wasted time.

Use software tools to set up preventative maintenance workflow that includes service alerts based on mileage or time, which keeps equipment in good shape while reducing vehicle downtime. Whether it involves repairing minor issues discovered during inspections or addressing larger problems that might render a vehicle unable or unsafe to drive, proper planning and scheduling enabled by fleet maintenance software proactively ensures that sufficient time and resources are available for corrective maintenance.

Remember, for a fleet, time is money — which means unexpected downtime is especially costly. Early identification of issues that jeopardize the health of the vehicle is crucial for keeping your fleet on the road. Take advantage of seasonal downtime by scheduling inspections and preventative maintenance during this period. Seasonal downtime also provides an opportunity for driver education. 

 

Embrace technology for a brighter future

Thankfully, the days of spreadsheets, pen-and-paper work orders, slow communication and dusty paper files are gone. Powerful fleet maintenance technology allows you to manage these processes all from a handheld device.

Whip Around is an easy-to-use fleet maintenance software platform that offers digital inspections, customizable checklists, work order management, real-time and historical fleet health data, maintenance scheduling, compliance resources, reporting and fuel management — to name a few of our capabilities.  

These tools help improve your equipment uptime, reduce costs and guarantee safety and compliance across the board. Whip Around also helps you maximize your only non-renewable resource: time. 

Schedule a demo or start a free trial to discover how Whip Around can help take your fleet to the next level. Questions? Just give us a shout and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

 

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