If you own a business, you know how expensive it can be to maintain and repair all of your commercial vehicles. However, one of the best ways to keep your costs low when it comes to these vehicles is also a bit tricky. Setting up a preventative maintenance plan for commercial vehicles helps you to maintain all of the vehicles and meet their needs, before major problems occur with the vehicle. But with a fleet of vehicles, it can be challenging keeping track of which car or truck needs what done to it. Here are a few of the steps to follow if you are trying to set up a preventative maintenance plan for commercial vehicles.
Have Each Vehicle Thoroughly Inspected
If you don't already have a preventative maintenance plan in place, have each of the vehicles in your fleet inspected. At this inspection, ask the repair and maintenance service company to give a detailed list of what services the vehicle needs and how soon they need it. This is a great starting point to determining what each vehicle's needs are and setting up a system that allows you to meet those needs. Any preventative maintenance, such as oil changes and replacing the air filters, can also be done. Once this is done, set up a computer program, or install a fleet management system program, to keep track of the needs of each car, when preventative maintenance was done and when the vehicle needs to be brought back. A computer program is more efficient than the older paper system, as the computer will alert you when maintenance is due, just in case you forget.
Perform Yard Checks
Another step to setting up a preventative maintenance plan for commercial vehicles is to perform yard checks of the vehicles frequently. Some companies have an employee inspect the vehicles in the yard each day after closing, while others do this on a weekly basis. A yard check involves inspecting both the exterior and interior of the vehicle. When a yard check is being done, the individual should look for signs that the vehicle may need repair. This includes checking for leaks under the car, inspecting the fluid in the car and looking at the mileage in the car. Some companies will even go as far as having an employee drive the car a short distance and listen for any odd sounds while the vehicle is driving or to see whether the vehicle feels right while it is driving. This helps ensure that anything overlooked by a driver is reported and can be repaired in a timely manner.
Talk With Your Drivers
The last step to setting up a preventative maintenance plan for commercial vehicles is to set up a program where the drivers can easily report any problems with their vehicles. Additionally, be sure that the drivers know how important it is to report any potential problems with their vehicles. Many drivers will let minor issues slide. They figure that since it isn't their car, they don't care if it needs more costly repairs down the road. However, as a business owner, you do care. Setting up incentive programs or making it easier for drivers to report these minor issues may encourage them to report them, allowing you to have them fixed before they turn into something larger.
Preventative maintenance helps prevent small auto issues from turning into large ones that can be costly. However, if you have a fleet of vehicles, staying on top of maintenance and repairs can be challenging. Taking the time to set up a preventative maintenance plan can be time consuming, but it can pay off. If you are considering doing this, you will want to have each vehicle thoroughly inspected and repaired, perform frequent yard checks and get your drivers involved.
For more information and tips, talk with a company that specializes in commercial vehicle repair, such as Florida TRUCK & Trailer CO.