Maintaining a fleet of business vehicles is important for a number of reasons. Not only does it ensure that your vehicles are road-ready and up to safety standards, but it can also save you money in the long run.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when maintaining a fleet is to make sure that all of your drivers are properly trained on how to use and operate the vehicles. This includes both the safe operation of the vehicle as well as proper maintenance procedures. In addition, be sure to schedule regular maintenance checks for your vehicles. This will help identify any potential problems before they turn into bigger issues.
By keeping your fleet in good condition, you can help ensure that your business stays productive and efficient while on the road. Here’s how to do it.
1. Keep your vehicles clean
Wash each car regularly to keep it in pristine condition about once or twice a week. A build-up of dust and dirt will damage the paintwork and exposed metal parts over time. Mud also quickens the rusting process, especially in areas with high iron content in the soil. So be sure to give your car a thorough wash after any rainy weather.
Maintaining the cleanliness of both your car’s interior too is important for various reasons. A dirty car interior not only appears bad but can also smell bad and present health hazards. Additionally, having debris in your vehicle increases the likelihood of accidents; you could trip on something or small particles could become caught in moving components like the gear selector.
Employees should pick up trash in the car before returning it, and the interior should also be vacuumed and wiped down every time the car is washed. Not to mention, if you need to sell it in the future, this allows you to get more money for it—dirt can affect your car’s resale value heavily.
2. Inspect vehicles regularly
Routine maintenance, cleanings, and inspections of your vehicle will prevent any deterioration or damage. Checking for illegal or unsafe modifications should also be done often, such as a cracked windshield, inoperable headlights, or dysfunctional turn signals. If these small tasks are kept up with regularly, then driving on the road will be safer for you and those around you.
Inspecting your vehicles before and after use is important. This can be added to your fleet manager’s duties, but in addition, you should have a mechanic do routine check-ups. There should be checklist provided for the inspection of mechanical parts as well as test drives to ensure everything is working properly. Lastly, keep documentation for records.
Just as we see the importance of preventative care for our own health, it’s cheaper and wiser to do the same for our cars. By having routine maintenance check-ups done, you not only save money but can also avoid dangerous accidents—after all, vehicle repair, accident damages, and medical treatment all cost much higher than preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance over 5 to 10 years is still more affordable than buying a new car.
3. Maintain your vehicles to keep them from breaking down.
Although it may not be the most fun chore, maintaining your vehicle regularly is important. After inspection and identifying what needs to be fixed, take care of those issues as well as do some preventive maintenance. By changing your oil regularly, checking your brakes often, and rotating your tires periodically you will save time and money down the road. This is an important step for business owners in many industries such as construction, trucking, taxi services, or restaurants that offer delivery—you need vehicles you can trust so your company doesn’t run into any problems.
If you want your company vehicles to run properly, you need a team of qualified individuals to handle routine repairs, maintenance, and schedules. You must also invest in a set of reliable equipment so that your in-house mechanic has tools to use. If keeping staff on permanently isn’t an option for you, partner with a nearby auto repair shop or mechanic instead. You might be able to negotiate a deal that is lower than paying someone eight hours a day. This way, all the vehicles will run smoothly and efficiently for a long time.
4. Secure your vehicles.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau released a report stating that nearly half a million vehicles were stolen in the first half of 2022. As unsettling as this is, businesses with fleets are especially at risk for vehicle theft. Though it may seem helpless, there are some ways to reduce your chance of becoming a victim.
You can keep your vehicles safe by parking them in a sheltered spot. As a rule, the inside of a building is the best place to leave your car because it’s concealed and more troublesome for criminals to break into. If your business doesn’t have an indoor garage, consider setting up an outdoor parking lot with walls and a roof, or at least fencing it off and keeping it locked during nighttime hours.
Usually, the best place to park your vehicles is in a building or lot near your business. This way, you’ll have easy access to your cars and trucks, and your fleet manager and mechanics can work without being disturbed. These types of places usually have security measures like cameras, guards, and attendants. Only use street parking as a last resort option, and even then, try to have one or two CCTV cameras pointed toward where your vehicles will be parked overnight.
Although it may be time-consuming, keeping your business’s fleet of vehicles in good condition is crucial to maintaining a successful company. To reduce the risk of theft or damage to your cars and cargo, follow these five tips: park in safe places, use proper equipment, observe safe driving practices, and maintain routine maintenance check-ups. If you stick to this plan, not only will you protect yourself and your employees from potential danger on the road, but also increase the chances that your deliveries will be made as expected—on time and in one piece.