Supply chain disruptions have paved a path of hardship for the automotive industry, causing businesses and consumers to hold onto their vehicles longer. In addition, slow production leaves rental car and fleet management companies struggling to replenish their inventory, thus increasing the age of their vehicles. The average age of light vehicles on the road has steadily increased for the 5th consecutive year and currently stands at an all-time high.
To keep your vehicles moving, you need to create a detailed plan to combat these ongoing issues. From carefully following fleet maintenance best practices to implementing technology to increase efficiency, these five pro tips will help you extend your fleet’s lifecycle.
- Build an inspection schedule
Regular fleet maintenance helps you get the most out of your vehicles and identify issues before they become more significant and expensive problems. By following a plan of regular inspection intervals, you can preserve your fleet’s lifespan while assuring daily availability, safety and efficiency. As a result, you’ll save money, reduce preventable downtime and increase fleet uptime.
Before drivers start the day, provide them with a checklist of items that need to be in working condition. This list ensures important components like hazard and brake lights work. It also checks that tire pressure and fuel levels are optimal.
Detailed monthly inspections keep you on track for scheduled maintenance. They include checking for leaks, proper wheel alignment and more. If any issues arise, address them during this step.
Address any significant repairs to your vehicles during an inspection every six months. Neglecting and delaying repairs ultimately leads to higher costs, fleet downtime and even irreparable damage. Having a staggered schedule ensures vehicles are operational and available during working hours. Examples of repairs or maintenance include hose and tire replacements, wheel balancing and tuning the engine.
- Stay in compliance
Ensuring your vehicles are always up-to-date on DOT registrations and renewals is an essential part of fleet management basics. Here are some guidelines you should follow to stay in compliance.
Overworked drivers, inadequate training and improper vehicle maintenance are just a few ways fleet companies violate compliance. Just one violation can lead to hefty fines of as much as $19,500. This may be financially devastating for your business.
- Implement telematics
Telematics is used to track and monitor vehicles. This includes GPS tracking, remote diagnostics, mobile communication, driver behavior monitoring and more. It provides real-time information about vehicle performance and location. Benefits like increased productivity, improved vehicle tracking and reduced maintenance costs are just a few reasons fleet management companies are turning to this software. For example, the 2023 Fleet Technology Trends report shows that telematics users saw a 47% improvement in vehicle maintenance.
Besides reducing maintenance costs, this fleet management software reduces the number of accidents that impact your vehicle’s life. Video tracking technology flags managers about specific scenarios like accidents and driver safety threats. Respondents in the Fleet Technology Trends report indicated a 17% decrease in accident-related costs when using telematics software.
GPS tracking helps managers track driver behavior on the road. This feature improved productivity, fuel efficiency and wear and tear on vehicles. Companies surveyed reported a 9% decrease in fuel costs year over year.
- Keep drivers trained
Driver training is an important tool for extending the life of your vehicles. By educating your team on proper maintenance practices, effective driving techniques, and the importance of timely servicing, you can reduce repairs and accidents to ensure your fleet’s longevity. The right training can also improve driver safety which reduces insurance premiums and accident rates.
- Protect your vehicles
It’s easy to think of exterior damage as a cosmetic issue, but in reality, it affects the entire health of your vehicle. Without proper storage to provide an extra layer of protection, your fleet is susceptible to damage caused by harsh weather conditions. For example, cars parked in the snow are more likely to rust than vehicles stored in a garage or carport. Exposure to the same elements can also cause corrosion in areas like your rotors, leading to worsening issues that impact your brake’s performance.
Storing your fleet vehicles in a covered area protects them from:
– Scratches and weather damage
– Battery drainage caused by extreme temperatures
– Cracked tires and premature aging from UV rays
Get the most from your fleet
Your vehicles are the core of your business and with proper care, they can last longer than their initial service life. From telematics implementation and proper driver training to routine maintenance and repairs, there are a number of ways you can extend fleet longevity. These pro tips are an effective way to keep your fleet in the best condition during a time when acquiring new inventory is challenging for fleet management and rental car companies.
About Montway Auto Transport
Montway Auto Transport is a leading logistics provider with over 16 years of experience serving the needs of fleet management and rental car companies. Our experienced carrier network of 15,000+ has safely delivered over one million vehicles across the country. Visit Montway.com/Logistics or call 888-998-4161 to learn more about our fleet transport services.