Need help developing a more effective vehicle maintenance management strategy?

Whether a fleet consists of 50 vehicles or 500 vehicles, a strategic, carefully managed maintenance program is vital to controlling costs and keeping vehicles on the road, say officials with Automotive Resources International (www.arifleet.com), a global fleet services provider. For many fleets, the foundation of a successful vehicle maintenance program is adhering to a proper preventative maintenance schedule, as this not only helps to reduce vehicle downtime but also minimizes the total cost of ownership for fleet vehicles.

An essential component of such a program is to account for the maintenance requirements of the chassis/equipment manufacturer, as well as the unique operating conditions, note the officials. No two fleets’ operations are identical, therefore each fleet’s maintenance parameters must be customized accordingly.

In some cases, it may even be necessary for individual vehicles within a fleet to have specific maintenance schedules which differ from other fleet vehicles.

Fleet managers also face the challenge of ensuring that the necessary preventive maintenance (PM) is performed.

 

ASSOCIATED ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN

Often, fleets get buried by the day-to-day administrative burden associated with PMs, and consequently, necessary preventative maintenance falls through the cracks, say the Automotive Resources International (ARI) officials. Many fleets have turned to a fleet management company (FMC) for assistance in developing an effective maintenance management strategy to enhance efficiency, ensure compliance with PM schedules, minimize the daily administration and cut unnecessary repair costs – often resulting in savings greater than the cost of the program itself.

By partnering with a FMC for a managed vehicle maintenance program, a fleet is able to leverage the FMC’s technical expertise – most have ASE-certified technicians on staff – to customize PM schedules and closely scrutinize unscheduled repairs, which in turn, helps to drive down a company’s maintenance spend, say the ARI officials. Typically, a FMC is able to perform predictive analysis to identify the optimal and most cost effective intervals for preventive maintenance.

A FMC is also able to help fleets closely monitor and enforce their drivers’ compliance with the performance of preventative maintenance, they add. Most FMCs have systems and processes in place to send email notifications to remind drivers when scheduled preventive maintenance is due. These reminders are triggered automatically based on odometer readings or intervals.

Exception reporting also helps fleets identify outstanding PM work, further reducing the associated administrative burden.

 

FORECASTING

In addition, the ARI officials say a FMC is able to consolidate maintenance data for critical reporting and analysis to identify trends and further tailor PM schedules to the specific needs of a fleet, while also forecasting vehicle maintenance and lifecycle costs much more accurately. This allows fleets to make more informed business decisions that further drive down a fleet’s bottom line. 

While managing the maintenance needs of a fleet can be a daunting task for even the most seasoned fleet, partnering with a fleet management company can help most fleets increase efficiencies while simultaneously reducing total cost of ownership.

 

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