As a business owner, you strive to hire the best employees who offer only the most top-notch services to your loyal customers in a very timely manner. But sadly, all of this will be for naught if one or more of the company vehicles your team uses is broken down — either at the side of the road or in your business parking lot.
To keep your company’s fleet of vehicles well maintained and ready to go, which will also help to keep your drivers safe and productive, consider the following three tips.
1. Keep Basic Parts on Hand
While you send your fleet vehicles in for major servicing, many of your employees can handle minor repairs on their own. In order to allow them to do it, it is crucial to keep the right parts and equipment on hand at all times. For instance, the o-rings in oil pumps sometimes wear out and need to be replaced; if this is something your team can handle, it is imperative to find a reliable supplier who can keep the supply chain process in check. Order a large supply of different sized o-rings for your fleet and then store them carefully along with oil, filters, tires and other vehicle parts; this way, when something is amiss with one of the company cars, your employees will have what they need to fix it.
2. Keep a Proactive Maintenance Schedule
To keep the fleet safe and road-ready, you have to adopt a proactive approach to maintenance. In other words, instead of waiting for a tire to go flat or an engine to run really rough, Fleet Equipment Magazine suggests scheduling blocks of time for regular preventive maintenance. Keep ahead of predictable things like fluid changes, new batteries, tire rotations and oil checks, and whenever possible, stagger the services so you always have the vast majority of your cars available to your team.
Also, make sure that you keep accurate records of any and all maintenance done on every fleet car, including when it was done and by whom. You can use a software program or app to keep track, a paper and pencil spreadsheet or a Google doc that you can update as needed with oil change info, tire rotations and more.
3. Encourage Responsible Behavior Behind the Wheel
There are a number of things that your employees can do while behind the wheel to keep your fleet in great condition and running as efficiently as possible. This includes avoiding habits like idling for long periods of time, hard braking and jackrabbit starts from green lights — all of which can burn up fuel and are rough on cars.
To help encourage good and safe driving behavior, you can use a telematics device like the fleet management software from Verizon Connect; this will help you monitor idle time, driver behavior and more. As a side note, you can also offer bonuses or prizes to employees who come back with outstanding reports from the telematics device — a $25 gift card to a favorite restaurant will be a much smaller amount to pay than a $1,000 repair to a vehicle.
Reliable Fleet Equals a Reliable Company
You care about your employees and your customers, and you don’t want anything to jeopardize their safety or satisfaction with your company. By adopting a strict fleet maintenance and repair schedule, investing in a telematics device and keeping basic parts on hand, your company cars and employees should always be ready to work.