Maintenance in a fleet of vehicles is just as important as maintaining one’s personal vehicle. This applies to both the fleet’s owner and its manager. A well-running fleet of vehicles can do wonders for a company’s productivity. Maintenance keeps untimed stoppages and breakdowns away.
However, newer businesses tend to struggle with fleet maintenance costs. Their first and foremost aim is to make a profit. But mismanagement of fleet vehicle maintenance causes them to bleed a lot of money. So, how exactly can a fleet manager reduce fleet maintenance costs?
Coming up are some useful tips on how to reduce maintenance costs for fleets.
5 Important Tips on Reducing Fleet Maintenance Costs
If you’d like to reduce fleet maintenance costs, try the following:
1. Maintain Your Vehicles
Just because maintenance costs you money doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t happen. Maintenance is key to having your vehicles last long and well. Well-maintained vehicles will also get you better resale values. This will save you money when you upgrade your fleet as well.
To cut costs of scheduled maintenance, you need to use genuine spare parts. These will last you longer as your vehicles are optimized for them. Undoubtedly, they’ll also be of better quality than most aftermarket parts, if you are a business owner check out https://sts-global.com/auto-parts for reliable automotive parts supply.
If you’re operating under a tighter budget, you can cut down on preventive maintenance. Synthetic oils will ensure that your vehicles can drive longer without tune-ups. If your vehicles operate under harsh conditions, then you may maintain them at shorter intervals.
2. Focus on Fuel Efficiency
Fuel prices will only get higher and fleet business holders will have to deal with them. If you’ve picked vehicles with higher fuel efficiencies, no matter the category; you definitely won’t regret it. With automakers bringing out hybrid versions of their cars, you should go for them if you need more vehicles.
Try to use fewer vehicles as a single one may require thousands in maintenance and fuel. Or, get basic variants with smaller engines. Avoid adding useless options that aren’t related to your field of work.
One can find more ways to increase fuel economies for their vehicles in terms of drivetrain and transmission choices. There are plenty of weight reduction strategies that you can employ. As a manager, you look out for any upcoming fuel price hikes. Switching to NGVs will work but you’ll have to pay initially.
3. Educate Your Drivers
Know that your drivers are some of the most important stakeholders involved. The costs of fleet maintenance are related directly to their driving habits. You need to brief them on how they can drive to save fuel, prevent crashes, and also use the best routes. The routes used should be smooth and short.
You should tell them to avoid spending unnecessarily on cosmetic repairs and decorations. Repairs should only be done if the problem is interfering with the driver’s safety and/or the workflow. Even if these repairs are done, they should only be done using genuine spare parts.
Try to make scorecards for the drivers to see how safely they drive. These will tell you who needs improvement. You’ll be able to figure out what’s wrong and hence coach them on how to do better.
4. Make Shorter Routes
Let the GPS do all the work. Creating shorter routes doesn’t just mean that you’ll save fuel. It also means that your fleet will be driven less so it’ll require less maintenance. Fewer miles also mean that the vehicles will experience less wear and tear. This will add to their lives and save you a lot of time.
In fact, you should even observe where the vehicles are stored. The garage where they’re parked might be far from where most of the operations take place. In this case, you should change its location to somewhere more suitable. If you’re renting out the area, ensure that the rent’s the lowest you can find.
5. Use Technology
To keep track of your fleet, it is imperative that you use fleet management software. Telematics and OBD devices are lifesavers in today’s day and age. These are able to figure out problems which most of us aren’t able to notice. The result is that they are able to save you a lot of money.
The good ones include GPS and location tracking. There are some software and apps that come with maintenance reminders as well. You can set values of all the essential data such as mileage, and fuel consumption. The best ones will even point out the aggressive driving tactics of your drivers.