With a variety of truck types, sizes and uses, developing a fleet maintenance plan is a massive task. Whether you operate big rigs or a fleet of light-duty service trucks, an effective maintenance process improves your operations while reducing your asset downtime.
Develop a Truck Fleet Maintenance Strategy
Top heavy-duty truck owners and dealers will tell you the same thing: fleet maintenance success starts with a good strategy or plan. When creating your plan, prioritize prolonging the lifespan of your assets and preventing downtime. Doing so ensures you’re giving customers the best service while maximizing the returns on your investment.
To simplify the job, many fleet managers are investing in cloud-based software solutions to monitor all areas of their fleet. This includes team productivity, expenses and maintenance tasks. Using centralized software for your truck fleet maintenance offers maximum visibility into the state of your assets, as well as enables you to communicate maintenance needs across your employees.
So when developing your truck fleet maintenance plans, consider your fleet’s specific needs. For instance, larger or specialized trucks will require a different maintenance plan from smaller trucks.
We’ve broken down your maintenance strategy into three categories to help you create the best practices for your business.
Truck Fleet Maintenance for Light-Duty Trucks
Trucks are considered “light-duty” if they have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of up to 8,500 lbs. These trucks are ideal for service fleets that cater to clients in the suburbs (e.g. plumbing or landscaping). Light-duty fleets often consist of small vans or pick-up trucks but there are personal transportation fleets that house sports utility vehicles.
Light-duty truck fleet maintenance plans should prioritize preventive maintenance and vehicle inspections. Being more proactive with your maintenance ensures your trucks are in good condition whenever you need them.
Your truck fleet maintenance plans for light-duty trucks should prioritize the following:
1. Standardize vehicle inspections
Keep your assets in good condition by encouraging complete routine vehicle inspections. The smallest issue can go undetected. If you don’t monitor your trucks, you may face breakdowns and larger issues in the long run.
Have your drivers and mechanics complete daily inspections and require the documentation of all maintenance tasks. Simplify this task by equipping drivers and mechanics with a mobile inspection app.
With a mobile inspection app, your drivers can perform inspections no matter where they are. They can use the app to upload the results into the software.
2. Keep up with preventive maintenance
The most effective truck fleet maintenance plans are proactive. This involves having your team regularly perform preventive maintenance according to the recommendations of the manufacturer.
Adhering to a preventive maintenance schedule can be tricky for fleets that still have spreadsheets and paper calendars for maintenance management. Set your routine maintenance with fleet management software that sends reminders.
Truck Fleet Maintenance for Medium and Heavy-Duty Trucks
Medium- and heavy-sized trucks are vehicles used for deliveries, which makes up time a priority. There’s no room for manual tasking here. Automating your maintenance processes and maximizing the visibility of your assets are the best strategies for maintaining your fleet’s reliability and safety.
Your truck fleet maintenance plans for medium and heavy-duty trucks should prioritize the following:
Maintenance of compliance with Daily Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR)
The Department of Transportation requires the Daily Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR) for commercial vehicles. The completion and maintenance of DVIR records ensure your fleet stays compliant with the regulations of the DOT. Paper forms can be time-consuming for truckers. As a result, some drivers cram the forms, which results in them missing out on critical issues. Instead of manual forms, go with electronic DVIR so your drivers can complete thorough inspections ASAP.
Automate maintenance workflows
Automate your fleet’s maintenance to streamline processes and get your trucks in and out of the shop ASAP. From viewing the work order status in real-time to receiving reminders for current and upcoming preventive maintenance, fleet management software reduces downtime by establishing workflows that suit your fleet.
Using telematics to track your vehicles
Whether your drivers operate on national/regional routes or you prefer to stay local, gaining more visibility into your operations is challenging, especially if you’re still using manual tools. Many fleets today use telematics devices or GPS to manage and track their routes. These tools offer excellent insight into the condition of your assets and more.
Effective fleet maintenance is crucial to the success of your operations. Instead of telling your customers “Thank you for your patience,” work on your fleet’s management! Keep these tips in mind to ensure a more streamlined process that gives you peace of mind.
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