Operating a fleet of vehicles can get expensive, but there’s no way around the standard costs. Insurance, fuel, repairs, and regular maintenance are all necessary to keep your fleet running.
Though you can’t control the price of fuel, you can reduce the amount of money you have to spend on maintenance and repairs. Here’s how.
1. Maximize your warranty reimbursements
Warranties generally come with every fleet vehicle you purchase, but they’re not really free. Manufacturers include the cost of the warranty in the overall purchase price, which is a typical marketing tactic.
In other words, when you have a warranty, you’ve already paid for it, so it makes sense to pursue every qualifying reimbursement for your fleet.
To stay on top of your opportunities for warranted reimbursements, train your technicians to stay familiar with your agreements so they know when to file a claim or flag a recommended repair for you to claim. The easiest way to do this is through automation with fleet management software.
A good tracking app will organize your documents and help you flag repairs so nothing slips through the cracks.
You might assume it’s only worth it to pursue warranties that have a high dollar value, but every dollar adds up over time. You can reduce the cost of maintenance and repairs by pursuing every warranty claim for which you qualify, even if the return is minimal.
Warranties are no different from any other opportunity to save cash. Don’t leave money on the table if you can help it.
2. Train your drivers
A little driver training can go a long way toward saving money on repairs and maintenance. The better your drivers care for your cars and trucks, the longer they’ll last.
Many repair jobs can be avoided or the maintenance prolonged if you train your drivers to treat the vehicles in a specific way. For example, the following are some of the ways you can have your drivers extend the life of your equipment:
- Check tire pressure daily before heading out. Low tire pressure puts excess strain on tires and can result in a blowout if the tire gets too low. Such an event can also damage the rim.
- Check fluid levels before driving. Advise your drivers to check the brake fluid, transmission fluid, oil and coolant levels, and wiper fluid reservoir. Make sure they start each day with proper levels and report any signs of a problem, especially leaks and low fluid levels in a contained system that should not not ever become low (like brake fluid).
- Check turn signals and brake lights. Although non-working lights are an issue for any vehicle, they’re more consequential on large vehicles like semi-trucks and tractor trailers. It only takes a couple of minutes to check a vehicle’s lights before it heads out for the day.
- Report any issues immediately. If your drivers notice anything wrong with their vehicle, make sure they file a report with your technicians so it can be inspected and repaired as soon as possible.
Your drivers will have the first line of sight into any issues that arise with your vehicles, so train them well.
3. Use automated sensors
There are two reasons to use sensors: safety and efficiency. Digital sensors can detect anomalies that human eyes and ears cannot.
Sensors constantly measure and monitor your vehicle’s performance, on such details as temperature, tire pressure, fluid pressure, speed, and other relevant elements. Nothing will give you a faster heads up about a potential issue than a sensor.
For example, if your brake system is losing pressure, a sensor can pick that up and alert you right away. You can also use sensors to improve fuel efficiency, by monitoring the fuel-air mixture, and adjust and optimize your fuel delivery system. Since fuel is expensive, this kind of monitoring makes sense.
Many newer vehicles already come equipped with these types of sensors, but you can retrofit them in some older vehicles.
4. Identify more efficient routes
Are your routes as efficient as they could be? If it’s been a while since you’ve optimized the routes your drivers follow, now might be a good time to update them.
You might be able to shorten them. If not, try to alter them so your drivers are less likely to idle in traffic. In terms of traffic flows, conditions can change a lot, even in one year, so it’s worth revisiting your routes periodically.
5. Optimize your costs and preserve your bottom line
Your profitability is affected by how well you optimize your maintenance needs. When you have a solid system in place to recover warranty reimbursements and track repairs, you’ll be in a better position to save money by initiating repairs before they become a bigger problem.
Filed Under: Auto News
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