Having a thorough fleet maintenance plan can change the way your fleet operates. Whether you’re hoping to decrease downtime or increase assets, planning is key. 

Let’s look at four common mistakes to avoid when creating your fleet maintenance plan.

1. Neglecting PMs

Regular preventative maintenance (PM) is key to the performance of your fleet and keeping downtime low. 

One common misconception is that an oil change is enough to keep your fleet running at peak performance. A complete PM is designed to inspect and maintain all essential components and systems on your vehicles. 

A comprehensive PM program goes beyond changing the oil and the lube of an engine; it is tailored to monitor and maintain the individual needs of every component for every vehicle type.

While focusing your fleet maintenance plan on PM may seem more expensive initially, a thorough PM program can actually save the fleet money. By reducing the need for expensive vehicle repairs, as well as vehicle downtime, your fleet can deliver higher profitability.

2. Normalizing Safety Violations

A safety violation, no matter the cause, is a serious matter. Busy garages can sometimes excuse unsafe conditions due to workload, inattention, insufficient training or supervision, etc. But the fact is, every safety violation and hazard expose your people and your business to financial risk. 

A serious workmen’s comp claim can cost thousands of dollars. In addition to the money, your fleet could also face EPA or OSHA actions, contracted clean-up services, extended medical cost and insurance reserves, perhaps a fire, litigation, lost time, lost productivity, lost opportunities, etc. Costs can quickly escalate, so it’s imperative that your fleet maintenance plan prioritizes safety from the start. 

3. Deferring Maintenance

When budgets get tight there is a natural temptation to defer maintenance on your vehicles. But the risks of doing this are great – Defer a small oil leak and risk blowing a motor down the line. Defer a tire replacement and risk having road failure or worse, an accident. 

Every scenario of deferred maintenance has its own potential outcome. Usually, the costs are exponentially greater than the initial service or repair would have been. 

A complete fleet maintenance plan should include maintenance as a necessary expense, not as something that can wait another day. 

4. Undefined Maintenance Goals

To keep vehicles on the road and productive, it’s crucial to have a detailed fleet maintenance plan. But before the first vehicle rolls into a garage, there’s a step you must take – establishing your maintenance goals.

Your maintenance goals should be aligned with the realities of your operation. This includes the type of work the fleet does, working conditions (on-road, off-road, etc.), and weather conditions (hot, dry, cold, etc.) 

Several important questions to ask are:

  • How often do you expect to have a vehicle out of service for typical preventative maintenance?
  • How will routine, preventative repairs be handled?
  • How will emergent repairs be handled?
  • What are your budget expectations?

How you answer these questions will determine how you develop an effective fleet maintenance plan.

 

Conclusion

At Amerit, our custom-built service programs focus on preventative maintenance and safe operating conditions. Every fleet maintenance plan is created in partnership with our clients. 

We work tirelessly to help reach your goals and improve your fleet because we understand that every moment your assets are down, you’re losing revenue.

About AFS Staff