Without adequate fleet maintenance services, your business will be destined to fail. Truck fleet management services aim to keep your vehicles on the road, reduce operating costs, help you follow industry regulations, and maintain the vehicle’s resale value.
Every company with commercial vehicles understands the danger of neglecting their fleet operations, that’s why by 2020, it was expected that 39.2 percent of non-privately owned commercial vehicles would be using fleet management systems.
Such systems allow companies to use vehicle-tracking services and provide data logging and communication services. Yet, their most important feature is highlighting the need for regular maintenance in order to maximize the lifespan of your fleet.
But how can a company find the best fleet maintenance services? Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of fleet maintenance and what to look for in management services.
Key Benefits of Fleet Truck Repair & Maintenance
Your fleet serves a vital function in delivering services or products to customers. Yet, it’s easy to take your vehicles for granted when they don’t give you obvious trouble.
This is one area where the old adage that, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” doesn’t apply. If you let your fleet maintenance slip, it can put a serious dent in your bottom line over time.
Let’s jump in and look at some of the ways regular maintenance saves you money in the long run.
Fleet Maintenance Keeps Labor Costs Down
If you saw employees standing around, doing nothing, you’d get on their cases. Idle employees drive up your cost of labor.
If one of your fleet vehicles breaks down in the field, though, that’s exactly what happens. Your employees are stuck by the side of the road and getting paid to wait for a tow.
Staying up-to-date on vehicle maintenance minimizes the number of times trucks break down. Your employees stay busy providing services or making deliveries. That means you get maximum value for your cost of labor.
Limits Repair Costs
When it comes to vehicle repairs, the repair costs are always higher than the repair bill.
You must soak up the cost of employee labor. You lose money on lost or delayed business while the vehicle is down. Not to mention the intangible damages to your brand reputation that goes along with service problems.
Taken in total, the actual repair costs can soar into the thousands. Regular fleet maintenance lets you catch problems before they become bigger issues and interfere with daily business. You only pay for parts and labor, instead of scrambling to fix things in the eleventh hour.
Avoid Accidents, Lawsuits, and Fines
When vehicles break down, it’s not just inconvenient. It can cause fatal accidents. If someone connects the cause of the accident to poor vehicle maintenance, it can open you up to lawsuits.
That is, of course, the worst-case scenario. The more likely scenario is that poor maintenance will leave a headlight or turn signal bulb burned out. This can get your drivers pulled over and ticketed.
Depending on your state and local regulations, you could face fines. Regular maintenance frees you from these kinds of avoidable costs.
Improves Fleet Longevity
Vehicles are the biggest expense in any fleet. The longer you can keep vehicles on the road and fuel-efficient, the better off you are. Regular fleet maintenance activities like oil changes extend the working life of every vehicle.
Say that each vehicle brings in an estimated $300 of profit per day and averages 22 working days a month. If you extend the working life of just one vehicle by six months, you bring in an extra $39,600. Do that for 15 vehicles and you’re looking at around $600,000 of extra profit before you replace them!
Key Aspects of Fleet Maintenance Services
One of the telltale signs your fleet needs maintenance is flashing warning lights. Other signs include braking issues, engine noises, and poor performance. You might even notice colored or excessive exhaust smoke.
These issues are under the purview of fleet maintenance services. So, what should you look for when choosing a provider?
Finding Qualified Fleet Maintenance Companies
When searching for a high-quality fleet maintenance partner, here are several aspects of the best services:
1. Preventive Maintenance
The best providers offer preventative maintenance and have a fleet vehicle maintenance checklist to reference. This helps them spot and fix vehicle issues before they can get out of hand.
2. Collision Repair
Due to the nature of the trucking industry, your fleet may get caught up in an accident. Fleet maintenance experts provide collision repair services that are thorough and detailed and have the training and experience to identify and fix hidden damages.
3. Vehicle Customization
Next, look for a company that provides vehicle customization as these modifications extend the life of the vehicle.
This can be through wrapping the car body, thereby protecting it from scratches. Or they can strengthen the truck bodies thereby protecting the suspension and tires. It can even be about adding utilities, such as a crane, to allow your fleet to haul more cargo.
In turn, these changes prevent new maintenance issues from arising. Plus, it ensures your fleet works more efficiently with fewer breakdowns.
4. Maintenance Scheduling and Servicing
The company you choose should be able to come up with a fleet maintenance program by checking the fleet servicing requirements and creating a plan. This keeps some of your trucks operating while others are getting serviced.
At the same time, they will ensure none of your vehicles are in the field when service is due. Otherwise, there is a risk of your vehicles getting in an accident due to faulty parts.
5. Outlining Maintenance Policies
Lastly, the fleet maintenance provider should help you create maintenance policies that will guide your drivers on how to care for the vehicles.
For example, one of your policies could be about checking tire pressure often. Bad tire pressure can increase the wear and tear on your tires and suspension while also affecting your vehicle’s handling.
Red Flags to Avoid with Fleet Service Companies
Now that we’ve covered what to look for in a fleet management service, here are some red flags to watch out for and avoid:
- Exceptionally long contracts or contracts with automatic renewals.
- Poor customer service.
- Companies that are difficult to get a hold of.
- Equipment, software, or devices that only work for one management company or system. You want flexible management solutions in case you need to change vendors.
- Additional fees for every service.
Truck Fleet Management Essentials
Effective fleet management isn’t just about keeping your trucks in peak condition.
In addition to the fleet and vehicle maintenance services outlined above, a comprehensive fleet management system should include the following: driver management, customer management, fuel management, route and speed management, and risk management.
Parting Thoughts on Truck Fleet Management
As you can see, regular fleet maintenance will help save you money on several fronts.
It keeps the cost of labor down because employees aren’t waiting around for a tow. It keeps your total repair costs down. You avoid accidents, lawsuits, and fines.
It also improves fleet longevity, which offsets vehicle replacement costs with additional profit.
If you’re in the Pacific Northwest and are looking for professional fleet maintenance services, look no further! Pacific Truck Colors provides the best Portland Oregon fleet management services, truck customization, repair, upgrades, maintenance, and more. Our truck customization department is one of the largest in the Northwest, and we carry only the highest quality truck equipment at competitive prices.
“Pacific Truck Colors is a trustworthy company and has great employees. I have had them work on our company vehicles and the experience is flawless. I just purchased a shelving unit off eBay and tried to put it in myself and I ended up calling these guys and they said they could install the shelf and they asked me to come in right away! I’m still in amazement. Highly recommended company.”
– Luke R. (Google Review)
For more information about our fleet maintenance or customization services, contact us today.