Fleet managers already understand the value of maintaining their truck fleets. A truck that isn’t running isn’t working. And a truck with one problem after another isn’t making the company money; it costs a company money.
Some maintenance plans are a simple checklist of services to handle every “X” miles. Others are merely handling routine scheduled maintenance and fixing problems as they occur. While these plans may work, they miss a huge chunk of potential cost savings and downtime reduction. They aren’t taking into consideration what could, or likely will, breakdown.
I’ve heard “we don’t need to fix what isn’t broken” more times in my 15 years in fleet than I’d care to admit. But when it comes to truck fleet maintenance, there are times you need to do exactly that — fix what isn’t broken before it breaks.
Picture this: Analysis shows that a particular item — perhaps a hose or filter — often fails 1,000 miles before your scheduled maintenance typically occurs. If you were to note that and replace the item early, you could avoid it failing while your driver is on the road delivering essential goods or needed to perform an urgent service.
Without a maintenance management program, you may not have even noticed the regularity in early fails for that particular item.
Why a Maintenance Management Program?
A fleet maintenance management program is extremely beneficial for vocational truck fleets. While it can be done on your own, it could be beneficial to look at a fleet management provider’s services.
Fleet management is a true partnership.“You and your fleet company generally have shared goals and a shared interest in making the program successful. By working with them and making sure there are open lines of communication, these programs can be truly successful in allowing them to focus on maintaining your fleet while you manage your company,” said Tony Hernandez, team lead – truck maintenance at Emkay.
Additionally, many best-in-class fleets are now integrating telematics programs into their managed maintenance strategies.
“Top-tier fleet management companies can capture engine diagnostic data through telematics devices. This creates greater visibility for the FMC maintenance experts to see error codes generated by onboard alert systems in real-time, allowing them to proactively alert drivers/administrators to seek immediate remedy where appropriate. These services have facilitated even greater cost avoidance associated with unplanned repairs resulting from unaddressed issues,” said David Bieber, director, sales & strategic markets for Mike Albert.
Changes are a big part of the automotive world. As tech advances, vehicles advance, too. Keeping up-to-date on the new technology can be difficult.
“Many changes are expected to occur in vehicle technology in the years ahead, such as electric powertrains and wider use of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Fleets should stay informed of these industry changes and think about how these advancements might or might not benefit their fleets,” said Jamie Grams, national service department manager for Enterprise Fleet Management.
Are you looking to update your maintenance management program? Look to the experts to help — whether it’s setting up your program, or working with your fleets in as hands-on or hands-off as you need — they can help you get a solid foundation to take control of your maintenance costs immediately.
How do you handle maintenance on your trucks? Do you have a plan, or are you handling it as it comes?
The February 2021 issue of Work Truck focuses on vocational truck fleet maintenance management, including tips for creating or updating your program. What do you have to add?
E-mail me, let’s chat!
Executive Editor, Work Truck