As companies are boosting their performance, there is also the need to improve the business and maintain the assets that help make it possible to grow. Fleet vehicles are one of the essential assets that keep the business going. The vehicles’ competency, as well as the drivers, efficiently perform the task to transport the products to the clients. Therefore, it is a must that proper maintenance should be done to these vehicles and make it a routine to ensure safe transport of the business.
The business world makes everything more sophisticated to comply with the high standardization of today. And running a business with a fleet of vehicles needs to adjust to these changes. Keeping your fleet vehicles in shape is a good way to keep your investment, your vehicles, and your drivers safe and steady. It must involve scheduling maintenance as part of the standard procedure that focuses on the well-being of the fleet and the safety of the driver on the road. Here are some of the tips to maintain the safety of your fleet vehicles.
Create a Maintenance Checklist
To start with, a maintenance checklist must be present when you start with the plan of how to manage the safety of your fleet vehicles. It will be used to provide the guideline that will act as a tool for the evaluation of your vehicles. It would make a big impact on the business with regards to efficient delivery and less cost for maintenance if it will be followed and applied properly. This checklist will validate the criteria needed to ensure the fleet’s reliability and productivity. It is, therefore, a great way to assess the result of continuous monitoring if this checklist will be strictly implemented.
The drivers are the main people who are responsible for the frequent inspection of the vehicles guided by the checklist you will provide. It should be a standard procedure that driving before, during, and after requires a check-up to ensure that even the slightest damage will be remedied right away. Here are some of the things that should be included in your checklist:
- Damage, no matter how small, to the vehicle’s body
- Excessive usage and pressure on tires
- Vehicle lights (brake, hazard, tail, and headlights)
- Flashers or turn signals
- Level of fuel
- Seatbelts and horn
- First aid kit
- Brakes, if it is working
- Rims and wheels
- Mirrors and windshield/wiper system
- Fluid leakage
- Suspension and steering system
Explain the importance of this checklist in the driver’s everyday routine before they travel or during discussions because their compliance will contribute a lot to the fleet’s maintenance and safety.
The people who would be responsible for maintaining the vehicles’ efficiency and safety should already be well-informed and trained upon starting this plan. The drivers are the first ones that will do the inspection of the fleet vehicle components or any damage or problems that they might or have been encountered while on the road. It is a must that upon inspection the problem must be reported immediately to make it easy to identify what to do.
Basic training about monitoring the performance of the vehicle is something that drivers must have such as checking the brakes and tires. The repair people or the technicians are the second in line who are responsible for repairing or fixing any breakdowns that will create downtime and unsafe situations during the trip. They are the ones who do the detailed work and inspection based on the report. You must give your inspection checklist if you’ll be choosing outsourced repair technicians to ensure that your requirements are met.
There must be enhanced teamwork between the two- drivers and repairmen. Without cooperation from the drivers to firmly follow the standard procedure, even a mild problem won’t be noticed. If they lack concern about the company’s goal to ensure fleet safety, that mild problem could’ve been resolved at the earliest time to prevent any further damage or accidents. Motivate them to perform teamwork within the workplace. Some ways of motivation involve highlighting or incentivizing good performances. Lead to open communication and surely, the business and employees will benefit from working together.
Follow The Scheduled Maintenance
To maintain the good condition of the vehicles, there must be a maintenance schedule to be followed. If your business doesn’t have its own repair team and depends only on outsourced one, you must implement this strict schedule to avoid any lapse on routinary inspections. Scheduled maintenance check-up is one way to lessen unexpected cases of accidents and breakdowns that will affect the business.
Analysis of the vehicles’ fuel usage and data like the miles and hours of travel should be listed down to create a report and guidelines. This information will become your tracker to remind you of the schedule and the things that must be observed such as downtimes, emergency repairs, and tows. All of these will identify a pattern of events that will give you the idea of improving and adjusting the needs for the maintenance schedule.
Never miss the schedule as it might cause unexpected mishaps as your driver is out for a traveled delivery. It doesn’t just concern your brand’s reliability but can also lead your employees to danger and furthers unexpected costs. That’s another problem to handle. Your employee’s welfare is your responsibility to take care of. A small problem is easier to resolve if preventive actions are done before a bigger misfortune happens.
Provide Technology Upgrade
Adjusting to the needs of the changing world when it comes to technology is a thing we need to consider. Gone are the days of manual tracking and recording of data that consumes a lot of time instead of spending it efficiently on other tasks. It will save you time and effort and also your investment gets to run and grow if you’ll grab this wonderful innovation. There are a few that still use the style they were used to but in order to compete with others concerning efficiency and improved monitoring systems, using the newest technology is the key.
The trending innovation when it comes to fleet management is an investment that is worthy of your money. Computerized and digital systems are one of the features that it promotes. Indeed it is a big help in monitoring the performance of your fleet vehicles as well as your drivers as it provides tracking systems to know the current status and the previous ones. The telematics program keeps you updated about the real-time situation your driver and his vehicle is in because of the use of GPS.
Evaluation of their performance is much better and fast to assess because of the data that is readily available to access because of these devices. You’d be able to plan out the next step to improve the delivery services and revise standard procedures for safety maintenance. Your business would be more equipped with this better version of collecting data that is necessary to monitor the operation even if they are out of sight.
Continue Drivers’ Training
Involving your drivers in comprehensive training about safety helps in achieving the goal of maintaining a safe fleet of vehicles. The training teaches them how to deal with real-life situations during traffic encounters, change in weather and road conditions. The driver is the first person who is responsible for the vehicle’s safety and maintenance so they must undergo this practice to ensure that guidelines are met.
The following must be included in the training:
- Learning how to manage fatigue
- First aid practice
- Defensive driving skills
- Refresher training
Conducting training in both sit-down discussions and actual hands-on settings will evaluate the capability of the driver to run a fleet vehicle smoothly. The result of continuous training helps in improving the overall program in ensuring that accidents are prevented and risks can be avoided. Reviewing the performances through telematics is one way to know the aspects needed to be added during training. It will improve the productivity and profitability of the business that will benefit both the whole company and its employees.
Benefits Of Maintaining Safety To Your Fleet Vehicles
- It improves fleet safety which makes for fewer risks and accidents on the road.
- It gains satisfaction from the clients because of fewer delays on delivery that eventually earns trust and loyalty.
- It earns some discounts on insurance if they know that your business promotes the implementation of safety through proper fleet management.
- It saves a lot of costs with regard to fuel use, accidents, traffic violations, and claims.
- It complies with the procedures and processes by the law as you continually improve your ways of maintaining safety.
Maintaining a safe fleet of vehicles needs a lot of factors to succeed. These factors must ensure that the set guidelines and procedures are being followed as this will convey the benefits to the business and the employees as well. Developing the checklist and strict implementation of adhering to maintenance schedules will enhance the habit and discipline to improve work behavior.
Spending time to motivate employees about teamwork and proper use of technology creates a good working relationship that will make them realize their valuable role in the company. This, together with the training provided, will attain positive results and responses from the employees to perform better at work.
The overall performance of the company depends on the efficiency that the employees are serving and how well the employers manage them.