Fleet Managers: Why Is Preventative Maintenance Important?
How safe or reliable is the vehicle you drive? For fleet managers, this question is business-critical, because vehicles that breakdown frequently impact on the reliability of the service, and on the credibility of the business itself.
What about grey fleets, where employees use their own private vehicles for official business purposes? Recent research from Enterprise Rent-A-Car reveals that significant numbers of drivers ignore warning lights in their vehicles and perform no regular maintenance checks apart from an annual MOT.
For all fleets, and fleet managers, there is a certain amount of risk that comes with not maintaining vehicles. And this can have legal implications if a vehicle is involved in an accident and its lack of maintenance is found to be a contributory factor.
Even if a business or organisation allows its workers to use their own vehicles and claim back the mileage, it still has a responsibility for their welfare, which means it should have a vested interest in the upkeep of all vehicles used for business purposes.
Why Does Preventative Maintenance Work?
Vehicle maintenance can be either reactive or proactive. If it is reactive this means unscheduled breakdown servicing, which is both costly and disruptive. It is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
On the other hand, proactive maintenance takes a preventative approach. This involves scheduling in regular servicing, inspections and repairs for vehicles.
Preventative maintenance maximises a vehicle’s availability and should include a thorough vehicle inspection, adjustment, lubrication, cleaning, testing and repairing or replacing worn parts.
The aim is to reduce, or avoid, vehicle breakdowns by looking at things like mileage, engine hours and how much fuel has been used.
Working out preventative maintenance intervals is a crucial part of adopting it as a programme. This should consider things such as whether the vehicles:
- are used for commercial deliveries
- have multiple drivers as part of a car pool or similar arrangement
- operate in off-road conditions
- are subject to excessive idling or low-speeds
For private, grey fleet drivers, the administrative burden is likely to be considerably less than that for a fleet manager, where adopting some sort of software scheduling solution for preventative maintenance may be helpful.
To keep your vehicles running on the road safely and reliably, please contact AYCEN.