Whether your fleet is 10 trucks or 50, being a fleet manager is a daunting task. You are responsible for recruiting new drivers, record-keeping, managing all employees, route scheduling and even tracking truck repairs and fleet maintenance costs.
There is obviously going to be a hefty price tag to managing a whole fleet of trucks but there are ways to help keep more money in your company’s pocket and more trucks on the road. Try some of these maintenance cost-cutting solutions to reduce your fleets service bill.
Install fleet management tracking devices in all your trucks
You might think that a fleet management GPS tracking device is only good for tracking routes, hours driven and vehicle speed but thanks to advancing technology, some brands like the ones sold by Verizon Connect also have features that can prevent future truck troubles. These devices can be installed into the vehicles in your fleet to track the “health” of your vehicle’s engine. They offer alerts that remind not only the operator but also the fleet manager of up-coming maintenance such as an oil change to prevent future engine damage. By staying on top of routine truck maintenance, fleet management costs can be greatly reduced. Along with a tracking device, ensure all your operators are performing their daily pre-trip inspections. Not only is it required by law to inspect the truck before heading out, but your operators can also prevent greater damage by catching a problem early.
Choose your service shop carefully
Not all shops are the same and not all shops give your truck the proper check-up it needs when it comes in for servicing. As we mentioned before, preventative maintenance is essential in keeping fleet maintenance costs low. When your truck heads into a shop for a routine service, technicians should also be performing a visual inspection for any potential deficiencies. It’s important that the shop you go to goes over a simple checklist that requires techs to look at all fluid levels, lights, tire condition, wheel torque, brakes and driveline condition. These quick inspections don’t take a lot of time and could be saving you from coming back to the shop later with big problems and leaving with a big bill. Good preventative maintenance is important if you want to cut down on fleet maintenance costs.
Does your fleet often come from Edmonton to the Lakeland to deliver produce and other goods? If your operators are overnighting in the area, have them schedule an appointment for maintenance with Overdrive Heavy-duty.
Buy new fleet trucks
Okay, we realize this is about cost-saving and not spending, but buying new trucks for your fleet could be saving you a ton of money in the long run. You might think it’s great that you still have trucks from the ’90s on the road, but they could be costing you more money than you realize. It’s true that trucks are designed to “survive” way longer than a family car, but they do still deteriorate over time. An older truck could be significantly jacking your maintenance bills with more frequent trips to the shop and the constant need for new parts. Consider looking over all the trucks in your fleet and replacing the ones that are on the last leg of their journey. They are loaded with great technology and won’t leave your operators in the shop on a weekly basis.
Only use a shop you trust
You wouldn’t take your Bugatti to the 10-minute lube shop in the grocery store plaza so why would you send your trucks to a disreputable shop? A shop that only uses top of the line parts, fluids and highly-trained technicians should always be your go-to. The trucks in your fleet were a huge investment and they need to be properly looked after. You run the risk of trouble down the road when you take your trucks to the cheapest shop around. Research a bit before you decide on a shop and look for things like great customer reviews, how that company has handled any poor reviews, their selection of parts, what equipment they are set up with and what type of facility they run. By using only a top-notch shop, your trucks get the best service and quality parts they need to stay running smoothly.
Decide if in house maintenance or outsourcing is best for your fleet
It might be easy to assume that doing all your fleet maintenance in-house would be the cheapest route, after-all, isn’t DIY all the rage these days? While this is true for many companies, it might not be the case for your company and trucks. Have you ever considered doing a cost comparison? The cost of having an in-house maintenance system could be costing you more money than it would to send your fleet to a local shop. Take a close look at what it’s costing you to run the shop, operate the equipment and pay your technicians. Do you have enough techs to keep up with the work demand or are they falling behind? Do your techs have access to specialty equipment? Would it make more sense to start outsourcing your maintenance to a local shop? Take a look at all your options and figure out where you could reduce expenses.
Being able to cut some costs while not compromising quality & safety will benefit your entire fleet and the company. Regardless of size, reducing fleet maintenance costs is possible and doesn’t have to be complicated.
If you’re a fleet manager or even a single owner-op, contact us today and we can schedule your trucks in for routine maintenance. Get ahead of the problems and prevent major breakdowns in the future. Our team of highly trained technicians will keep your fleet running smoothly and at peak performance.