A fleet of vehicles can provide flexibility of time and income. It can be a steady source of funds for years to come. But as with anything else, regular maintenance is necessary to keep the business running at peak performance. What is fleet maintenance for prospective or current owners? Read on and find out.
What Is Fleet Maintenance?
Fleet maintenance is a program specifically designed to ensure the safety, efficiency, and longevity of vehicles within a company that owns vehicles.
This preventative program can be done by outsourced service providers or in-house personnel. Some start-ups, due to limited funding, tend to outsource. Established fleets, due to the number of vehicles needing regular maintenance, usually go for the latter.
What Does It Include?
There are two types of fleet maintenance: scheduled and unscheduled.
Scheduled maintenance is performed to help detect, prevent, and nip minor vehicle issues to avoid irreversible and costly issues later on.
Unscheduled maintenance happens as a result of some sort of breakdown – frequent engine misfires, malfunction of wipers, or loss of brakes. It is more expensive than routine maintenance.
Below are typical inclusions in fleet maintenance.
Changing Engine Oil and Filters
A vehicle’s engine has many moving parts. And to make those parts move efficiently, it needs engine oil. However, engine oil gets contaminated and thickens in time. This is one of the most common fleet maintenance problems.
When this happens, movable engine parts will rub against each other, causing irreversible damage over time. This is why you need to change the engine oil periodically. How frequently should you do it? Consult your vehicle’s manual.
Changing of Transmission Fluid
Do any of the vehicles in your fleet lurch forward then fall backward? Changes are, it has a low level of transmission fluid. In short, this is why that fluid needs to be changed as per your vehicle’s manual. Otherwise, you run the risk of accidents from sluggish transmissions, transmission gear slippage, increased transmission operating temperature, or field transmission.
Inspection of Cooling and Fuel Systems
Regularly maintaining the cooling and fuel systems is a must to ensure appropriate temperatures inside the vehicle. This is to keep your drivers and passengers safe and healthy from the hazards of polluted air brought about by dirty or clogged filters.
Cooling and fuel systems maintenance also helps you save more money by increasing fuel efficiency and preventing compressor failure.
Inspecting the Brake System and Replacing Brake Pads and Rotors
Did you know that an accident caused by faulty vehicles can get the authorities knocking on your door to present a court order to inspect your vehicle maintenance records? And if they find out that you have not been diligent in practicing preventive maintenance, you can be sued for negligence?
Not to mention that if your vehicle causes the loss of lives or property, you will be paying huge sums of money for legal fees and payments to the aggrieved parties.
This is why brake systems maintenance is an absolute must in your fleet of vehicles.
Inspecting the Steering and Suspension System
This system allows your vehicle to function smoothly and safely. Let’s take tie rod ends as an example. This is an essential part of the steering system. If they’re not fixed, it could overwork the tires. Worst, this can cause total steering failure.
Can you imagine if you have a fleet of school buses and a couple of them go through the above scenario? You’ll be risking the lives of schoolchildren – and your business too.
Inspecting Tires, Wheels, and Rims
Car and truck fleet maintenance also includes the inspection of tires, wheels and rims. This may seem simple, but there have been cases where trucks, buses, and other vehicles encountered accidents due to sudden flat tires or loose lug nuts. Not only will you be spending plenty of money for repairing your vehicles. You’ll be paying damages to the other parties too. More, if they decide to sue you for negligent actions.
Fleet maintenance also includes replacing tires in a timely manner.
Evaluating the Condition of the Undercarriage and Frame
Older vehicles need regular evaluation of the frame and undercarriage. This is to ensure that they’re still intact to avoid rusting. Unaddressed, rust can spread fast causing irreversible damages that may cost you a fortune for body repair.
Replacing the Windshield Wipers and Filling Windshield Fluid
Another important part of fleet maintenance that can prevent your fleet from losing its permit to operate is the replacement of windshield wipers. Wipers are integral parts of vehicles. But due to wear and tear, they need regular replacement. The windshield fluid will be inspected too during periodic maintenance, and refilled if necessary.
Inspecting Seat Structures and Seat Belts
If you own a fleet of passenger vehicles, the seat structures and seat belts should be inspected periodically. Like all the other parts of your vehicles, seat belts and seats go through daily wear and tear. Latches must be inserted smoothly with an audible click. If seat belts have cuts or frays, they will be repaired. To sum up, all this is done to ensure passenger safety, and in effect, ensure your profitability.
After making sure that each of your vehicles are working as they should, detailing follows. Yes, your fleet needs detailing. This is to ensure that your vehicles look clean and beautiful from top to bottom and sanitized inside and out. Clean, sanitized vehicles, of course, attract more customers. Moreover, they also prevent your drivers from being apprehended by DOT authorities.
To sum up, if you have your vehicles steam cleaned, your drivers and passengers can avoid contracting illnesses caused by airborne germs and bacteria. These are just some benefits of regular fleet detailing.
What is fleet maintenance? It is necessary to prevent road accidents that may cause you to lose your business permit and huge sums of money. It includes changing important vehicle fluids, inspection of integral systems, replacement of vital parts, and detailing the vehicle.
Want to enjoy the benefits of fleet maintenance? You might want to check out DetailXPerts fleet services. It can help fleet owners like you maintain your fleet in top condition.
Call us at 877-317-9737 for further inquiries and a quote.