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Vehicle Maintenance

A Small Business Guide To Fleet Vehicle Maintenance And Repairs

| Staff Report |

Vehicles are essential in running small businesses. You can use them to deliver finished goods and raw materials and ferry staff from one point to another. However, you should keep your fleet in good condition for optimal functionality. Maintenance and repairs help keep your vehicles in excellent condition. If it often breaks down, they result in downtime, which may reduce productivity and business profits.

Thus, there’s a need to maintain and repair your vehicles properly. Below are handy tips on how to go about it:

1. Create A Maintenance Checklist

It’d help to keep a checklist for managing your vehicle fleet. Note the vehicles’ various exterior and interior parts scheduled for repairs and maintenance. Also, specify the inspection timelines, which could be monthly, after every six months, or annually. 

Most of the vehicle parts are subjected to wear and tear. During your routine checks, you may find faulty parts that need fixing or replacement. Regular maintenance and repairs help you evade the typically high replacement costs. Nonetheless, an overly worn-out part will need replacement, for which you’d want to source high-quality and affordable parts. It’s best to purchase parts from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for guaranteed functionality. If your car’s gasket needs replacement, you should understand the criteria of OEM gaskets to ensure you get the perfect fit for your fleet.

2. Do You Need A Vehicle Maintenance Program?

One of the ways to upgrade your small business is by investing in a fleet of vehicles. As the number increases, your responsibilities increase too. A well-thought-out vehicle maintenance program will make things easier for you. It helps keep track of your fleet’s repairs. You can use it to tell how often a vehicle has been repaired and which needs servicing. Scheduling repair procedures eliminates the likelihood of forgetting, ensuring you avoid downtime or sudden vehicle breakdowns.  

Vehicle Maintenance

3. Use A Fleet Maintenance Management System

Recently, most businesses are adopting a fleet management system. It helps in ensuring your business vehicles are in the right condition. A fleet maintenance management system also lets you monitor vehicle repairs and maintenance. 

Other functions of the systems include the following:

  • Vehicle tracking
  • Fuel management
  • Driver behavior monitoring
  • Mechanical diagnostics
  • Fleet security and control

The modernized fleet management systems can help you connect to fleet software thus, access real-time data on the performance of your vehicles. You can connect the management systems to your vehicles’ onboard diagnostic port. This way, you can automatically detect and repair faults before they become serious problems. 

Below are some of the best practices to ensure on your fleet management systems:

  • Plan for preventive maintenance to avoid vehicle downtime and reduce mechanical issues
  • Install tracking devices to monitor your vehicle movements during deliveries
  • Improve your response time on mechanical problems and breakdowns

If you follow through with the fleet maintenance plan, your vehicles will operate optimally thus, ensure safety and productivity in your business.

4. Benefits Of Fleet Management

A well-planned fleet management process is beneficial for your business. These are the advantages of fleet management:

  • Reduces Repair Costs: Timely maintenance helps reduce the overall costs of replacing vehicle parts. For instance, you can detect mechanical issues early if you take your vehicles for service. Your mechanic can repair the vehicle, and you’ll continue using them instead of waiting until it breaks down.
  • Less Downtime: If your fleet operates optimally, you avoid delivery delays. Thus, fleet management ensures your vehicles are in good condition, avoiding work interruptions.
  • Higher Productivity: With little to no downtime, you’ll deliver your services in good time, which keeps your customers happy and is good for business.
  • Maintain Resale Value: Regular maintenance and repairs ensure your vehicle is in good condition. If you want to sell your vehicles in the future, you might make good profits from the resale value. 

The benefits of a strict fleet management routine can never be overemphasized. It’s a proactive way of dealing with typical vehicle problems.  

Conclusion

Vehicle maintenance and repairs are essential for your business vehicles. For one, they help you prevent the long-term effects of a breakdown that could render your fleet redundant. It’d be best to ensure frequent repairs to avoid vehicle breakdowns. An excellent approach is leveraging modern fleet management systems to stay on top. Also, replace damaged components with premium quality OEM parts. Avoid shopping for spares just anywhere because there are a lot of counterfeits in the market. Substandard parts will only last a short while and break down, necessitating repairs, which may be costly.

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