From the moment you are responsible for the maintenance of a fleet of vehicles, you need to take a proactive approach, anticipating issues to maximize the usage time of your fleet and therefore reducing the cost that is generated when a vehicle from your fleet is out of usage.
This proactive attitude in the maintenance of the vehicle fleet can be approached from two different perspectives, which also are complementary: predictive maintenance and preventive maintenance.
Predictive maintenance enters the field of advanced data analytics, by means of which it is possible to make fleet maintenance predictions based on historical data. When we talk about preventive maintenance, we are referring to this proactive approach through which we guarantee, with a detailed plan for the fleet of vehicles, a maintenance that allows its correct conservation, which is essential for the company, since not only the lifetime of each vehicle depends on it, but also the productivity that this vehicle will contribute to the business activity.
Nowadays, fleet managers, operation managers or traffic managers need to know that it is necessary to carry out a preventive fleet maintenance plan, how to structure the plan and how to interact with the involved parts. For example, it is up to them, to avoid dealing with emergency repairs on a vehicle, compromising its productivity by being idle for an unplanned period of time.
Important aspects to be taken into consideration in preventive maintenance
There are no two vehicle fleet maintenance plans that are the same: the type of vehicles, the type of service provided, the times and routes, among others, are factors that determine what the preventive maintenance plan should be like. Each company, depending on these variables, establishes criteria that will establish when the vehicles in the fleet should be serviced.
Maintenance work can be carried out on the basis of time criteria (´specific time cycle´), on the kilometers driven without taking into consideration the time cycle of the hours of actual usage of the vehicle and even by monitoring certain levels such as fuel consumption, oil consumption, etc.
The fleet maintenance plan must include a detailed description of each vehicle and its history, with all its particularities (type of work performed, whether it is used by more than one driver, hours of usage, maintenance history, damage history, etc.). It is very important to define in detail a sort of “checklist” in each vehicle´s record. It should be the same for all vehicles and should at least include the following information:
- Replacement dates (engine oil, oil filter and engine filter).
- Brake system checks.
- Checking the condition of tires and wheels.
- Dates for changing brake pads, discs and brake fluid.
- Steering and suspension systems checks.
- Checking of cooling system components.
- Electrical system components and battery checks.
- Active and passive safety systems.
- Exterior checks (car body, windows, mirrors).
How to manage the information generated during preventive maintenance
Once we have the detailed plan and the detailed checkpoints, it is necessary to generate a schedule in dates for each of the vehicles that form the fleet. The next step is to carry out the maintenance of the fleet of vehicles and generate a maintenance report that will allow you to manage the maintenance of the vehicle.
It is of crucial to identify quickly and in detail the problem that the vehicle may have, this allows the fleet manager to have a 360º vision, to prioritize the repairs of each one of the vehicles, trying to minimize the inactivity of the vehicle as much as possible.
Another important point that the fleet manager must pay attention to is the connection the elements of wear and tear that can lead to early deterioration of the vehicle. With the report prepared in preventive maintenance, it is possible to detect which personnel are driving brusquely, which has a very negative effect on the vehicle and, in the end, on the company.
This data can be managed by fleet managers such as FlotasNet, allowing not only the detection of improper driving, but also the monitoring of the information provided by the vehicle, checking the error codes that allows the fleet manager or the person responsible for the maintenance of the fleet of vehicles to take decisions before the error can lead to a greater problem.
Having a fleet manager such as FlotasNet facilitates the management of vehicle maintenance and diagnostics, reduces vehicle inactivity time, reduces administrative costs and detects in advance the problems that can cause a vehicle to fail.