Keeping up with regular maintenance schedules can be a full-time job for fleet managers, and the more diverse your fleet, the more challenging it can be.

Whether you’re managing construction vehicles, service trucks, buses, etc maintaining a variety of vehicles includes wide-ranging requirements and multiple OEM-recommended service schedules. But what are the consequences of falling behind when it comes to maintenance, and how can managers stay on top mixed-fleet maintenance needs—with the help of the right technology?

The costs of mismanaged maintenance

Taking even one vehicle out of service comes at a price to your overall productivity, but being short-sighted about routine maintenance or needed repairs can also extract a high price down the road in several key areas.

  • Ignoring small issues allows them to escalate, often leading to substantial repair bills that can far exceed the cost of regular maintenance. For example, monitoring oil condition is critical for diesel engines, and timely oil analysis that identifies potential problems earlier rather than later.
  • Skipping routine maintenance can lead to worn-out brakes, decaying tie rods and engine problems that endanger drivers, workers and anyone else near the vehicle or on the road. Routine maintenance can help reduce these risks.
  • When you defer routine maintenance, you can unknowingly allow problems to go unchecked, which can lead to major breakdowns that could bring scheduled jobs to an unplanned, highly-disruptive halt. By scheduling maintenance, you can plan downtime for when it works best for your business needs—and avoid the lost productivity that can result from sidelining a vehicle for days or even weeks for substantial repairs.
  • Vehicle lifecycle: Routine maintenance keeps your equipment and vehicles in tip-top shape, not only preventing expensive or dangerous damage, but also helping to extend the working life of your assets.

The smart approach to simplifying maintenance

GPS vehicle tracking and engine diagnostic solutions make it simple and easy to provide your fleet vehicles with the regular maintenance they need to stay in premium condition and deliver the performance your business counts on. Here’s how:

Schedule preventative maintenance: Set up a service schedule for each individual vehicle, based on a calendar, engine “on” times or distance driven. You will receive automated reminders when the next service is due through your telematics system. This “set it and forget it” approach eliminates the need to speculate when the last oil change was or when the next tune-up should be.

Receive automated alerts about potential trouble: A telematics solution provides automatic alerts to your dashboard and service center when any of your vehicles trigger a fault code signaling an engine issue or malfunction. The faults viewer indicates the description as well as the severity, enabling you to make an informed decision about next steps. You’ll also receive warning alerts on other key indicators including engine temperature and oil quality, allowing you to take appropriate and timely action to help avoid breakdowns and unnecessarily costly repairs.

Instantly access vital data. With a full end-to-end maintenance management solution, you have on-demand access to the complete repair and maintenance history for every vehicle, helping you improve utilization across your fleet.

Maintain accurate records. Track maintenance spending on oil changes, critical repairs and other related expenses so you can better predict total costs and make data-driven decisions about when to replace aging or inefficient vehicles.

Monitor driver behavior. Telematics solution not only tells you where your drivers and vehicles are at any given time—it can also flag when drivers speed, brake harshly, idle excessively or drive aggressively. By identifying and improving poor driving habits, you can reduce undue vehicle wear and tear and the associated costs.

Bottom line

The right technology provides a smart way to keep your vehicles serviced and can help you improve fleet performance and vehicle up-time, boost safety, control repair costs and have peace of mind.