All business assets, whether it’s your computer systems, networking tools, or vehicles, have a finite lifespan. Even if you choose your investments carefully, focusing on return on investment, rather than saving money with an initial purchase, your solutions won’t last forever. However, when it comes to expensive assets, like your business fleet, taking extra precautions to help extend the life of your vehicles can be extremely useful.
This is something that you should involve your whole company in, as your drivers will hold some of the responsibility here, so you want to incentivize them to care. While you may eventually need to replace cars and trucks, the longer you can consistently rely on the same assets, the lower your operating costs will be. So, how do you ensure your investments last longer? Here are some great ways to get started.
Invest in Regular and Proactive Maintenance
Regular maintenance is essential to preserving the functionality and performance of your trucks, lorries, cars, and vans. Implementing a comprehensive maintenance management plan which covers everything from tracking oil levels and tire pressure, to repairing faults, can save you money in the long-term. You can even train your team members to spot potential faults before they get out of hand. Asking your team to watch for issues with tire pressure or engine noises could mean you can stay one step ahead of breakdowns and unexpected downtime. Alternatively, you can use software to track your maintenance schedule, and implement proactive, preventative maintenance strategies.
Outfit Your Vehicles Properly
It is a smart move to take the extra steps to properly outfit your fleet’s vehicles for the environment in which they will be used in. A small investment in all-weather mats for fleets that will inevitably encounter significant rainy seasons and/or hard winters can make a huge difference in the wear and tear on your vehicle’s interior. This is not a matter of vanity, but rather one of necessity. The appearance of your fleet matters for your brand identity, and that is important but things like regular car washes and properly protecting the seats/flooring can also increase the lifespan of the vehicles.
Purchase the Right Software
While investing in dedicated software to manage your vehicle fleet might seem like an expensive purchase, it’s one of the best ways to ensure your assets last as long as possible. A comprehensive tool for fleet management can do more than determine what’s causing the check engine blinking light, it will provide a behind the scenes insight into your vehicle’s service needs, performance, and other crucial metrics. Intelligent tools use telematics to track fleet data both in real-time and historically.
They can record driving behavior, leading to more beneficial training opportunities for teams. Some solutions can even automatically warn drivers of behaviors that may lead to safety risks or vehicle damage. With the right software, you can monitor all the data you need to protect your assets in one place.
Reduce Idling Time and Inefficiencies
Finally, the behavior of your drivers can have a significant impact on the long-term performance of your vehicles. Drivers who leave trucks and vehicles idling for extended periods often expose these assets to a higher risk of engine wear and tear, increasing maintenance costs. Training team members to eliminate these inefficient behaviors can save you time, money, and reduce the need for repairs. Some software solutions even come with tools which allow business owners to set alerts when engine idle times exceed specified limits. You can even incentivize employees to drive more efficiently by rewarding those with the lowest idling times once a month.
Get the Most Out of Your Business Fleet
While every fleet vehicle will eventually exceed its usable lifespan, a consistent strategy for preserving and protecting your assets will help them to last longer. With the tips above, the right fleet management software can help to save your employees and company time, money, and resources, while improving the service you deliver to customers.