Maintaining a company fleet is a sizable investment for businesses, as it’s not just the purchase cost that you have to consider. Upkeep can be significant if done properly. To keep your vehicles running smoothly and avoid larger repair bills down the road, here are some tips for maintenance.
1. Make Maintenance a Regular Habit.
Regularly changing your oil, checking your brakes, and rotating your tires may not sound like fun now, but doing these basic maintenance tasks will save you time and money in the future. Even if $9,666 (the average cost of maintaining a car) feels expensive, it’s about the same price as an accident without any injuries. Since lack of maintenance can cause mechanical failure and increase risk of accidents, you are better off just paying for maintenance than dealing with the fallout of one accident (or possibly multiple).
Your company vehicles won’t take care of themselves. You need a team of qualified people to manage routine repairs, maintenance, and schedules. This will keep all the vehicles running smoothly and efficiently.
If you want to avoid expensive repairs and be able to handle them on your own, put money into a set of equipment that has all the essentials. This is imperative for business owners in construction, trucking, taxi services, or even restaurants that do food delivery—you need vehicles you can depend on so your company doesn’t hit any bumps.
By keeping your team and tools up-to-date, you can extend your vehicles’ longevity.
2. Get Rid of Dirt.
For optimal vehicle condition, regularly wash both the interior and exterior of your car. Allowing dust and dirt to build up will damage paint jobs and any exposed metal parts over time. Mud also quickens rusting especially in places where the soil has high iron content, so be sure to give your car a thorough washing after experiencing rainy weather.
Not only is it important to keep the exterior of your car clean, but the interior as well. A dirty car not only looks or smells bad, but can also cause health problems. Moreover, accidents are more likely to happen when there is debris inside the vehicle; you could trip on something or get particles caught in moving parts of the interior like the gear selector.
To preserve cleanliness, institute a rule that employees must tidy up before returning the car. Also, have your fleet manager inspect it and get the vehicles vacuumed 1-2 times per week.
Not only does regular cleaning your fleet help extend its life, but it will also keep it looking presentable. This way, you can get the most money for it if you ever need to sell.
3. Regularly Inspect Your Vehicles.
To keep your vehicle in peak condition, you should perform regular maintenance and cleanings, as well as routine inspections. This involves checking for fluid leaks, tire tread wear, and any other signs of damage or deterioration. You should also make sure that your car does not have any illegal or unsafe modifications, such as a cracked windshield, inoperable headlights, or dysfunctional turn signals. By keeping up with these simple tasks, you can ensure that your car will be safe and legal to drive on the road.
It’s important to inspect your vehicles before and after each use. You can add this responsibility to your fleet manager’s duties. In addition, have your mechanic do routine check-ups of the mechanical parts and test drives to ensure that everything is in working order. Make sure to provide them with a checklist so that they don’t overlook anything important, and keep documentation for records.
Just like our own health, it’s always cheaper and better to prevent issues with our vehicles beforehand whenever possible. Scheduling routine maintenance check-ups not only saves you money in the long run but also lets you avoid dangerous situations on the road.
4. Have Safe Practices and Equipment When Using Vehicles
When driving a company vehicle, it is important to always observe safe driving practices. This means using turn signals, obeying speed limits, and not drinking and driving. In addition, you should take into account the weight of the cargo you are carrying. For example, if you carry a lot of heavy boxes, you need to drive more slowly and be aware of how the weight affects your vehicle’s handling.
It is also essential to use proper lifting techniques when loading and unloading cargo. Many back injuries occur due to improper lifting, so be sure to use good form when hoisting items into and out of the car. Bend at the knees and keep the object close to your body as you lift. Avoid twisting your back, and if possible get someone to help you lift heavy objects.
When transporting items in your company vehicles, it is important to use the proper equipment. This includes using storage cases to protect fragile items, hand trucks to make moving boxes easier, ratchet straps to secure heavy objects, and cargo nets to keep small items from shifting around. Make sure to use the best equipment, too; even if they seem expensive at first, they will last a long time, and they are sturdy enough to withstand heavy wear and damage. Examples of these include Americase storage containers, the Milwaukee 4-in-1 Hand Truck, the AUGO 2,200 LB Ratchet Straps, and the Gladiator Cargo Net MGN-100.
Using the proper equipment will ensure that your items are transported safely and securely. This will help prevent damage to your belongings and accidents while driving.
5. Keep Your Vehicles in a Safe Spot.
Almost half a million vehicles were stolen in the first half of 2022, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. This is incredibly worrying. As a business with a fleet, you can also be a victim of this. Good thing is, there are some ways to reduce this risk.
Keep your vehicles safe by parking them in a protected location. Usually, the best place to park is indoors so that it’s hidden and more challenging for thieves. If your business doesn’t have an indoor garage, think about constructing an outdoor parking lot that has walls and a roof, or at minimum, fenced off and closed during nighttime hours.
It’s best to park in a building or lot near your business. That way, you can easily access your vehicles, and your fleet manager and mechanics can work without being disturbed. These places usually have security measures like cameras, guards, and attendants. Only resort to parking on the street as a last-ditch effort, and even then, try to have one or two CCTV cameras pointed toward where your vehicles will be parked.
Maintaining a fleet of company vehicles can be daunting, but it’s important to do in order to keep your business running smoothly. By following these five simple tips, you can reduce the risk of theft and damage to your cars and cargo. Park in safe places, use proper equipment, observe safe driving practices, and maintain routine maintenance check-ups. Implementing these measures into your business will help keep you and your employees safe while on the road, and ensure that your deliveries arrive on time and undamaged.