November 22, 2022

Tips to Keep Your Fleet Safe and Cost-Effective

Keeping drivers and vehicles safe while on the road can help your business succeed. It allows you to meet service and sales goals as well. You can do several things to ensure your fleet is in top condition.

Keep Up with Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports

Driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR) allow you to keep up with potential issues or defects with your vehicle. The FMCSA requires these for compliance purposes. But regularly filling out the DVIRs also prevents downtime, which can result in revenue loss. It’s easy to learn more about DVIRs and possible exemptions and how to properly fill them out.

Watch Total Vehicle Ownership Costs

Closely track any maintenance costs and plot them out so you can tell when they start to rise. Older trucks will likely have higher costs of ownership than newer ones. You’ll also want to understand the warranty on certain systems and parts so you can take full advantage of that. Understand vehicle market trends and when you’ll want to sell it to replace it with something newer. Part of the process of tracking the cost of ownership is to understand the demands on each truck. A truck regularly making cross-country trips will face different demands than a van delivering items in an urban setting. Outline the way each vehicle will be used and create a plan based on that. This will reduce your usage costs.

Stay on Top of Maintenance

Maintenance can reduce the amount of unplanned downtime or repairs, but it can also keep the vehicle safer because you will know it is in working condition. You will want to regularly inspect the tires, change the oil, and perform overall safety checks. For oil changes, you can use an oil monitor or follow a schedule at certain mileages. Overall inspections and tire rotations should be done on a regular basis, as this can be one of the only times the truck receives an inspection to check air pressure and fluid levels. It’s also important to check tire pressure, as this is easy to overlook. It affects fuel mileage, tire wear, and the handling of the truck. These things all contribute to overall safety. If you live in an area with temperature fluctuations, it’s even more important to regularly check the air pressure. As the seasons change, the tire pressure can change as well. Train your drivers on how and when to take this important step.

Communicate with Relevant Parties

Work with the fleet maintenance provider and technical support if you run into any issues. If your vehicle experiences a setback, let the maintenance provider know as soon as possible. They can try to expedite the repair process. They can also help cut down on downtime to boost customer satisfaction. You’ll also want to communicate clearly with your drivers. Each driver should understand their responsibility and overall vehicle use policies. They should understand all maintenance schedules and know what they should do in the event their truck is involved in an accident.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}