Fleet Management

Of Course Fleet Maintenance Programs Save Time and Money – But How?

January 16, 2018

Operating a fleet internally means spending time and resources maintaining, tracking and administering the fleet. These are valuable resources that should be used to grow the organization, not manage the fleet. We hear many stories from business owners and leaders that are distracted by the challenges of managing their fleet when more pressing business issues deserve attention. Issues faced while managing a fleet include experiencing costly repairs because their drivers are not taking vehicles in for preventative maintenance, a driver authorizing an expensive repair on a vehicle that was going to be rotated out of the fleet, and increased downtime and the lost revenues because of idle vehicles. If you can relate to any of these situations, now may be the time to take a serious look at a fleet service known as managed fleet maintenance program.

A cost-effective and time-saving option for companies seeking to maintain the vehicles in their fleet is managed fleet maintenance. Read on to learn how this fleet service can save you time and money.

Fleet Maintenance Programs

How do managed fleet maintenance programs work? Under a managed fleet maintenance program, companies pay a monthly subscription per vehicle to be part of a managed fleet maintenance platform. Actual expenses are billed through and administered, approved, and tracked by a team of mechanics workingfor you and on your behalf. .

By contrast, many truck lessors use full fleet maintenance programs. Companies pay a fixed monthly fee covering maintenance and repairs plus variable fees based on mileage. However, this type of maintenance program can cost 30-50% more than the actual repair cost over the term. It’s a stable way to pay but very expensive. We do not recommend it!

While a full fleet maintenance program is easy to budget due to the fixed monthly fee, it’s easy to see why many companies prefer the cost savings under a managed fleet maintenance program compared to the high fixed fee of the full fleet maintenance program. Managed fleet maintenance programs give your company access to national accounts, preferred labor rates, parts cost, warranty management, and reporting.

Preventative Maintenance

Under a managed vehicle maintenance program, customized vehicle maintenance guides (VMGs) are prepared for every vehicle in the fleet. Each vehicle’s preventative maintenance schedule is included. It visually illustrates different vehicle components that require routine maintenance and how often these parts should be addressed. Among the items on this list are oil, lubrication, and filter changes, checking and adjustment of brakes, transmission service, coolant service, tire rotation, tire pressure checks, fuel filter changes, and fluid level checks.

The best vehicle repair strategies emphasize prevention. By staying ahead of problems before they appear, you can dramatically reduce repair costs over time and in turn, extend the lifespan of the vehicles in your fleet and minimize unplanned downtime.

Preventing costly repairs is key to maintaining the longevity of your fleet and fleet personnel productivity. With that in mind, it’s important that your drivers are aware of the responsibilities they have when operating your vehicles. Drivers should have a complete understanding of your company’s maintenance policies and should know what to do if the vehicle needs repair or is involved in an accident. Managed fleet maintenance programs trust but verify. Reports ensure drivers do what they were supposed to and follow preventative maintenance schedules.

Managed vehicle maintenance programs also manage factory vehicle warranties ensuring your company will never pay for component replacements covered under warranty. They track third party warranties on reports as well. So you and your staff don’t need to.

As-Needed Maintenance

Under the repair management process, if a driver experiences a problem, all they have to do is contact the customer care center for assistance. After analyzing and recording the given vehicle information, a certified technician will locate a nearby repair facility if the driver needs advice.

In addition to managing the entire repair process, operators will control vehicle authorization, scope of repairs, commodity pricing, and labor costs all with respect to prior maintenance history. They can even help with the seemingly small issues like glass repair.

Assistance and Convenience

Managed fleet maintenance revolves around convenience; fleet services provide access to a toll-free, 24/7 customer service line that offers drivers and companies immediate access to help. In most cases, an ASE mechanic on staff will direct your drivers-in-need to reputable repair shops. They can even help facilitate towing. They are a source of counsel if drivers do not know what to do, how to handle, or where to take a problem vehicle.

Management Reporting

Is your business tracking its maintenance schedules manually with spreadsheets and manila folders? The best-managed fleet maintenance programs include detailed reporting. You can select from monthly, quarterly, and annual reporting, and the reports you receive will have line item drill downs that show maintenance details.

Regardless of your fleet size, manual systems are tedious and time-consuming. Think about upgrading your record keeping to a digital system so you can make efficient, data-driven decisions. Institute a reporting system capable of exporting different formats and sorting options by department or division. The system should be able to summarize the data while also providing all the details you need to make informed choices in your business. This data is critical for making fleet replacement decisions over time.

Fleet Services for Your Maintenance Needs

For leaders looking to properly maintain their vehicle fleet, a managed fleet maintenance program is the most cost-effective and time-saving option. Offering a multitude of services and benefits such as secure vendor networking, detailed reporting, certified technicians, timely repair processes, preventative maintenance, and a vehicle maintenance schedule, managed fleet maintenance is a fleet service that can work for fleets of 5 or 500. Try it. You will wonder how you ever lived without it.