Company vehicles are a big investment for any business, and not just in the purchasing cost. You have to maintain the vehicles as well, which can be fairly costly if done properly. Here are maintenance tips to keep your fleet running smoothly and help you avoid even bigger repair bills later on.
1. Stick to Your Maintenance Schedule Religiously.
You can avoid expensive necessary repairs in the future by staying on top of scheduled maintenance now. This entails regularly changing your oil, checking your brakes, and rotating your tires. By being proactive with maintenance today, you save yourself time and money down the road.
If your company vehicles are used for a variety of purposes, it’s important to have the right team and tools dedicated to properly maintaining them. This includes having access to routine repairs and maintenance from a qualified mechanic, as well as schedules being managed by an attentive fleet manager. Doing so will ensure that all vehicles are running smoothly and efficiently.
You may also want to invest in a toolkit that includes all the necessary tools for performing repairs and maintenance yourself. This is especially important if you have a construction company, trucking business, taxi company, or even a restaurant that offers food delivery. You need to make sure that your vehicles are reliable so that your business can run smoothly.
With the right tools and team, you can keep your vehicles running smoothly and ready to hit the streets.
2. Clean Your Vehicles.
To keep your vehicles in optimal condition, wash them regularly both inside and out. If you let dust and dirt accumulate, it will eventually damage the paint job and any exposed metal parts. Mud also hastens rusting, so be sure to give your car a good washing after rainy spells. In addition, you have to wash your car’s undercarriage regularly especially in areas where roads are salted in winter.
Furthermore, it’s crucial to always maintain a clean car interior. Messy debris can cause small nuisances at best and severe health hazards at worst. For example, food scraps attract pests that spread disease. Also, other types of debris in the car may result in accidents; for instance, you could trip on something while exiting the vehicle or get particles caught in moving parts of the interior like the gear selector.
To avoid excessive mess, put into place a rule that employees must clean up after themselves and have your fleet manager check that it’s been done before the vehicle is returned. Additionally, get the vehicles vacuumed 1-2 times per week.
Not only will regular cleanings help extend the life of your fleet, but they will also keep it looking its best. This way, you can maximize its resale value if you ever need to sell it.
3. Regularly Inspect Your Vehicles.
Along with scheduled maintenance and regular cleanings, you should also routinely inspect your vehicles. This involves inspecting for fluid leaks, tire tread wear, and any other indications of deterioration. You should likewise ensure that your automobiles don’t have damage making them illegal or unsafe to use on the road. These problems include cracked windshields, inoperable headlights, and dysfunctional turn signals. If you see any of these issues, it’s best to have your turn signals, headlights, or windshield repaired as soon as possible.
Before and after each use, vehicles should be inspected. This can be made part of your fleet manager’s duties. Furthermore, 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.
It is important to inspect your vehicles regularly in order to catch small problems before they become bigger ones. Additionally, it is often cheaper to have something repaired than it is to pay for a ticket or the damages after an accident.
4. Keep Your Vehicles in a Safe Spot.
The worrying statistics from a 2021 study show that 95% of vehicular accidents happen when one vehicle strikes another stationary object, and there were 268.2 car thefts per 100,000 people in the United States alone. While these numbers are unsettling, there are steps you can take to protect your vehicles from theft or damage.
By parking your vehicles in a safe location, you decrease the chances of them being damaged or stolen. The safest place to park is usually an interior garage so that it is hidden and less accessible. If your business does not have an interior garage, consider implementing an outdoor parking lot that is fenced off or at the very least closed at night.
Try to park in a parking building or lot nearby if your business does not have one on-site. That way, you and your staff can easily access your vehicles, and your fleet manager and mechanics can work without being disturbed. These places also 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 towards where your vehicles will be parked.
Although it may be costly, maintaining a fleet of company vehicles is key to avoiding even pricier repairs later on. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your fleet lasts for years to come.