Actions Involved in a Fleet Maintenance Schedule
Preventative maintenance is the first step when dealing with your fleet (or any vehicle). Preventative maintenance is when you have your maintenance set up on a schedule to be done before something major happens. In most circumstances, maintenance can be preventative or emergent – the goal is to avoid emergency situations from happening, if possible.
Different vehicle manufacturers will recommend a specific maintenance interval for their makes, most often broken down in increments based on the mileage driven. Many of these maintenance schedules are universal, but with a fleet vehicle, you can expect to have a higher frequency of checkups with your mechanic to ensure that your vehicle is in proper working order.
Preventative Maintenance Areas to Keep Your Fleet Running
These are the basic areas of preventative maintenance that you will want to have addressed – some are more necessary to keep an eye on depending on the frequency your fleet is on the road.
- Change the oil and the filter
- Inspect the fuel system
- Inspect engine and transition mounts
- Check, change, and fill transmission fluid
- Check cooling system
- Check the driveshaft, CV joints, belts, and hoses
- Inspect the electrical system and braking components
- Perform regular tune-ups
- Ensure steering and suspension are in proper working order
- Examine exhaust system
- Rotate tires, inspect tires – including the rims
- Check the undercarriage, frame, and lights
- Check windshield wipers and refill all fluids
- Inspect body, glass, and mirrors
- Repair any fluid leaks
- Check seat belts, horn, and auxiliary systems
Trying to keep up with each of these manually can be extremely difficult for a fleet manager. Managers are already tasked with so much concerning their business – they need an easier way to manage these basic preventative maintenance chores.
Fleet Tracking Software (Like Car Rental Software – But Better)
One of the best resources available to fleet vehicle owners is fleet tracking software. Car rental services use tracking software to keep watch over their fleet of cars and ensure that maintenance is being conducted when required. Why should the managers over a fleet of rental cars have all the resources?
Fleet tracking software makes it possible for fleet managers to use GPS tracking to watch the location of their fleet, and the hardware plugs into the OBD-II port of the vehicle, allowing for data to be drawn directly from the fleet vehicle.
GPS Tracking Capabilities
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a series of satellites that orbit the Earth. These satellites send and receive signals with receivers on the ground – take the GPS location settings on your phone, for example. The receiver communicates with the satellites, and when at least three of these satellites are engaged, your location can be pinpointed with almost certain accuracy.
The same applies to your fleet when you use a fleet tracking system. Fleet managers can gain real-time access to their fleet thanks to the hardware installed in each vehicle. The hardware acts as a beacon, allowing the manager to see important information. As for the GPS component of it, the manager gets “in the moment” updates on where the driver is and their speed. GPS tracking also helps to reduce the amount of theft, and when theft does occur, the recovery rate increases if GPS tracking is (or was) available on the vehicle.
When you use fleet tracking hardware in the OBD-II port of your fleet vehicle, it isn’t just a homing beacon for the GPS but also transmits data about the vehicle itself to the fleet owner. You can see what route is taken and the number of miles it was thanks to the GPS, but do you know exactly how many miles the vehicle is sitting at because of this journey? That is where the hardware comes in – you can see real-time mileage updates.
That isn’t all that you can gain from the hardware – you can gain insight that makes you feel like you are on a ride-a-long. There are some habits that may speed up the maintenance frequency of your fleets, like hard braking, speeding, and other driver-specific actions on the road.
How Maintenance Tracking Works
Using the data that the fleet tracking hardware collects, it becomes possible for the software to make calculations and alert you when it is time for a maintenance check. Within most fleet tracking apps, you can set the interval for maintenance. After all of the initial data is collected, the software begins to track the mileage and other driving behaviors – alerting you when something needs to be completed (like maintenance).
The Maintenance Interval
Within your fleet tracking software, you should be able to say “oil change – XXXXXX miles,” and so on. When you set up these intervals for maintenance, the software will keep track of the mileage for you, alerting you when it is close to the time for maintenance. You can even receive alerts when it is past the maintenance interval – allowing you to contact your driver and get them into the mechanic ASAP.
You can also use the software to keep track of which vehicles have received the proper maintenance and which ones have not. For example, if your fleet has 25 vehicles and they all vary in age and mileage – you wouldn’t treat a ten-year-old car the same way you would a one-year-old car. The ten-year-old vehicle is likely high mileage, especially if it has spent its entire life as a fleet vehicle. While you will keep the one-year-old vehicle on a tight maintenance schedule, it will likely not be as frequent. That is why you see many fleet owners selling or trading in these vehicles once they reach a specific mileage or age.
Fleetr’s Solution to Maintenance Tracking
Fleetr is a fleet management solution that facilitates all the above – but affordably for small fleet owners. With Fleetr, managers get:
- A live view of their fleet vehicles on the map
- The ability to create geofences and alerts when drivers leave these designated areas
- Alerts on when drivers are not driving to the best of their abilities – push notification on hard braking, idling, geofence alerts, and more
- Weekly reporting on driver efficiency – see a leaderboard of which drivers are doing the best and which ones need to be worked with to achieve higher levels of safety and efficiency
- Stay up-to-date with the performance of your fleet
- Access reports that show historical data on the vehicle’s activity, route history, driver locations, and more
- See your vehicle’s health and get notified when your vehicle needs attention
Fleetr is an easy solution to the largest woes a fleet manager faces. For $9.99 per month/per vehicle, small fleet owners get all the above and so much more. The installation is a breeze. Simply plug the hardware into the OBD-II port and sync it to the app. We recommend setting up your app while waiting for your hardware to arrive. This will minimize the amount of work you will need to do when these come in the mail (it takes about 3-5 business days once ordered).
Keeping Up with Maintenance and Increasing Fleet Health
One of the best ways to maintain your fleet is through tracking opportunities (like Fleetr). It is hard to keep up with all the different maintenance intervals, and having software that can do it for you – priceless! You might be surprised to find out that it will begin to pay for itself when you incorporate the fleet tracking solution into your fleet. On top of routine maintenance, it is possible to save up to $200 per vehicle per month just on fuel. So instead of paying the $9.99 per vehicle/per month with Fleetr – you are essentially being paid to use it! Why wouldn’t you want to keep your fleet healthier and more efficient?