How to set up an effective truck fleet maintenance program
December 16, 2020

How to set up an effective truck fleet maintenance program

Dmitri Koteshov
Dmitri Koteshov
Digital Content and PR executive

Off-road or highways, trucks operate in various conditions. Truck fleet managers know that to avoid possible breakdowns, the condition of vehicles must be closely and regularly monitored. No matter how experienced they may be, even the most responsible drivers may not recognize on time the signals of an upcoming malfunction. Apart from the safe driving aspect, the maintenance of a vehicle stock has a direct influence on the bottom line of a business. According to the Truck Expert’s report, operating costs have grown around 3% to 4.6% in 2018 - the results partly associated with poorly-executed routine truck maintenance programs.

Preventive truck maintenance is a game-changer to any T&L company that operates under a tight budget, especially in current circumstances. The logistics industry has been affected by the second wave of the pandemic, and the optimization of costs remains a key priority for many fleets worldwide. At the same time, such initiative as adopting a digital maintenance plan is an ambitious task in itself. However, be it a large fleet of heavy-duty vehicles or just a dozen Class 1 trucks, you want to minimize downtime, optimize efficiency, and control maintenance costs. The right technology in the right hands does just that. 

The strategy

Most precisely, I’m talking about cloud-based fleet management software. Such solutions represent analytical platforms that allow tracking a fleet, its technical condition, and expenses. Accessible from a desktop computer or smartphone, such software provides greater visibility to businesses that want to build a solid maintenance strategy. Trucks vary in size and type, so do truck fleet maintenance plans. Broadly speaking, a proper maintenance program largely depends on truck types, so bear in mind the exact needs of your fleet and seasonality. Whatever happens on the road, fleet managers can promptly communicate maintenance issues and act proactively. Forewarned is forearmed, and in the case of driving large trucks, it makes even more sense. Thanks to the strategic approach in continuous monitoring, the likelihood of breakdowns and unscheduled repairs is reduced. You contact service providers only when your vehicles need it.

It's ineffective to manage maintenance using spreadsheets or calendars. Fleet management software ensures that your maintenance practices will work like clockwork. But how can truck fleet managers lower maintenance costs? By predicting them. With scheduled maintenance in place, you can plan and execute repairs efficiently. A proper maintenance program provides a clear picture of what tools and technicians are needed at the exact moment. All these measures lead to increased productivity that ultimately translates into optimized costs. The development of a strong maintenance program follows the digitalization trend of the whole automotive sector. Nowadays, the choice boils down to picking up the right software. With multiple fleet management solutions in the market, it may be challenging to make the right choice. Therefore, we invite you to visit the Fleet Management Software Comparison Table that includes a handpicked list of available software with features, reviews, and pricing options. 

The solution

A proper truck fleet management solution includes a set of features for the logistics domain and maintains all data in a centralized database. The diagnostic module of such software consists of a vehicle diagnostic planner that allows fleet managers to schedule an oil change, filter replacement, engine examination or repair, etc. Fleet managers can determine the number of preventive maintenance tasks that will be tracked by parameters such as date, hours, miles, or fuel consumption. What's more, notifications are fully automated: check them on your smart phone's screen, in your email inbox, or within a detailed printed report.

The flexible maintenance program is based on the optimal intervals chosen for each parameter to track. Planning helps to create individual service programs for each vehicle in your fleet. This way, paired with responsible truck use, your fleet will be following the industry's trend towards cost-saving for years to come.

 fleet management software

Do you develop truck fleet management software? If you need to design the front-end, we invite you to try an open-source design template for fleet management software. The template provides a striking visual foundation for truck management solutions, so you don't have to create the UI from scratch.

Final words

Each fleet is different, and there's no one-size-fits-all approach towards developing a maintenance program. At the same time, the adoption of an effective maintenance solution might be one of the best strategic decisions for your fleet. Within the automotive industry, companies investing in technology get the most ROI out of their investment, and it doesn't take ages to see direct results. Once up and running, a proper vehicle maintenance program improves uptime, controls spendings, and optimizes fleet efficiency. With the right data at hand, you can have a clear picture of maintenance activities to plan them in advance. 

If not detected on schedule, even the smallest issues might ultimately lead to serious breakdowns. Surely, even state-of-the-art monitoring systems do not know how to carry out full-fledged diagnostics. But they can early detect malfunctions in the electrics or the fuel system, remind about running out of fuel or pay attention to the difference in tire pressure. In other words, provide additional control which translates into safety, improved bottom, and more happy customers.

Is your organization interested in adopting a convenient truck fleet management program? A good fit for small and medium-sized T&L companies, the Fleet Management Dashboard is a flexible software with rich functionality and integration possibilities. Check out our fleet management template’s page and contact us.

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Dmitri Koteshov
Dmitri Koteshov
Digital Content and PR executive

Dmitri engages readers with meaningful yet entertaining stories on technology and global digitalization.

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