Fleet Management software

How to set up an effective truck fleet maintenance program

Dec 16, 2020

Off-road or highways, trucks operate in various conditions. Any truck fleet manager knows that in order to avoid possible breakdowns, the condition of vehicles must be closely monitored on a regular basis. 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, truck operating costs have grown around 3% to 4.6% in 2018 - the results partly associated with poorly-executed routine maintenance programs.

Preventive maintenance is crucial to any T&L company that operates under a tight budget, especially in current circumstances. The logistics industry as a whole has been affected by the second wave of the pandemic, and the optimization of costs remains a key priority for many fleets. At the same time, adopting a maintenance plan is an ambitious task in itself. Trucks vary in size and type, so do truck fleet maintenance plans. Loosely speaking, a proper maintenance program largely depends on truck types, so bear in mind the exact needs of your fleet and seasonality. If not detected on schedule, even the smallest issues under the hood might ultimately lead to serious breakdowns. When planning maintenance, the list of the things to keep an eye on includes lights, windshields, oil change, transmission, brakes, engine fluids, etc. 

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. 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.

Thus, a carefully thought-out plan ensures that your business can work like clockwork. But how can truck fleet managers lower maintenance costs? By predicting them. A proper maintenance program provides a clear picture of what exact tools and technicians are needed at the exact moment. With scheduled maintenance in place, you can plan (and, what’s more important, execute) repairs efficiently. All these measures lead to increased productivity that translates into optimized costs. The development of a strong maintenance program lies within the digitalization of the whole automotive sector. Nowadays, it boils down to choosing the right software as it’s nearly impossible to effectively manage maintenance using outdated spreadsheets or calendars.

The solution

To help fleet managers set up an effective truck fleet maintenance program, Akveo developed an open-source template for fleet management software. The dashboard includes a set of integral features for the logistics domain such as vehicle diagnostic, real-time data, and maintenance status.

The dashboard comes with five main modules, and the diagnostics tab is one of them. The module includes a maintenance planner to schedule oil change, filter replacement, engine examination or repair, etc. Using a robust vehicle diagnostic and maintenance planner, you 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 smartphone’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.

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. 

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. 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. 

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.

About Akveo

Akveo is an experienced team of full-stack software experts passionate about creating reliable software and ready to accept the next tech challenge. Our expertise lets us understand the essence of our clients' business needs to deliver the best solution possible. Plus, the use of our own products in development and design allows us to reduce development time and implement new solutions faster. Check what our customers say and contact us.

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