Vehicles are one of your organisation’s top investments, so taking proper care of them is crucial to keeping vehicles on the road and making sure they are safe and efficient.
Fleet maintenance is inextricably linked to managing risk, including risk related to WHS, COR, operational performance and organisational reputation. This is why fleet managers need to implement a robust maintenance program.
A good place to start is with pre-operational checks by the driver. This provides assurance the vehicle is safe to use and a chance to report any faults before they become bigger issues.
Scheduled servicing is also critical. You must follow the service schedule provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer as a minimum, but depending on how and where the vehicle is used, you may need more frequent or additional servicing to that recommended. You also need good processes for reactive repairs – to ensure they’re identified and resolved.
John-Paul Berry, Fleet Manager for the City of Armadale in Perth, says it’s important to read the warning signs and proactively engage with end users and key stakeholders to understand and address the issues.
“From our perspective, some of the key warning signs include a notable increase in maintenance expenditure combined with an increased volume of downtime,” says Berry.
IPWEA Fleet Director Rob Wilson says “maintenance needs to be managed systematically and comprehensively”.
“The IPWEA Plant and Vehicle Management Manual provides excellent guidance on the necessary elements of a Maintenance Management System including daily checks, fault recording/reporting and repair, maintenance schedules, record keeping, responsibilities and training,” he says.
GPS fleet-tracking software is a useful tool and helps fleet managers stay on top of maintenance schedules by automatically tracking metrics such as distance travelled and operating hours. These can help determine repair schedules for each vehicle.