Best Practices for Fleet Truck Maintenance and Repair

Best Practices for Fleet Truck Maintenance and Repair

Starting a business in the modern world isn’t difficult. In fact, nearly 600,000 new businesses open up in the US every year. The tricky part is keeping your business running smoothly long enough for it to become profitable.

Only once you establish your business and it becomes stable can you begin to dream about wealth and success. And if your company depends on fleet vehicles to provide services to your customers, you can’t take fleet maintenance for granted. An unreliable fleet of vehicles won’t win you a solid reputation in any industry.

We’re here to talk about fleet truck maintenance. Keep reading to learn about the best practices to keep your vehicles running smoother and longer.

Track All of Your Vehicles With GPS

The first step in proper truck fleet management is knowing where your vehicles are at all times. This also means knowing where they’ve been.

While you probably take your time hiring honest and dependable employees, you can’t always depend on the honor system when it comes to their behavior. Tracking your fleet trucks with GPS is a good way to keep an eye on both your vehicles and your employees.

If they’re running personal errands in company vehicles, it will accelerate the rate at which you need to conduct maintenance and repairs. Furthermore, if they get into an accident in one of your vehicles while conducting personal business, your insurance may not cover the damages.

Keep Mileage and Maintenance Logs

One of the best ways to keep up on truck fleet maintenance is by staying tuned into the status of each vehicle. Each driver should document the mileage every time they take a trip in the vehicle. That way, you’ll know exactly when to change the oil, rotate the tires, etc.

Just as importantly, every bit of maintenance or repair conducted on the vehicle needs to be documented. This should include the date, the type of maintenance performed, parts replaced, costs, etc. You should even keep a running log of your fueling costs and mileage, which will help you when it comes time to file your taxes.

Find  a Reliable and Affordable Source for Fluids

Keeping your fluids topped off is one of the most important aspects of fleet truck maintenance. If you start to run low or have a leak, it will drastically increase the wear and tear your vehicles experience. This includes oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and diesel exhaust fluid.

As such, you need to find a good source for these types of fluids. You can even find companies that will deliver these fluids right to your door. For example, follow this link if you’re looking for DEF near me.

Rotate Tires Every Every 5,000 Miles

As your fleet trucks run their routes and help build your business, their tires will wear unevenly. The drive tires that claw for traction will lost tread faster and should be rotated every 5,000 miles.

Regular tire rotations will prolong the life of your tires and ensure the tread is wearing evenly. In effect, it will help you save a lot of money throughout the life of your business.

Regularly Change Your Oil and Oil Filter

Oil is incredibly important to the performance and lifespan of your engine. However, it’s not enough just to keep your oil topped off. You also need to conduct oil changes every three to six months or 5,000 to 7,500 miles.

Each time you change the oil, you should also replace the filter. Having clean oil will increase the engine’s efficiency, which means better mileage and lower fuel costs. It will also help prevent overheating and excessive wear on the engine.

Replace Your Tires When Necessary

When calculating the cost of fleet truck parts, you’ll notice that these costs add up rather quickly. However, this is not an excuse to put off replacements or repairs. For example, you must replace your tires when necessary to avoid blowouts and potential accidents.

The tread on your tires needs to be a minimum of 2/32 inches deep by law. Anything lower will reduce traction and make your tires vulnerable to punctures and blowouts.

Be Prepared for Inclement Weather

Few states have unchanging temperatures and weather patterns year-round. Your fleet trucks must be prepared to handle inclement weather known to your area. This includes everything from snow and ice to rain and fog.

If your area experiences snow and ice during the winter, you must equip your vehicles with suitable tires that can handle those types of road conditions. However, being prepared for bad weather also means maintaining small but important features, like your windshield wipers, windshield wiper fluid, defrost, heat, etc.

Get Regular Mechanical and Electrical Inspections

Regular mechanic checkups are just as important for your fleet vehicles as health checkups are for you. It’s always better to identify a problem (or potential problem) before it gets worse.

Finding mechanical issues early on can save you a lot of money by preventing major damages, breakdowns, and other problems. It can also save you on towing and insurance claims.

Modern fleet trucks are incredibly sophisticated. The electrical systems can make driving and operating the vehicle easier, safer, and more comfortable. However, if any part of the electrical system has a bug, it can spell trouble.

For example, in some Mercedes Sprinter models, a short in the horn’s wiring can prevent the vehicle from starting at all. It’s best to keep a close eye on the electrical system of any type of vehicle to ensure it’s always in good condition.

Use Fleet Management Software

Finally, we highly recommend incorporating fleet management software to help you monitor and document every aspect of your fleet. Some systems can even be integrated into your fleet trucks, which will automate much of the process. These programs will save you time, alert you when maintenance needs to be conducted, and more.

Are You Taking Care of Your Fleet Trucks?

We hope our truck fleet management guide helps you take care of your vehicles so your company can thrive. Follow the tips listed in this article to ensure your fleet trucks are running at full capacity.

And if you’re looking for more small business tips or management advice, you’re in the right place. Check out some of our other articles to find more valuable information before you go.