Return to Blog August 3, 2022

How to Improve Fleet Vehicle Maintenance in 5 Steps

Long row of red semi-trucks lined up.

Because it can quickly lead to delays and unhappy customers when fleet assets break down, managers have always prioritized scheduled maintenance.

For insight into how fleet vehicle managers can improve their maintenance strategy, we’ve prepared some key practices to follow.  

1. Find the Right Vehicle and the Right Number of Vehicles for Your Fleet

As vehicles rack up miles, the risk of breakdown increases. That truism is compounded when vehicles are regularly overloaded. Vehicle overloading results when fleet managers are forced to keep cars, vans, or trucks on the road so often that scheduled maintenance and safety inspections are delayed or skipped. It also covers putting too much weight on a vehicle and forcing it to haul loads it isn’t rated to accommodate.

Both facets of overloading can lead to:

  • Longer braking distance
  • Poor vehicle handling
  • Accelerated wear and tear
  • Uneven tire wear
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Reduced lifespan

For heavy goods fleet management, prioritize having the right-sized vehicle fleet to meet your needs and the correct number of vehicles. Evaluate your load capacity requirements and factors like fuel mileage. Incorporating this information can help you make smart maintenance and replacement decisions.

2. Replace Fleet Vehicles on Schedule

To reduce downtime, fleet managers always aim to replace high-mileage vehicles before breakdowns and safety concerns become a problem. Replacing vehicles on time also allows fleet managers to re-evaluate the company’s current and forecasted needs. For example, many decision-makers are planning to purchase electric vehicles to reduce costs, increase longevity, and stay ahead of legislation dictating the efficiency of vehicle fleets.

3. Schedule Safety Inspections More Frequently Than Maintenance and Repairs

Better fleet management starts with mitigation. Task an experienced technician with inspecting fleet vehicles every six weeks. Consider checking older vehicles more often to reduce the risk of breakdowns and protect your drivers. Fleet vehicle safety inspections should not be left until performance deteriorates.

4. Use a Fleet Management Tool

Fleet management software can automate or flag vehicles for safety inspections, maintenance needs, and other tasks for managers. Many modern fleet software packages also relay information on driver behavior to ensure your team is driving responsibly, conserving fuel, and using company-approved routes. These tools are playing an increasingly important role in effective vehicle fleet management.

5. Find Fleet Management Partners You Can Rely On

Even with the most proactive maintenance, vehicles will break. While most fleet managers will keep important parts on hand, it’s vital to have a partner that can source and deliver the components and lubricants you need to get your assets back on the road.

The right OEM parts distributors cater to fleet managers by offering fast and easy ordering, bulk pricing discounts, and fast shipping.

Other third-party services you might consider include:

  • Automotive parts suppliers
  • Telematics providers (fleet monitoring)
  • EV charging ports and assistance transitioning from fossil fuel vehicles to EVs

Stay on the Road with Tilley Distribution

At Tilley, we work with heavy-duty fleet businesses from across the country and worldwide to deliver fleet vehicle lubricants, diesel engine fluid, antifreeze, and other essential products you need to maintain your vehicles effectively. Talk to a Tilley representative today.