Keeping a fleet of vehicles well maintained and fully operational is no easy task. Fleet services supervisors walk a tightrope of thoroughly maintaining equipment while allowing for maximum utilization. Fleet maintenance software is designed specifically to make this challenging job a whole lot easier.
The good news for fleet owners is that fleet management software is now being offered built right into a growing number of vehicles and equipment including Ford, GM, Volvo, Mack, Hino, Isuzu and Manitowoc Cranes.
Ease of access, no hardware installation and deeper levels of integration with the vehicle are just some of the reasons built-in solutions are quickly becoming the default choice for mobile enterprises.
Here are five benefits of using of fleet management software for maintenance of your fleet vehicles.
1 - Less vehicle downtime
Purchasing a vehicle with fleet management software built in (or signing up legacy or mixed-fleet vehicles) provides businesses with a real-time view on equipment health, which means service managers aren’t looking at last month’s mileage records or driver inspection reports from last week to uncover an issue that is long overdue for service and needs to be taken off the road right away.
Vehicle data -- including diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) and up-to-the-minute mileage or engine hours -- is fed in real time to a web-based dashboard, allowing operations leads to see exactly which vehicles will be requiring service in the near future. Teams can also schedule automated alerts that trigger reminders for service managers when vehicles meet specific thresholds.
This advance notice allows managers to schedule replacement equipment, minimizing disruption to operations and time in the shop waiting for a service. The bonus is that servicing is only performed when the vehicle actually needs it - not at arbitrary (and often unnecessary) intervals.
Just-in-time servicing also means your vehicles are being serviced at the right time, reducing the chance of unwanted breakdowns and extra costs.
2 - Better fuel economy
One data point offered as standard with many OEM telematics solutions is tire pressure, with alerts for low tire pressure.
Tires that aren't inflated correctly reduce fuel economy by 0.3% for every one PSI under the the recommended pressure (across all tires). Maintaining correct tire pressure can save up to 3% on fuel, representing a savings of $160 per year for each vehicle (based on a van traveling 35,000 miles a year with an average economy of 20 mpg, and diesel at $3 per gallon).
Proper inflation also reduces carbon emissions by more than 1,000 lbs. Underinflated tires wear up to 16% quicker and are the cause of approximately 90% of all tire failures.
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Low tire pressure can also indicate a slow puncture, which could be a major inconvenience (or safety issue) if the leak isn’t repaired quickly.
3 - Get more mileage on warranties
This isn’t just about the warranties on new fleet vehicles -- but parts too. Just about anything a service department purchases comes with a warranty, and a fleet management software can make sure you have accurate records to get the most out of any manufacturer’s guarantee.
Teams can maximize their warranties even further by proactively scheduling services within the warranty period.
Take advantage of warranty entitlements, improve vehicle ROI and cut down on unnecessary maintenance costs.
4 - Preventive maintenance to extend the life of the vehicle
More accurate maintenance and early warning systems for potential problems helps your service department take the best care of vehicles. It also allows vehicle and equipment dealers to keep a close eye on fleet health; they can proactively provide expert advice on other things businesses can do to prolong the life of their vehicles.
With options to share specific diagnostic data in real time with vehicle or equipment dealerships, they can know right away if there’s an issue that needs their attention. They can immediately schedule any necessary servicing for a mutually convenient time, without the long wait or significant downtime normally associated with booking vehicles into a dealership’s service department.
Fleet maintenance software also provides valuable insights into historical vehicle performance. Mobile businesses can get a clear picture of the vehicles that are the best fit for operation, providing the most trouble-free motoring and fewer breakdowns.
It’s all about extending the useful life of the vehicle, maximizing utilization and letting it go when ROI starts dropping off.
5 - Higher Resale value
Speaking of letting vehicles go, most fleet owners cycle vehicles out at some point. A built-in OEM solution provides an excellent record of vehicle use and performance to give insight to potential buyers regarding the history of that vehicle.
It paints an accurate snapshot of the maintenance and health of the vehicle – helping boost resale value and making sure owners get the most from the original vehicle or equipment investment.
Fleet maintenance - It’s just better with a built-in solution
Built-in intelligence is improving the standard of maintenance across any fleet. It’s helping service managers save time, raise safety standards and improve asset utilization. And it’s as simple as checking the box the next time a new fleet vehicle or piece of equipment is purchased.