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Updated: July 15, 2019
Proactive preventative maintenance, thorough pre-trip inspections, enhanced driving routes, and safety programs all have an impact on the wear and tear of your vehicles. By providing extensive engine diagnostics, GPS fleet tracking solutions enable fleet managers to cultivate a program that allows them to reduce fleet maintenance costs and vehicle downtime and cuts back on excessive vehicle wear and tear, lowering the total cost of ownership and improving the bottom line.
Cost saving features that impact fleet maintenance
Modern advances in new technology have drastically improved vehicle quality and performance; however, even the best vehicles demand regular preventative maintenance. With GPS tracking software that is part of an in-vehicle monitoring systems (IVMS), you can easily keep your fleet vehicles in top condition, thanks to valuable features that:
- Provide automatic alerts the moment one of your vehicles suffers a maintenance issue like an engine problem or transmission malfunction.
- Offer instant access to the complete repair and maintenance history of each vehicle in your fleet.
- Allow you to set proactive reminders for tune-ups, oil changes and other preventive maintenance activities.
- Deliver automatic engine diagnostic alerts to help you reduce costly roadside repairs.
- Let you track exact vehicle speed, location and engine performance to improve negative driving habits that promote vehicle wear and tear.
- Help you maintain accurate records to better predict vehicle maintenance costs, keep maintenance schedules up to date and make smart, informed decisions about when to replace aging, inefficient vehicles.
Below, we cover four specific ways you can reduce fleet maintenance costs by implementing an IVMS and fleet tracking solution for your organization:
Preventative maintenance programs with IVMS
You can use an IVMS to help schedule preventative maintenance proactively, which helps reduce urgent repairs and prevent drivers and vehicles from getting stuck on the road or at a job. By tracking data on engine use, mileage and fluid levels closely and setting automated alerts, you’ll be reminded when preventative maintenance is coming due, so you can be sure every vehicle is maintained properly.
Studies show that strict adherence to preventive maintenance will improve resale value of most units and reduce the maintenance costs incurred from repairs. Getting ahead of maintenance helps reduce issues from happening. You can also maintain a detailed record of all preventative maintenance activities performed on a vehicle within a fleet tracking system to prevent any work from being done that isn’t required - which can increase your overall fleet costs.
Pre-trip inspections and DVIRs
Pre-trip vehicle inspections are one of the most important factors in ensuring the safety of drivers and vehicles. A skipped or hastily performed pre-trip inspection could lead to a catastrophic crash with injuries and fatalities.
All drivers should be provided a training guide with imagery and case studies for pre- and post-trip inspections. You can also give drivers with a comprehensive list of potential risks for failing to complete an inspection and have them sign off on it, that way they understand the consequences. Be sure to focus on open communication when it comes to inspections - for example, drivers need to know who to go to when they find out a repair from the previous day DVIR has not been completed and what to do about it.
Drivers should check the following parts, at a minimum, during a pre-trip inspection:
- Air pressure
- Lug nuts
- Power steering and power steering fluid
- Emergency equipment like fire extinguishers
- Air brakes
- Air compressor and air lines
- Turn signals / brake lights / high beams
- Fuel tank / check for leaks
- Parking brakes / trailer brakes
- Shock absorbers
- Drive shaft
- Fluid levels (oil level, coolant level)
- Windshield wipers
Using electronic DVIRs is a sure fire way to establish and enforce a standard driver procedure for pre-trip inspections. DVIRs can be completed electronically using a smartphone or tablet with features that force drivers to physically inspect the vehicle rather than just speeding through the form. DVIR walkaround features enable you to monitor the probability that a driver spent enough time to actually walk around their vehicle for a thorough inspection.
Reduce miles traveled with enhanced routes
GPS tracking allows you to cut down on vehicle wear and tear, thanks to optimized routing and better driver oversight. By improving your routing, you can reduce mileage, which can prolong the life of tires, belts and other key vehicle components. At the same time, you'll be able to identify hard stops, starts, speeding and other poor driving habits which cause poor fuel economy and could be sending your vehicles to the shop causing higher than expected fleet operating costs.
For commercial drivers, truck GPS navigation software provides hands-on tools that reduce the stress of safely maneuvering a large vehicle through unknown territory. The benefits of optimized routing speak for themselves, fleet vehicles stay on the road longer, and items like fuel costs and tire costs are reduced, helping lower your truck fleets operating costs.
Modifying driver behavior to reduce maintenance costs
Monitoring and modifying driver behavior can also help reduce your fleet maintenance costs. With driver management software you'll be able to identify hard stops, starts, speeding, aggressive driving behaviors and other poor driving habits which could be sending your vehicles to the shop.
Data from driver management software can be used to prevent crashes, which lowers repair costs due to accidents, prevents injuries and fatalities, improves fuel efficiency, and can reduce insurance premiums.
It's difficult for your drivers to be productive when their vehicles aren't performing optimally - or at all. With Verizon Connect’s industry-leading fleet management system, you can easily streamline maintenance costs and processes in a variety of ways to keep your vehicles on the road where they belong regardless of your fleet size.