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Effects of Harsh Driving and Missed Maintenance

By Tim TylerFebruary 2, 2020
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Is there anything better than a weekend road trip when the weather gets warm? There’s just something about heading out on the open road when the sun is shining, the breeze is warm, and the jams are bumping that makes you feel free … of course, then you hit your first traffic jam, and what you envisioned as a relaxed trip in which getting there was half the fun becomes a stress-inducing, time-wasting, gas-sucking nightmare.

The reality of many trips is that they can be more expensive than they seem on the surface if you’re not driving properly – speeding, idling (including while in traffic), and harsh driving and braking can all reduce fuel efficiency, which means you’re spending more at the pump to get where you need to be. 

This doesn’t just apply to your personal vehicle on a road trip, either – your work vehicles are subject to the same laws of physics. 

When your field techs and drivers speed, drive aggressively, idle too long and brake too hard, your fuel costs spike, and your vehicles are under unnecessary stress (and so are you, when you’re trying to figure out how to pay for all that extra fuel and maintenance). 

And it’s not just action that can damage the bottom line. Inaction, too, can cost you – if you’re not taking care of your vehicles on the reg, then you might be incurring more expensive long-term damage.

For example, let’s take the gold standard of vehicle maintenance: the inexpensive but very important oil change. Even if you’re driving 10,000 miles a year, you’re only looking at about $120 for the whole year for oil changes every 3,000 miles (and newer vehicles can go even longer than that). Compare that with replacing an engine that seized because it ran out of oil: $5,000. 

Or how about tire rotation and air pressure checks – other small-but-important pieces of maintenance. You’re looking at about $50 for a tire rotation every 7,500 miles and zippo for air pressure checks (or a couple of bucks at any gas station to put air in) versus $400 to $1,000 to replace tires.

The problem is, it’s hard to know exactly how your field techs behave behind the wheel when you’re not there, and it’s hard to keep track of maintenance for a lot of vehicles – which is why you need a way to make sure you’re not negatively affecting your fleet.

GPS fleet tracking helps you do both. You probably already know that it’s a way to keep tabs on driver behavior from afar, but it’s not just tracking them. It can also flag any untoward events like speeding over a certain threshold, braking harshly and excessive idling – which lets you stop these fuel-wasting, vehicle-damaging occurrences as they happen, saving money.

Plus, it lets you keep tabs on maintenance. You can set up a schedule for each individual vehicle … and then never again have to wonder, “@%&*, when was the last time I rotated the tires on this truck?” The system will keep tabs on each vehicle and ping you when something is due for a repair or checkup, saving you from another thing to worry about, and saving the vehicles from incurring damage due to deferred maintenance.

Plus, it can route field techs around traffic and slowdowns, which decreases the amount of time and fuel they spend idling, and increases the amount of time they actually spend on the job and assisting customers, so you’re not paying them to sit on a highway in a stopped car.

Find the right solution for your business with our free Fleet Management Buyer’s Guide.

1507090871 tim tyler
Tim Tyler

Tim Tyler joined the team in 2015 and is responsible for product positioning and voice of market (VOM) in order to affect the way the marketing team connects and communicates with customers.

Tags: Cost control, Productivity & Efficiency, Safety, Vehicle Maintenance, Customer Service, Dispatching & Scheduling, Field management