Do you own a fleet of vehicles for your business? It’s critical to keep your fleet in top condition for several reasons. Most importantly, it’s a matter of safety and protecting yourself from damage and liability for injuries.
1. Perform daily fleet vehicle inspections
To maintain safety, the longevity of your fleet, and to lower your maintenance costs, perform regular fleet vehicle inspections. Cetaris explains that your drivers should perform a daily inspection before they hit the road. For example, they say it’s wise to check for the following:
- Visible vehicle damage
- Tires, steering, mirrors, brakes, and lights are in working order
- Fluid levels are okay, including oil, coolant, transmission fluid, and brake fluid
- Tire pressure is okay
- Signs of a hydraulic fluid leak
In addition to a daily check, all fleet vehicles should be thoroughly checked over at regular intervals according to the manufacturer, which brings up the next point.
2. Schedule all required maintenance
Always schedule and follow through with required maintenance for your fleet. Everything needs to be done on time, including tune-ups, brake inspections, brake pad replacements, brake bleeds, oil changes, tire rotation, and anything else your vehicle requires.
If you wait to get regular maintenance done, it can damage your vehicles and put your drivers and others at risk. Start using software to track maintenance requirements for each vehicle so that you never miss a required task.
Depending on where you live, you might be able to get a good deal on oil changes for your fleet through popular companies like Jiffy Lube. With these services, you’ll get a customized service plan with automatic billing that works with your needs. Every program is different, but you’ll find fleet oil change services to be an excellent choice compared to trying to handle the logistics of doing one vehicle at a time.
3. Take care of all manufacturer recalls
Once in a while, vehicle manufacturers send out notices that they are recalling certain parts, usually for safety reasons. Most of the time, you can bring your car to a dealership and have it fixed at no cost.
Anytime you get one of these notices, make sure you follow through with the part replacement. When you have commercial vehicles, you can’t afford to let safety issues fall to the wayside. Not only can your drivers be injured, but if they injure someone else, your company can and will be held liable.
If it comes to light that you failed to replace a dangerous part, you’ll risk losing the lawsuit and could end up having to pay tens of thousands, or even millions, to the injured party.
4. Make aesthetic repairs
How people perceive your fleet matters. If you’ve got a bunch of dinged up, scratched up vehicles driving all over town, it will affect your brand image. People will come to associate your brand with low-quality. The only exception would be if you drive plain, unmarked vehicles that don’t display your logo or company name.
If your fleet is branded with your company’s name, logo, imagery, phone number, or any other identifiable information, make sure you fix any and all aesthetic damage to keep your image clean and professional.
5. Keep your fleet washed and waxed
How often do you wash your fleet vehicles? Hopefully you wash them regularly and don’t let dirt pile up on the inside or outside. Having a clean fleet is important for maintaining your brand image. If your vehicles are always dirty, people who see your drivers on the road will wonder if you care about your business enough to wash your cars.
In addition to running your vehicles through regular car washes, make sure you wax them, too. Waxing your fleet will keep the paint protected and will give them a nice shine.
Applying a regular coat of wax will protect your fleet against the following:
- UV rays
- Bird droppings
- Tree sap
- Salt from the roads and the ocean
- Other corrosive elements
If you don’t wax your fleet, you’ll end up having to pay more to have paint and sun damage repaired.
Take great care of your fleet vehicles
At the end of the day, your fleet vehicles need to be in top condition to function safely and efficiently. Make sure you stay on top of all required and recommended maintenance, manufacturer recalls, and train your drivers to take great care of the vehicles they drive. This will help keep your drivers and vehicles safe on the road.