In a world ever dependent on vehicles and skyrocketing costs, it can be hard to know the best way to care for vehicles in the 21st century. When you have a fleet to manage, it can be even more overwhelming because cost must be balanced with effectiveness. Here are four simple strategies you can implement today that will save money and headaches while extending the life of your vehicles.
1- Routine Maintenance
While this sounds like it’s too simple to mention, regular maintenance is a surefire way to extend the life of any vehicle. This includes tire balance and rotation, monitoring fluid levels, and tune-ups to name a few. Not to mention, routine maintenance unsurprisingly reduces repair costs.
Tires are one of the costliest culprits when it comes to maintenance. Tire inflation should be regularly checked and tires themselves should be rotated and balanced every time the oil is changed. This reduces wear and tear on the suspension system, as well as increasing fuel efficiency, and extending the life of the tires.
2- Oil and Filters
Everyone who drives knows they must change the oil every so many miles, but the quality of oil matters. Research has shown that vehicles using synthetic oil provided protection against normal wear and tear and minimal distress on the transmission, and it also increased the interval between oil changes by almost double. While the cost of synthetic oil may be more expensive up front, it will extend the life of any vehicle which saves money in the long run.
3- Good Driving Habits
Driving fleet vehicles comes with additional safety protocols that “regular” drivers don’t necessarily abide by. While safety is the main reason for this, it also affects the life of the vehicle. Tactical route design decreases the wear and tear on vehicles and provides shorter commutes, which is good for both the driver and the customer. Braking moderately, regulating speed and braking, and not overfilling the gas tank are all additional ways to spare the vehicle unnecessary damage.
4- Keep Your Fleet Updated
All vehicles have a lifespan and will have to be replaced eventually. When it comes time to get a new vehicle for your fleet, the first thing to do is evaluate your current needs. Maybe it’s time for a car instead of a truck or to start integrating alternative fuel vehicles. Does the vehicle genuinely need to be replaced? Be on the lookout for improved MPG and tax credits as well. Do your research and buy the vehicle that serves the need rather than “it’s the way it’s always been done.”
It’s also important to keep record logs of all the maintenance each vehicle receives so you have documentation and can easily keep track of it. This will help ensure each vehicle in a company fleet receives the maintenance and repairs it needs.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list but implementing these small changes into your current fleet can have an immediate impact on both the vehicle life and the bottom line. The success of your business depends on it.