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3 Tips to Boost Fleet Maintenance and Repair

Are you doing enough to keep your fleet safe and productive? If maintenance and repairs happen at random, and bulk or custom orders are impacting the supply chain, it’s time to get things under control. Use these tips to create a proactive, comprehensive maintenance and repair system. 

Project Lead

It’s easy to let projects and tasks fall to the wayside, but when it comes to fleet maintenance, don’t leave it up to chance. Someone needs to oversee everyday repairs, the occasional breakdown and spare parts inventory or it’s possible this crucial money-saving, efficiency-boosting system won’t happen.

Who makes sense to lead this project? Look to the job roles of the people in the company to better help you decide. Whether it’s the reliability engineer, the maintenance manager or other manager, make it clear who is responsible for routine checks and preventive maintenance so everyone knows where to turn when they need assistance. 

Maintenance Roadmap

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Fleet maintenance and repair shouldn’t be left to chance. An estimated $20 to $60 billion is lost each year due to unscheduled downtime and poor asset quality. Provide the person in charge with a roadmap of sorts to keep vehicles in tip-top condition. Keep your fleet on-track and in good repair with a maintenance and system schedule tailored to your fleet. Determine what preventive maintenance services relate to your vehicles and schedule accordingly. Do you have vehicles that sit around for a good part of the year? Are there daily use vehicles receiving highway wear and tear?

Opt for a calendar-based schedule, such as every three months, by miles traveled or another variable that makes sense to your company. Tailor your plan to the age of your fleet, allowing shorter gaps in maintenance for older vehicles. Track regular and unexpected repairs to keep surprise repairs and replacements at a minimum. Outlining your fleet’s routine maintenance enables a better way to plan for future vehicle replacement on your terms. 

Spare Parts Inventory

Even with the best of fleet maintenance scheduling, surprises still happen. Whether a vehicle in your fleet suffers from a mechanical breakdown or a punctured tire, if your team can handle basic repairs, it pays to keep important spare parts on hand. Conduct a spare parts inventory now to determine the necessary replacement parts and equipment suitable for on-site storage for fast replacement. What do you realistically have room to store and what are your most pressing needs? 

Hang onto items with a long shelf life and a lengthy acquisition time. If supply chain inconsistencies cause shipping delays, bulk order in those parts now to minimize the ripple effects of the next breakdown. Don’t overlook smaller, yet necessary, items like quarts of oil and the ubiquitous o-ring that comes into play in a multitude of systems, everything from the coolant and engine oil compartments to hydraulics and brakes. Browse through past part purchases for crucial custom order ideas. Keep accurate inventory lists so your stockroom becomes a reliable fleet maintaining force and not a disorganized mess. 

Repair and Maintain

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A productive fleet is a working fleet. Don’t leave maintenance and repair up to chance. Delegating a project manager, creating a repair roadmap, staying on top of inventory and stocking your facility with must-haves will go a long way to minimize any bumps in the road.

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