Proper maintenance of your fleet vehicles will save you significant money in repair bills over the life of each work van or truck. Vehicles require regular replacement of consumable parts to prevent excessive wear or damage to adjacent expensive components. When dealing with fleet maintenance, it is generally better to complete all of the work at the same time to prevent excessive downtime. Here are four ways you can keep your work vans and other fleet vehicles in great condition over the years:
Perform Tire Maintenance
Despite appearances, tires are not a set it and forget it type of component. As a rotating part made of a soft rubber compound, tires require regular maintenance to ensure that each one keeps its intended shape and performance. Tires that are out of round will cause your fleet vehicles to wobble and shake uncontrollably. Bring your vehicles into the shop to receive a tire balance, rotation and alignment to keep wear to a minimum. With these services, your tires will all wear evenly, so you do not need to replace sets before the expected mileage or age limit.
Complete Brake Replacements
While you or your technicians complete the tire maintenance process, it’s a good idea to conduct a full brake inspection as well, this measures the life of your pads and rotors, and ensures the safety of your employees and vehicles. After all, fleet vehicles travel many miles, and often carry heavy equipment and materials that can cause brake components to wear more quickly than normal. When your vehicle requires new brake pads, it is wise to also invest in rotor cutting or replacement services. Servicing the rotors at the same time extends the life of the pads, eliminates the chance of odd noises, and increases the vehicle's stopping abilities - especially when under load.
Change All Fluids Together
Van maintenance requires the replacement of oil in the engine, gearbox and differential at the manufacturer's given service limits. If you wait too long to have the fluid checked and replaced, the oil loses its ability to cool and lubricate moving components. While having the oil changed, make sure your technicians also check the fluid levels for the cooling system, brakes, and power steering components. All fluid levels should sit just below the maximum markings to keep your fleet vehicles in great condition.
Schedule Preemptive Tune Ups
All vehicles require regular tune-ups, which includes replacement of the components that deliver air, spark and fuel to the engine. Technicians must change the cap and rotor, spark plugs and wires to continually deliver the right amount of spark to each cylinder. Techs also check and replace the fuel and air filters during the tune-up process. Most vehicles require this service every 30,000 miles. If your fleet vehicles run a specific number of miles a day, you can often schedule this service well in advance using expected mileage estimates.
Creating Your Fleet Maintenance Schedule
Your fleet mechanic can help you to create a suitable fleet maintenance schedule for your work vans and trucks. Establishing a tight maintenance schedule will keep your vehicles on the road to reduce or eliminate downtime for your crew. Try to schedule fleet vehicle services together to streamline the maintenance process. Technicians can map out these services to reduce labor time and other associated costs. Scheduling your fleet services together may also allow you to buy the required parts in bulk to further reduce maintenance expenses.