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Having a fleet preventive maintenance plan in place is a critical step to take for successful commercial fleets. Telematics help companies develop and implement those plans with systems that track important maintenance data and make reporting that data much easier.
A lot goes into a proper preventive maintenance plan. A wide variety of data is tracked, including an engine’s miles, time spent on the road, amount of fuel used and engine hours. Once a truck reaches a milestone in one of these areas, it triggers the need for scheduled preventive maintenance.
Telematics provides fleet maintenance solutions by accurately tracking data and ensure that all preventive maintenance schedules are met.
Steps To Create a Maintenance Checklist
The following provides an overview of the steps needed to create a fleet preventive maintenance plan, including a checklist of areas that need routine inspection.
Determine the Current Status
The first step is to see where you are in terms of preventive maintenance and the condition of your fleet. The list should include:
- Maintenance history
- Replaced parts
- Latest inspection reports
- Condition of tires and fluid levels
- Ownership history
- List of accidents truck was involved in
Set Maintenance Schedule
Next, you must determine the intervals between maintenance for parts of the engine and vehicle. These can be set based on factors such as mileage or hours of operation. It’s possible to use different factors for different parts of the vehicle. Whatever criteria is used, the point is to establish the maintenance schedule and then stick to it.
Create a Maintenance Checklist
The list of required maintenance includes inspections, cleanings, testing, repairs, parts replacement and lubricants. Different classes of trucks will require different types of maintenance, but typically a maintenance checklist should include routine inspections of all the following.
- Interior lights
- Seat and seatbelt conditions
- Interior heating and cooling systems
- Tire pressure
- Condition of tires, wheels and rims
- Change tires for different seasons
- Brake pads and rotors
- Brake fluid level
- CV joints and drive shafts
- Cooling and fuel systems
- Belts and hoses
- Fluid leaks
- Oil levels and condition of filters
- Transmission fluid levels
- Transmission mounts
- Drive shaft condition
- Electrical system components
- Steering and suspension systems
- Exhaust system
- Exterior lights
- Windshield wiper condition
- Windshield fluid levels
- Condition of undercarriage and frame
Set Schedule for Driver Inspections
Drivers are usually the first to know if there are any issues with a vehicle. It’s important to have a regular schedule for drivers to inspect parts of the vehicle and file reports with fleet management. They should red flag any potential problem areas immediately. This includes:
- Safety systems that are reporting a potential issue with a warning light
- Any unusual vehicle behavior, such as brakes making a noise, rough idling or low tire pressure
- Any damage to the exterior body of the vehicle or in the cabin
- Cracked windshields
- Malfunctions with any systems, such as the air conditioning going out or the radio not working properly
Using Telematics For Fleet Maintenance Solutions
Telematics systems offer a way to create a fleet preventive maintenance plan, track a vehicle’s data and make sticking to the plan much easier by reducing paperwork. Fleet managers and drivers manually tracked all this information for years. Technology now allows automated systems to manage the systems more efficiently.
Many systems provide real-time information on an engine’s important data, and can also track issues such as tire pressure. Generating reports on all the data available for each truck is a matter of a minutes rather than hours. Automated systems also make it easier for drivers to communicate any issues immediately with fleet managers. Creating a fleet preventive maintenance plan is key to success in transportation. Technology has made creating such a plan, and putting it into action, much more efficient and effective than in the past.