How to Make Sure Your Company Vehicles are Properly Maintained
Many businesses provide vehicles to their staff to enable them to perform their essential functions more efficiently and to make sure that they are always giving off an air of professionalism when meeting clients. While there are lots of good reasons to provide your workers with cars, it can also lead to a lot of extra administrative work on your part. When one of your fleet of vehicles fails or runs into problems, you will have to take responsibility for having it repaired.
It is, therefore, a good idea to encourage your workers to monitor the health of their vehicles and to inform you as soon as they suspect that there might be an issue. Here’s how you can ensure your business vehicles get as much mileage as possible.
Give Everyone a Checklist
A vehicle breaking down unexpectedly can cause a whole range of problems, both for the affected driver and for your business as a whole. You can’t foresee every potential issue with your vehicles, but by encouraging everyone who is responsible for one to at least stay on top of monitoring it for issues, you can pre-empt many of the most common faults. While some businesses will make individual workers responsible for the vehicles they drive, most businesses will handle the vehicle upkeep centrally.
Whatever your arrangements are, you should encourage your workers to run through a simple checklist whenever they use one of your vehicles. There are a couple of things specifically that you should ask them to regularly check and keep a handle on.
- Radiator coolant levels . This is easy to check; all you need to do is visually inspect the plastic overflow bottle with most models of car. You should ensure that the coolant level remains between the low and high markings. Never remove the radiator cap if the engine is still hot.
- Engine oil levels. To check the oil levels in your engine, begin by parking your car on flat, level ground. Once it’s level, start the engine and allow it to run for a short time. After 30 seconds or so, turn it off again. Whilst the engine is still warm, take out the dipstick from its holder and wipe it clean. Then, reinsert it, making sure that you insert it fully into the engine to avoid a false reading. Remove the dipstick from the engine and check where the reading is. Like your radiator coolant, you are aiming for a level between the low and high marks.
- Condition of the tyres. There are two things you need to consider when assessing the condition of your tyres. First, you need to check the tread of your tyres. Over time, your tyres will naturally wear out. In the UK, the law says that your car tyres have to have at least 1.6mm tread depth, covering the central three quarters of the tyre.
Make sure that any issues detected in any of these areas are immediately reported to you so you can address them properly.
Take Some Responsibility Yourself
There are certain things that you will inevitably have to take responsibility for as the ultimate owner of your company vehicles. Even if individual employees will be using your business vehicles personally as well as professionally, you are still responsible for the big picture stuff - things like ensuring that vehicles remain insured and don’t fall into disrepair.
With fleet management software, you can easily keep track of a number of different vehicles automatically. The right FMS will let you know when each vehicle is due for routine maintenance or when its insurance policy needs renewing.
Whenever your insurance policies are up for renewal, you have a new opportunity to save your business money and streamline your operations. For example, you might be able to save yourself some money by moving away from individual insurance plans to a single fleet insurance policy. Fleet insurance can be compared here at Quotezone.co.uk who will help you to find the lowest price available. All you will need to do is fill in one short form to see which providers offer the best deal and price.
Make Sure That All Issues are Reported
It is important that all your workers understand what kind of warning signs they might encounter when using their vehicle need to be reported to you. For example, if a dashboard warning light comes on and doesn’t switch off, it is imperative that you ascertain what it means before anyone else drives the vehicle.
Similarly, if the driver notices any unexpected noises, vibrations, or other indications that something might be going wrong with the internal mechanics of the vehicle, they need to make you aware of this at the next opportunity.
If you can keep on top of your vehicle maintenance and head off any minor issues before they devolve into something debilitating, you will save yourself a lot of time, headaches, and money. Make sure that your workers understand the importance of promptly reporting any issues they encounter to you.
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IDCON Partners with The University of Tennessee Knoxville's Reliability and Maintainability Center (RMC) as a training partner
One of the main differences between a cost-efficient fleet that can deliver and one that can’t seem to keep up and control its costs is proper asset management. However, one part that often falls through the cracks in asset management is maintenance. Maintenance remains one of your most crucial and expensive operational costs and one you have to stay on top of if you want to avoid mistakes and surprise costs.