Preventive Maintenance: Vital to Managing Downtime

Have you ever wondered why preventive maintenance (PM) is so important? Well, it’s in the word. Preventive maintenance can prevent unnecessary repair costs, unscheduled downtime for repairs and early vehicle replacement due to neglect. However, preventive maintenance is often perceived as optional and some fleets opt to ignore recommended PM services as a way to reduce costs. Preventive maintenance is not an option, but rather a necessity. Routine services such as oil changes or tire rotation help to extend the life of a vehicle. With longer vehicle life expectancy, the amount companies spend on replacement fleet vehicles year over year decreases which is good for the company’s budget.

Since preventive maintenance typically mitigates unscheduled repairs, companies are able to minimize the number of trips to repair shops for more significant breakdowns. Establishing and adhering to a PM schedule is a good way for companies to keep their fleets running smoothly. PM schedules allow fleet managers the ability to control and track when vehicles are out of service.

Drivers should be conscious of any potential issues (i.e. noises or parts not functioning properly) with the vehicle and communicate them immediately to their fleet manager. Fleet managers can only fix problems they are aware of, so any vehicle concerns are the driver’s responsibility to report. The more open the communication drivers have with their fleet managers; the better attention the vehicles will receive.

It is also important for each vehicle to be viewed individually. Not all vehicles are the same or operate under the same conditions so when determining the PM schedule, fleet managers should consider:

  1. The work the vehicle does
  2. How long the vehicle has been on the road
  3. What kind of vehicle it is

Each vehicle should receive preventive maintenance on its own schedule and knowledge of each vehicle’s needs will help determine when PM should take place and what type of maintenance is required.

It is imperative for companies to conduct preventive maintenance to help keep vehicles on the road and control operating costs. To learn more, read our free white paper.