Downtime impacts your fleet when routine maintenance issues, unforeseen repairs, accidents and/or sudden catastrophic failures happen. Learning how to manage downtime is vital to maximizing efficiency and controlling your operating costs. Here are a few steps to help you effectively take control of downtime:
Anticipate When Downtime Will Impact Your Business
When you schedule preventive maintenance ahead of time, you minimize disruptions to day-to-day operations. This will allow you to know when the vehicle will be out of service and budget for a temporary replacement if needed.
Another way you can plan preventive maintenance is to use evening service hours. Scheduling maintenance during off hours will allow vehicles to be serviced on time but also be back on the road when needed.
Use Technology to Diminish Downtime
There are many options available to monitor fleet vehicles. Telematics, GPS tracking, geofencing and other analytical devices can track the “where” and “when”: where they are located and when vehicles have been on or off the road for an extended period of time.
Technology also uncovers a vehicle’s lifecycle, if the vehicle is right for the job and when it should be replaced. Using the proper vehicle for the intended job function will limit breakdowns from over use and keep vehicles on the road longer.
Know When Your Vehicles Need to Go
Identify the right time to replace a vehicle before its operating costs get too high. If a certain model reaches its optimum life cycle at a certain mileage threshold, be sure you place the replacement vehicle order in time to avoid delays. This limits the amount of time drivers spend waiting for a new vehicle when their current one reaches the end of its lifecycle.
For most vocational fleets, having the resources necessary to effectively manage downtime is critical. But, downtime doesn’t have to impede productivity when you anticipate vehicles out of service, use technology to track the location and duration at the repair shop, and identify the sweet spot to replace the vehicle.