Friday, February 23, 2024

Reading the warning signs in fleet management

Vehicles are one of your organisation’s top investments, so taking proper
care of them is crucial to keeping vehicles on the road and making sure
they are safe and efficient.

Fleet maintenance is inextricably linked to managing risk, including risk
related to WHS, COR, operational performance and organisational
reputation. This is why fleet managers need to implement a robust
maintenance program.

A good place to start is with pre-operational checks by the driver. This
provides assurance the vehicle is safe to use and a chance to report any
faults before they become bigger issues.

Scheduled servicing is also critical. You must follow the service schedule
provided by the vehicle’s manufacturer as a minimum, but depending on
how and where the vehicle is used, you may need more frequent or
additional servicing to that recommended. You also need good processes
for reactive repairs – to ensure they’re identified and resolved.

Fleet Manager for the City of Armadale in Perth, John-Paul Berry says it’s
important to read the warning signs and proactively engage with end
users and key stakeholders to understand and address the issues.

“From our perspective, some of the key warning signs include a notable
increase in maintenance expenditure combined with an increased volume
of downtime,” says Mr Berry.

IPWEA Fleet Director Rob Wilson says “maintenance needs to be managed
systematically and comprehensively”.

“The IPWEA Plant and Vehicle Management Manual provides excellent
guidance on the necessary elements of a Maintenance Management
System including daily checks, fault recording/reporting and repair,
maintenance schedules, record keeping, responsibilities and training,” he says.

GPS fleet-tracking software is a useful tool and helps fleet managers stay
on top of maintenance schedules by automatically tracking metrics such
as distance travelled and operating hours. These can help determine
repair schedules for each vehicle.

Want to stay in the know for all things Fleet? The annual IPWEA
Australasian Fleet Conference will this year be a Virtual event, held March
23-24. You can find out more about our fantastic line of speakers and
sessions here.

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