How To Ensure A Truck Fleet Will Be Properly Maintained

Posted on: 13 November 2018

Operating a fleet of vehicles poses a number of challenges, with providing regular maintenance being among the biggest. Having fleet truck mechanics available to handle work can reduce a company's downtime, improve delivery rates, and minimize exposure to legal liability. There are, however, several ways to approach the problem of fleet maintenance, and it's important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each one.

The DIY Approach

Any expected value of being a do-it-yourself operation hinges on having a fleet that's large enough that an economy of scale can be created to produce savings. Your business will need to own and operate all the vehicles, and you'll also have to operate garages in locations that are conveniently located enough to deal with any required repairs. Even with a developed system for coping with repair work, a business will likely still rely on outside contractors to handle roadside repairs and recovery of broken-down vehicles.

If you don't have a large enough fleet of vehicles, it can prove costly to pay mechanics during periods in which their services aren't in high demand. On the upside, your business can focus on trying to get every penny out of each vehicle.

Leasing and Service

It's common for many companies to enter into lease agreements with dealers that include arrangements for repairs to be handled by the fleet truck mechanics at the dealers' garages. This has the advantage of ensuring that a team will always be ready to fix a vehicle when it breaks down. There's also the benefit of knowing that new vehicles can be obtained by entering into new leases at the end of each term.

It's important to be sure about what is covered, as you'll likely want to have a full-service lease agreement in place. Replacement of vehicles during downtime is something you'll want included in your contract. Be aware that some agreements do not cover highly-specialized vehicles, so ask about the coverage for each one before signing off on anything.  

A Mixed Approach

Many fleet operators use a mixed approach. They may operate their own garages to handle small issues and then send trucks out to a company for more complex work, such as fixing hydraulic systems. Depending on the size of your fleet, you may want to consider a deal that sets one price per month, regardless of how many vehicles you send in, with parts costing extra.

For more information, contact companies like Folsom  Diesel Works.