For many businesses, the fleet one of the most important parts of the business. Fleet managers rely on their drivers to look after their vehicles so they can get to job sites or appointments with customers, do their job efficiently when they get there, and look professional while they’re working.
There is no guarantee that your drivers will operate their vehicles in the way you want, by maintaining it under the hood and in the cabin.
A properly maintained fleet relies on a mixture of policies with consequences for noncompliance and rewards for good behaviour to encourage your drivers to take proper care of the vehicles that they drive for you.
Start With Policy
Set a company policy that defines the responsibilities your drivers have for their trucks. This policy should set clear expectations for proper care of the trucks inside and out, including cleanliness and maintenance responsibilities.
For example, a vehicle used for sales might rely most on maintenance and appearance, while a service vehicle will need more maintenance and good mechanical condition, such as buying quality parts like Remanufactured airbrake valves. In both cases, reliability will affect productivity.
Give all your drivers a current copy of your Fleet Policy, and a checklist of any upkeep actions that they will be in charge of. Keep responsibility going both ways. Your policy also needs to include regular inspections of all your vehicles. Have monthly or quarterly vehicle check-ins.
Fleet managers need to make sure that employees understand why it is important to take care of the vehicles in the fleet.
Many employees don’t think much about how higher costs of repairscaused by vehicle neglect will impact their potential to earn more and the company’s bottom line. Make sure they understand that your bottom line affects their job security and company longevity.
It’s important to train your drivers. New drivers must be trained when they start with you, and all your drivers should get ongoing training to keep everyone up to date with company fleet policies, procedures, and expectations.
This training should include any tools to help with maintenance. Subscribe to a preventive maintenance program which will send your drivers reminders about needed services, based on repair history, time, and mileage. You could use a driver app that alerts your drivers to problems and the nearest licensed repair shop.
Communication is the key factor in making sure your drivers know what their responsibilities are. You can educate them with regular newsletters and training, so your drivers value the work to keep the fleet in good condition.
Start a website for your drivers where your best drivers get recognition, you celebrate driver milestones, communicate fleet policy, and you can share any useful tips and information about the fleet.
A well-cared-for fleet is less costly to run, more efficient and looks more professional. Cut back on repair costs, and make sure your fleet impresses whenever your drivers arrive on a job in a smart-looking truck that represents your brand in the most positive light.