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Did you know that an average of 3,287 people die every day in road accidents?

Some of these accidents occur because of preventable factors like poor vehicle maintenance. Costs related to poor maintenance can be astronomical for a fleet owner. Not only do you risk losing drivers but also incurring costs that affect your bottom line.

Why risk this when you can protect yourself, your business, and your drivers? Read on as we explore some common fleet maintenance mistakes to avoid.

Let’s get started!

1. Avoiding Preventive Maintenance

Do you constantly have to take your vehicles to the garage for repairs? If so, you may not be practicing enough preventive maintenance.

Like all other artificial things, vehicles undergo wear and tear when used. Not recognizing this can cost your company a lot of money in the long run as you’ll have to incur repair costs.

The best way to keep up with wear and tear is regular maintenance. Regular commercial vehicle inspections will highlight minor issues before they become too costly.

A typical inspection involves assessing a vehicle’s most essential components. These include brake pads, engines, carburetors, and other vital parts.

2. Ignoring the Need for GPS Tracking

Many fleet owners assume that GPS tracking is only essential in preventing theft. Some forego tracking, especially when working with drivers they can trust.

But, GPS trackers do more than tell you where your drivers are at all times. They also keep track of all your vehicles’ mileage, letting you know when you need maintenance.

Installing a Trailer GPS Tracker is a commercial fleet management best practice. It’ll keep you on your toes and help you avoid expensive repairs in the long run.

3. Ignoring the Check Engine Light

Vehicle manufacturers install the check engine light in all their cars for a reason. It signals when car components like the oxygen sensor and gas cap need repair.

While it’s true that the light doesn’t always signal urgent repairs, you shouldn’t avoid it. Doing so will increase your costs in the long run and endanger people on the road.

Most check engine lights have color variations signaling the urgency of repairs. Usually, yellow means you have some time to take your vehicle in for repair. But red signals urgency, so you should ask your drivers to pull over immediately if their lights turn red.

4. Ignoring Oil Changes

An engine is a lot like a heart. Your vehicle can’t move if its motor isn’t working as it should. So, your regular fleet maintenance checks should focus on your vehicles’ engines.

Pay particular attention to your vehicles’ motor oils as they affect engines’ performance. Vehicle manufacturers recommend oil changes after 7,500 to 10,000 miles of vehicle use. Adhering to this prevents sludge from impacting your motor’s performance.

5. Failing to Check Your Vehicles’ Fluids

Most fleet owners are mainly concerned with their vehicles’ motor oils. While they are essential, vehicles also need other fluids to perform optimally.

These include:

• Brake fluid
• Transmission fluid
• Power steering fluid
• Coolant

Each of these fluids plays a vital role in keeping your vehicles on the road. For example, the transmission fluid acts as a lubricant for your transmission’s moving parts. Not assessing this component could affect your transmissions and your engine’s efficiency.

All vehicle manufacturers give specific instructions on checking their vehicles’ fluids. Be sure to follow these instructions to ensure optimal vehicle performance. Alternatively, hire an experienced professional to handle the checks.

6. Not Inspecting Brakes

Commercial vehicle inspections should also include brake checks. Many drivers overlook the importance of brake inspections in preventing accidents.

The brakes are an interconnected system of moving components. When one part is damaged, the damage trickles down to other parts fast. For example, wear to the brake pads trickles down to the brake rotors and puts your drivers at risk.

So, ask your drivers to pay attention to their vehicles’ brakes when driving. They should report all wear and grinding noises to prevent further damage.

7. Failing to Update Windshield Wipers

Most drivers overlook the importance of windshield wipers in a car. So, it’s not uncommon to find vehicles with damaged windshield wipers. This shouldn’t be the case since wipers determine a driver’s visibility on the road.

Change your vehicle’s wipers if they’re not functioning or if they squeak when moving. The last thing you want is an accident because of something easily replaceable.

8. Not Keeping Your Fleet Clean

Fleet maintenance doesn’t always entail replacing vehicle parts. Sometimes all you need to do is keep all your vehicles clean.

A simple clean will prevent corrosion, thus protecting your vehicle’s internal parts. Cleaning also boosts your company’s image, making you more likely to attract clients.

9. Not Aligning Your Wheels

Tire alignment is often overlooked despite it being vital in ensuring road safety. Improper alignment increases tire wear and tear, thus jeopardizing your drivers’ safety.

Check your vehicles’ manuals to determine the ideal wheel rotation and alignment frequency. Some cars will need more frequent adjustments than others.

Also, ask your drivers to report steering wheel vibrations or uneven tire wear. This could signal the need for alignment earlier than your manufacturers’ manuals state.

10. Assuming All Drivers Are the Same

Fleet managers don’t realize that drivers aren’t as replaceable as vehicle parts. You can’t replace one driver with another and expect the same services unless you offer training.

So, training should be a regular practice in your company. Educate your drivers on the importance of maintenance and how to spot irregularities.

Also, provide competitive remuneration packages to keep your drivers satisfied. Remember, unsatisfied employees, don’t care about their jobs. So, your drivers may not take care of your vehicles if you don’t reward them.

Save Money by Avoiding These Common Fleet Maintenance Mistakes

It’s easy to overlook components like windshield wipers during maintenance. Or even the roles played by drivers in ensuring proper vehicle performance.

Overlooking these common fleet maintenance mistakes could affect your bottom line. It could also put your drivers and other road users in danger. So, conduct regular fleet maintenance and ask your drivers to report all issues.

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