When your business is only just starting to grow, owning a vehicle fleet is a significant asset to your operations. Whether you’re only just thinking about starting a new business or investing in a fleet for the first time in your career, it’s crucial to know how to maintain it effectively.
Maintaining a professional company fleet: Insider advice
Implement a management plan
An effective fleet management plan should lay out specified regular inspections, scheduled maintenance tasks, and procedures for addressing any issues that arise.
Timely and professional servicing should also make up part of this plan. When you book mechanical work for your company fleet, it’s important to choose a provider you can rely on. Once you’ve formed this relationship, returning to the same garage will save you valuable time.
Talk to your team
When you first invest in the fleet, it’s important to make sure that each of your team members knows their roles and responsibilities concerning the fleet. Make sure that the rules around who can drive are made clear.
After outlining your expectations, you should make physical notes detailing your arrangements. Even though these might not all be formal contracts, it’s important to note down anything that you’d like to stay firmly in place.
Inspect your vehicles regularly
Try to get into the habit of inspecting your vehicles on a regular basis. Your basic checks should include levels of engine coolant, oil, and screen wash fluid. Check for signs of corrosion on or around the battery and run diagnostics tests if you have any concerns.
Try to make sure that headlights, brake lights, and indicators are all working. Checking all these components will give you peace of mind that business operations will run smoothly. And when you need to book your annual MOT, minimising known faults is essential.
Stick to a schedule
Keeping on top of admin might feel like a chore, but it’s important to know the whereabouts of your vehicles – and who’s driving them on a given day. No matter how much you trust your colleagues, you should keep a record of the start and end point of each journey.
Making your expectations clear will ensure that you can maximise the efficiency of each journey. Furthermore, reducing the number of necessary journeys should also promote the safety and long-term health of your vehicles too.
Look after your tyres
Sufficient tyre tread depth is a legal requirement. It’s also imperative for overall safety and vehicle longevity, so try to make sure that you only use quality tyres on your fleet.
You can extend the lifespan of your tyres by intermittently rotating them, accelerating gradually, and driving according to the weather conditions too. If you or any of your drivers are stopped by the police and worn tyres are discovered, you could be fined up to £10,000.
Organise specific training
You should aim to provide your colleagues and company drivers with relevant training. Courses should prioritise information on safe driving practices including driving within the speed limit, accelerating gradually, and driving carefully.
Keep training modules short and informative, providing your colleagues with the opportunity to ask any questions and learn from their mistakes.
Keep the vehicles clean
Lastly, it’s important not to overlook the importance of clean and tidy vehicles. Not only will this reflect well on your business and exude a professional aura, but it should also make it much easier to spot smaller flaws like stone chips and scratches.
Clean vehicles are easier to look after, keep your drivers and clients happier, and help to maintain the professional image of your business. Don’t forget to clean the interior just as thoroughly as the outside of the car.