Introducing a service, maintenance and repair strategy can reduce fleet costs and increase a company’s profitability.
Sarah Horne, garage services manager for the midlands area for BT Fleet, told attendees at the SMR best practice seminar that any time a vehicle is off the road increases a company’s costs.
“You want your vehicles on the road at all times,” she said. “If your van is off the road, especially through an unplanned event, your customer is not getting serviced if you don’t have spare vehicles.
“If you do have an unplanned event then it is unlikely you will be able to get an appointment to have the vehicle looked at on the same day, so you may have to wait several days for it to be repaired.
“This means that you may have to hire a van and keep it for longer; and all the time the costs are increasing - the longer your vehicles are on the road, the more profitable your business is.”
Horne said vehicle downtime can be reduced by analysing data and implementing preventative maintenance where possible.
“G4S, one of our customers, had issues with its vans starting, so we put specialised batteries in them to make sure they can get to their jobs,” she added.
“It also suffered alternator tensioner failures on some of its vehicles, so we looked at the historical data regarding this issue and we now replace them on services which means the vans are not breaking down as often.
“National Grid and The AA have brake pads changed on their services to keep them on the road, which stops additional service visits.
“Ideally, you only want your vehicles to go to the garage once a year for its MOT and service: you don’t want it to come in at all at any other time.”