In business, time is money! Unexpected out-of-service events are extremely expensive, especially when they happen on the road. Any time that a truck has a flat on the road or experiences a mechanical breakdown on the road, it comes at a cost, not only in money, but driver safety and customer satisfaction. Here are six ways that truck fleets can reduce downtime and keep their rigs running efficiently.
It is important for truck fleet managers to have a good relationship with their local dealer. However, it is equally important to develop relationships with service providers who are along heavily-traveled routes. This is not being disloyal to a fleet’s local dealer because they may not be able to assist with repairs when problems happen out on the road. But there is a better chance of being able to get assistance from another shop along a fleet’s regular truck routes if there has been a prior introduction. This way the provider knows who they are dealing with instead of dealing with strangers.
Everyone wants to have whatever repairs then need done right away, but sometimes it might be possible to repower the load. When a fleet manager is willing to be more flexible with the urgency of some repairs, it helps build a relationship with the service provider. It also helps reduce downtime by making the provider more willing to move faster on more urgent repairs when a fleet manager is more flexible about less urgent repairs.
In business, good communication is always important. Some fleets and dealers take advantage of technological tools that share information to alert when there is a problem with their trucks. But even without such tools, fleets can be proactive with giving the dealer or service provider a heads up that a truck needs a repair, when the truck will be brought to them, and when then need it back for the next run. This gives the provider a head start on what needs to be done and it helps them better manage their scheduling to reduce fleet downtime.
One of the best ways to prevent a breakdown on the road is by catching a problem early on. Now that oil change intervals are longer, trucks do not go into the shop as often. This means that issues with semi truck tires or lights are not being caught as early as they could be. Implementing a schedule to inspect trucks more often can help reduce problems on the road.
Mobile Maintenance can be a great way to take care of scheduled maintenance onsite, especially when recalls occur, problems happen on the road, or for inspecting semi truck tires for wear. Finding service providers that cover the areas where a fleet’s trucks travel can help them cover all their bases for minimizing downtime.
Analyzing breakdown statistics can help fleets identify the most common problems that are causing breakdowns that require roadside repairs. When patterns are found in the repair data, fleets can then determine whether it is a problem with certain truck components, or issues with drivers, that are leading to breakdowns causing downtime.
STTC’s Mechanical Division
STTC is not just about commercial tires. Service Tech is STTC’s mechanical division that offers drive-in, mobile, and emergency vehicle maintenance to meet the needs of truck fleets with repair services, preventive maintenance, PM inspections, and semi truck tires.