As the seasons change from spring to summer and you watch nature come to new life around you, take the opportunity to consider the lifecycle of your fleet of vehicles. Yes, even your company assets need to experience renewal, whether that means some long-awaited maintenance or replacement.
Here are some questions to get you started thinking about your fleet’s health along with ideas to extend its longevity, season after season:
How Do Your Vehicles Look?
Are your vehicles showing their age? Have they lost their sheen? Do they just look tired? Let’s not focus too much on appearances, though (although your customers might be paying attention). Cars or trucks that don’t shine like they used to might need more than a wash and a wax. If they look like they need some TLC on the outside, they probably need some sort of servicing on the inside.
How’s Your Fleet’s Performance?
Think about how your vehicles are behaving. If your drivers have complained that the breaks aren’t as tight as they used to be or the oil light comes on more often, take a look under the hood and take some cues from your diagnostics.
And review your last several months of fleet spending and see if maintenance costs are on the rise. When performance is on a downward trend and it impacts your budget, that’s a great sign that your vehicles are in a later stage in their lifecycle, to put it kindly.
Learn about The OBD II – The Portal To Service Businesses’ Success and be sure to check out these Preventive Maintenance Tips For Your Vehicle And Equipment.
When’s The Right Time to Replace?
While you’re looking at your books, consider performing a lifecycle cost analysis. Work Truck provides some recommendations for what figures should be included in your spreadsheet:
- Interest costs for capital expenditures
- Inflation rate for adjusting lifecycle maintenance and operating costs
- Vehicle depreciation rate in the first year and the rate in subsequent years of ownership
- Purchase cost of vehicle
- Estimated maintenance and operating costs
It’s not an exact science, but you want to be sure a vehicle isn’t costing more than it’s making you. (Think about it, it’s getting your technicians to and from customers, so you don’t want poor vehicle health cutting into your revenue.)
Are You Doing Enough to Keep Your Vehicles Productive?
If your vehicles still have value—and you’re not ready to replace them—see if you can extend their useful life by taking really good care of them. And technology can help you do that! Automile customer Chuck Lamb of hth companies, inc., is proactive about vehicle health. He’s found that a vehicle can save you just as much money as you spent buying it as long as you use the telematics tools that help you stay on top of preventive servicing and quickly respond to problems.
Why? Because these things tie into vehicle cycling. “By monitoring the mileage on the vehicles,” he explains, “and with efficient vehicle maintenance through reminders and notifications, we can now predict how many vehicle purchases we have to make annually.” Learn more about Chuck’s approach in Business Spotlight – hth companies, inc. Shares The Importance Of Strategically Prioritizing Fleet Health.
Explore the potential connection between telematics and your business in Why Fleet Management Software is a Must-Have for Field Services Businesses.
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