Fleet Servicing, repairs and full Management System
If your business is seeking to incorporate an efficient and responsive fleet management system, you are certainly spoiled for choice in terms of options available. One type of service that seems to have excelled in popularity in recent years is the Independent specialist. These services are likely to only specialise in a certain automotive brand, however will also be able to make provisions for other makes based on expertise.
Despite the large selection of services offering similar propositions, it isn’t necessarily difficult finding the right garage to effectively integrate your fleet management operations. Through this guide, we hope to give you guidance on which key aspects to discuss with your mechanic to get the best value from your garage.
It is firstly important to highlight key factors that have recently shaped the industry, as they may influence your next vehicle service in some form. Modern vehicles with manufacturer dates under 3 years are now equipped with on-board diagnostics (OBD) systems that are capable of self-diagnosing and reporting the status of various components to technicians. In practical terms, expect the speed of vehicle repairs and servicing to be quicker if your fleet vehicles fall under this category.
Dashboard warning icons are now playing a more pivotal role in the DVSA’s guidelines for safer motoring practices. If the engine management light is displayed on your fleet vehicles, then this issue should be consulted with your mechanic immediately, as failure to do so will indefinitely lead to an MOT failure. This also applies to supplemental restraint system (SRS) warning lights.
When selecting the garage, you should also review the range of services that are on offer. If a specialist is also able to do MOT provisions, then this is beneficial to both parties. When consulting your garage it is important to keep the above in mind when drafting the vehicle maintenance schedule. This includes parts, labour and time requirements, this should also be appropriately documented for future use.
All that is discussed above should ultimately fall under a thorough preventive maintenance program, which enables your fleet’s vehicles to be readily available when required. Although there are no set guidelines on what a program should include, there are certain best practices that you may wish to incorporate:
- Categorising the makes and models of your vehicles under different scheduling lists, to organise the servicing requirements of each asset.
- Based on the established categories, the preventive maintenance schedule should factor in the time requirements of each vehicle and servicing requirements, and planning ahead to avoid conflicts in availability.
- Best practice (particularly for smaller businesses) is to create short-term schedule for prioritisation of maintenance requirements for each vehicle for each category, this will decrease maintenance requirements over the long term.
- Utilise each asset wisely; ensuring that the selected vehicle is appropriate for the required job, this can have a major impact on service delivery time and running costs. Use relevant management software to track usage, and make an informed decision on trimming costs down.
- Ensure that a checklist is made for the regulatory requirements of each asset, as these are likely to differ for each vehicle. This should become integrated into a well-organised database.
Overall, consultation with your garage is essential to extend your understanding of vehicle maintenance requirements and integrating this information into a flexible scheduling plan.