When you're running a distribution business and have to take responsibility for a fleet of trucks, it's always best for you to be proactive rather than reactive. This is often easier said than done, especially if you need to keep those trucks on the road as much as is humanly possible. There is a temptation to schedule an extra trip to take advantage of a standby driver as this will be more productive, at least in the short-term, than time in a maintenance dock. Yet there are many reasons for scheduling a regular service, and these extend all the way to the bottom line. What do you need to consider if you are not as proactive as you should be?
You may pride yourself on your metrics and have calculated to the cent how much money you can make from each individual trip. You may know how much it costs to run each truck in terms of fuel and general repairs, but these figures could be so much better if you were to schedule preventative maintenance from time to time.
Consequences of Inaction
For example, dirty air filters or clogged fuel filters can directly impact performance. The vehicle will undoubtedly use more fuel than it should and, with the cost of diesel these days, your metrics cannot fail to improve.
If the oil hasn't been changed for some time, then it may not be performing as it should, and this can lead to a buildup of friction within the engine. This will undoubtedly reduce the available horsepower and lead to long-term damage if you're not careful.
When was the last time that the brakes were adjusted? If they are 'dragging' then this could hold each truck back and, even if this is only a small amount, it's going to impact on your data.
You need to be careful to ensure that you conform with local regulations as well. Some jurisdictions require trucks to undergo regular and systematic maintenance, especially when it comes to safety components.
Last, but by no means least, is your capability to maintain a regular schedule without unexpected breakdown. Regularly scheduled maintenance is one thing, but repairs following a breakdown will almost always be more costly, more time-consuming and more problematic. Consequently, talk with a company that provides truck servicing and repair and come up with a proactive and preventative maintenance schedule for each truck on your fleet — and watch those numbers improve further.