Reducing Driver Impacts on Fleet Maintenance Costs
It’s easy to concentrate on your shops and trucks when it comes to managing your fleet. However, you may be forgetting the people who know your fleet best: the drivers. Making driver behavior part of your maintenance plans can have a major effect on costs and uptime.
This starts with making drivers part of fleet maintenance management. They’re in these vehicles all day, every day, so they know them better than anyone else. Getting them involved in changes can help you spot possible problems, and it helps them feel like they’re part of the decisions made on their trucks. They’re also the ones who know if their machines are being taken care of properly, helping you fine tune your support system.
Maintenance metrics should be integrated into driver training. The more your employees understand what it takes to keep their vehicles running, the better they will be at keeping on top of maintenance, even if it means small delays in their job. Of course, this driver training should be incentivized to encourage employees to take the time to learn these skills.
Gamification and accountability are also useful tools for improving driver behavior. This can take the form of groups getting rewards for meeting metrics like maintenance compliance, as well accountability and bonuses tied to driver behavior and performance.
One of the best ways to keep on top of fleet maintenance management and cut costs is by utilizing national accounts and targeted vendor networks. While that’s easy to understand if your job is fleet maintenance, it can be difficult to manage for drivers. Integrating e-tools into your maintenance system can alert drivers when they need to get services. It can also help them find the right providers for these services, and the turnaround time they can expect. If you combine this with mobile services, you can fit maintenance around the trucking schedule, so your employees can stay on the road making money.
Above all, be sure your policies are clear, and everyone is on board with them. From your drivers to your executive staff, if anyone isn’t sure what to do or why, your whole maintenance plan can fall apart. Having set goals helps these employees work toward them as a unit.