Managing a fleet of heavy-duty trucks is not easy, and it’s not always possible to do it on your own. Fortunately, truck fleet maintenance providers make it easy! Although there are a wide variety of fleet maintenance service companies to choose from, not all of them will be the right fit. In this article, we will be sharing some tips on how to pick the fleet maintenance company that’s right for you.
What Can a Fleet Maintenance Service Do For You?
The variety of tasks involved in fleet management can be quite complex and, to many fleet managers, overwhelming. Although you can always purchase the parts of a fleet management system individually, you need a well-rounded and complete solution for optimum performance. In this article, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the various aspects of fleet maintenance that you must take into account before choosing a service provider. From taking a safety-oriented approach to taking your budget into account, we’ve got you covered.
1. Safety First Approach
Failure to prioritize safety should instantly exclude a provider from consideration due to the high financial risks associated with accident liability and harm. A service provider that prioritizes safety will implement stringent controls for maintenance practices, technician training, equipment upkeep, and documentation. Please inquire about the company's safety procedures and assess their familiarity with current safety requirements. Your eyes and ears for identifying maintenance hazards and ensuring that your equipment is safe and in compliance with DOT and other authorities are maintenance technicians. It is essential to choose a service that places a high priority on safety.
2. Are They Efficient?
A maintenance provider's skills must closely match the requirements of your fleet to outsource appropriately. Check to see if they have the most recent diagnostic software to repair your OEM's equipment and if they have experience maintaining the equipment types you use. Given the constantly evolving technologies in modern heavy-duty trucks, it is strongly recommended to have a technical team with OEM-specific competence.
Examine the provider's capabilities to manage your work in the areas where you need it in addition to equipment concerns. Do they have the software required for maintenance to finish and archive heavy-duty truck service records? Do they provide specialized or mobile maintenance services? Ask about availability and turnaround time if such is the case.
3. Check Consistency and Quality
Service quality and consistency are crucial in lowering risk and running a high-performing fleet. To assure accurate pre-and post-testing, reduce the chance of technician errors, and, should failures occur, assist in locating their fundamental causes, consistent maintenance processes are essential. As you are assessing a new service, inquire about quality control. What policies and practices are in place to guarantee that maintenance and repairs are carried out properly? What metrics are they watching? How are formal requirements carried out? Verify if the provider's standards are equal to or higher than what you want. Ask your service provider how they assure consistent maintenance practices across their network if they have various sites.
4. Are Their Technicians Experienced?
Continuous technician training is crucial due to the significant amount of technology included in today's heavy-duty trucks. As this technology is constantly evolving, a technician’s skillset must evolve with it. Inquire about the technician team's experience and the sort of continuous training offered by a possible supplier. Ask what plans are in place to recruit and keep the current talent level if you are pleased with the technicians' skill level. You want to ensure that the new supplier will continue to give your company the same high-quality service annually. The more valuable training is OEM-specific, where technicians gain a thorough understanding of the specific technology in your fleet and the manufacturer-recommended maintenance procedures. General certifications through organizations like ASE can be helpful to ensure a base level of competence, but OEM-specific training is more valuable.
5. What’s Your Budget?
It's important to thoroughly grasp your company's existing maintenance expenditures before assessing a provider's pricing. This includes salary and benefits for internal technicians, building expenditures, hiring and recruitment charges, management costs, and expenses related explicitly to maintenance and repairs. It will be hard to correctly assess outsourcing cost reductions without knowing the overall cost.
Consider aspects like how simple it is to increase or decrease capacity, future changes to the kind or size of the fleet, and potential improvements to equipment like ELD systems or driver assistance technologies when considering expenses. Considering switching maintenance providers may reduce the number of suppliers needed to service your fleet, which often cuts down on the time required for scheduling and invoicing.
By paying attention to these tips, you can pick the right service provider to maintain your fleet of trucks. It will help you avoid numerous problems and headaches in the long run.