Vehicle inspections, and all elements of car maintenance, or maintenance for other fleet vehicles, can be hard to schedule with your auto mechanics without reducing productivity through unnecessary downtime. Preventative maintenance, via fleet maintenance software, eliminates these problems. Predictive maintenance via car diagnostic tools can reduce car maintenance costs and make your business more profitable.
What is Fleet Maintenance Software?
Fleet Maintenance Software is a web-based interface that ‘talks’ to your vehicles and provides regular, real time information back to your fleet managers. Vehicle inspections can happen automatically and remotely and you can access this data via the fleet maintenance software.
Fleet maintenance software works for preventative maintenance by using your vehicle’s on board diagnostics (OBD2) to provide you with both daily data about the operation of your vehicles, as well as long-term trends. This allows you to achieve optimal efficiency due to preventative maintenance using your auto mechanics. In brief, maintenance software allows fleet managers to address any issues in advance of any vehicular problems becoming a reality.
The key benefits of fleet maintenance software can be grouped into two main categories:
- Reduce downtime
- Reduce operational costs
Optimal efficiency allows you to make a positive difference to your bottom line, as vehicle maintenance often hits profits hard. Fleet maintenance software, combined with car diagnostic tools, also allows you to track and organise your fleet in the most appropriate way. Being automated you are able to cut down on labour costs whilst having an efficient and reliable set of records.
How Can Fleet Maintenance Software Help to Reduce Emergency Vehicle Costs?
The key to fleet maintenance software helping to reduce emergency vehicle repairs is the concept of addressing vehicle issues before they occur through preventative maintenance, rather than ineffective reactive maintenance. By focusing on predictive maintenance, anticipating what might be coming up, and preventative maintenance, keeping on top of the running demands of the vehicle, fleet maintenance software enables you to maximise vehicle running time and availability. For fleet managers this means it is essential to introduce a Preventative Maintenance Program. An effective Preventative Maintenance Program will increase the lifespan of your fleet and prevent vehicles becoming either unsafe or uneconomical.
Preventative Maintenance Program Essentials:
The core roles of a Preventative Maintenance Program include Vehicle Inspection Alerts, Vehicle Safety Inspections, and Automated Vehicle Servicing.
Vehicle Inspection Alerts:
Vehicle Inspection Alerts are alerts regarding routine and required maintenance direct to your fleet maintenance software using a combination of on board diagnostics triggers and scheduling. This enables you to see which vehicle needs what maintenance at what time with due warning. It isn’t just auto mechanics who can utilise this data, but your software too.
Vehicle Safety Inspections:
Fleet managers can utilise vehicle safety inspections to keep a track of the safety of all the operating vehicles within a fleet by planning and scheduling routine and regular inspections. By making vehicle safety inspection a planned-for event, this allows for more efficient planning for your auto mechanics and also reduces downtime.
Automated Vehicle Servicing:
Again, utilising the on board diagnostics and your fleet maintenance software you can automate vehicle servicing, reduce downtime and eliminate human error, all of which result in a better maintained fleet.
On Board Diagnostics
On Board Diagnostics are available for all cars made since 1996, As fleet managers, you can utilise the OBD port, combined with your OBD II software and a vehicle maintenance checklist to ensure preventative maintenance. You can set up your system to report and alert on a range of different features. These alerts and reports can be triggered according to different variables including tracking mileage, odometer readings, engine running time or fuel consumption. These alerts and reports enable your auto mechanics to interpret the various OBD II diagnostics codes in order to trouble shoot problems, either remotely or in person. These on-board diagnostic codes enable the auto mechanics to detect problems long before the driver can and arrange for preventative maintenance.
There is an enormous list of features of a vehicle that can be checked via the OBD II port, from wheel alignment, brake pads, brake fluid, oil filters and engine coolant. For a full list of the relevant codes, see here. Some of the key ones for fleet managers include:
Your preventative maintenance program can use OBD II to check the tyre pressure and the wheel alignment on each individual vehicle in your fleet.
On-board diagnostics can feed in to your routine vehicle inspections by checking both the brake fluid and the brake pads.
Fleet maintenance software using OBD II can inform you when oil changes or oil filter rotations are required.
The on board diagnostics can feed in to your preventative maintenance schedule by reporting the need for engine coolant top ups or adjustments.
What Other Cost Saving Benefits Does Preventative Fleet Maintenance Provide?
Preventative maintenance and predictive maintenance work together to be both cost saving and labour saving for fleet based Australian businesses. The additional benefits aside from reducing emergency fleet costs include:
- Improved Data Accuracy: utilising GPS tracking combined with OBD II software, you can improve the data recording of your business, and generate accurate reports that can enable you to make sound business decisions regarding your fleet. Thus, further reducing costs and increasing profits.
- Reduce Unscheduled Downtime: by anticipating maintenance through a preventative fleet maintenance program fleet managers are able to prevent emergency situations that cost your business money by performing necessary maintenance at a time to suit, before it becomes a problem.
- Unnecessary Maintenance Eliminated: you only perform maintenance that is necessary for the safe, efficient and cost-effective running of your fleet, rather than guessing at what might need doing.
- Protect Engines from Damage: by utilising remote diagnostics your auto mechanics can ensure drivers are informed and responsible about the condition of their vehicle.
- Reduce Fuel Expenses: excessive idling and speeding can raise fuel costs unnecessarily. A by-product of fleet maintenance software combined with fleet management systems is being able to identify low fuel economy behaviours and eliminate them.
- Reduced Risk: accidents are reduced by identifying problem drivers and speeders. An added bonus of this is that it may reduce your insurance premiums.
- Integration: to other business systems, such as payroll and accounts, and dispatch and routing, means a more holistic approach to your fleet that saves labour and cuts costs.
- Better Customer Service: by improving the health of your vehicles your fleet becomes more reliable and as a result you can deliver better customer service.
- Data Recording: Fleet management becomes simplified with fleet maintenance software because you are able to keep accurate records on vehicles, their maintenance, and drivers.
Vehicle Maintenance Cost Saving Case Studies
Reduced maintenance from $62k to $38k per annum
Navman Wireless Fleet Management tools succeeded in helping Tech A.I.R to reduce maintenance costs by an enormous 60% from $62k per annum to $38k per annum.
With the fleet maintenance features Tech A.I.R has been able to fully connect their entire fleet operation allowing them to gain in-depth real time data which is then combined with Navman’s analytic software tools, saving $269 per vehicle per month.
Savings of $742.50 per vehicle per month
Griffin Waste Services also made huge maintenance savings using Navman Wireless. They found that fuel and maintenance costs were down by more than 10% making an actual saving of $742.50 per vehicle per month.
Fleet Maintenance Software – The Key to Reducing Maintenance Costs
Fleet maintenance software is not only essential for reducing costs caused by emergency situations, but a vital tool of any Australian fleet based business wanting to extend the lifespan of their vehicles. By incorporating preventative and predictive maintenance, auto mechanics can stay on top of vehicle health. Vehicle maintenance costs are reduced and easier to anticipate.