How can fleet maintenance cost be reduced?

You can limit the rate at which your repair costs increase by scheduling regular vehicle maintenance appointments, even when repairs aren't necessary. It's important to find a repair provider who does quality work, as poor quality repairs can shorten the lifespan of vehicles. The reduced amount of savings will vary depending on mileage and use; however, the results of the Mercury Associates studies show a reasonable expectation of reducing TCO by 5 to 10 percent, although some customers have achieved savings of up to 15 percent. Automakers are expected to accelerate their focus on engine improvements that can achieve 40 mpg mileage for light-duty vehicles.

Replacing six-cylinder engines with four-cylinder engines equipped with a turbo or supercharger also improves fuel economy, without reducing power. Other engine changes that improve efficiency are 7- or 8-speed transmissions or continuous variable transmissions. While some fleets have managed to save on vehicles running on natural gas (CNG) or propane, implementing these alternative fuels often requires long-term strategic planning. Mercury studies have shown that many organizations maintain and operate vehicles far beyond their optimal economic life, which can result in excessive maintenance costs, higher fuel costs as vehicles decrease in fuel economy, and lower utilization.

It is these habits that can cause increased fuel costs, due to repairs, if you do not drive the vehicle carefully and carefully. Finally, maintenance programs should be used to manage parts, labor, and all aspects of fleet maintenance operations. For example, ensuring that regularly used parts are always available reduces scheduled maintenance costs by reducing unnecessary vehicle downtime. Establish an effective preventive maintenance (PM) plan to reduce avoidable repairs and take advantage of the partnership with a fleet management company that can help approve repairs quickly, accelerate overdue parts orders and help diagnose difficult vehicle problems, said Jamie Grams, director of the national service department for enterprise fleet management.

Fleet managers must ensure that they understand the individual fuel savings of each of their vehicles to ensure that their assets perform as intended. Adequate inventory for fleet vehicles helps ensure that they spend less time in the workshop. Fleet management software allows you to represent all your operating costs on a single platform, where you can automatically calculate important metrics such as cost per mile and total operating cost per month with little or no manual input, as well as update them in real time with integrations. Understanding fleet maintenance costs that you can control and adopt practices to reduce the costs of your operations is not an insurmountable task.

Fleet managers should be tasked with working with driver management teams to implement practical solutions that reduce miles traveled and develop a return on investment (ROI) analysis for the use of telematics solutions and other technological solutions. Electric vehicle technology is quickly becoming the wave of the future for fleets that care about the environment, said Shinn, of Merchants Fleet Merchants. It would be a viable option if fleet managers used regular training courses for drivers that explained how speeds, braking and maneuverability can add efficiency to driving. However, these larger tires increase miles per gallon, vehicle performance and have longer tread life, which will likely mitigate the increased cost of tires.

Best-in-class fleet organizations use economics-based replacement planning tools to empirically determine appropriate life cycles for vehicle replacement. Among regular maintenance, electronic vehicle inspection reports for the driver, or EDVIR, can be a good solution to know the status of each vehicle on a daily basis. .

Maria De Rentería
Maria De Rentería

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