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As a fleet manager, do you perform annual summer fleet vehicle maintenance?

It’s pretty common to hear people talk about preparing their vehicles for winter and the cold weather it brings.  However, it seems to be less common to hear or expect the same during the summer.  Unusual since it’s often the hotter temperatures that cause more serious damage to our vehicles.  Perhaps because cold weather feels harsher to us, we forget that warm weather is just as, if not more treacherous to our vehicles!

Regular maintenance checks reduce the risk of your vehicles being out of service while they get costly repairs, or worse, being involved in an accident.  This can save you money, the environment and also increase road safety.

I suppose the next important question is… What checks are needed to ensure your vehicle fleet maintenance is up to date for summer?

Luckily, we have some tips on how to keep your fleet running optimally, even in the warm weather.

Air conditioning

    • Another key consideration is the vehicle’s air conditioning unit. Be sure to perform regular checks on the air conditioning units of the vehicles in your fleet. An issue left unfixed could cause costly damage to your vehicles (not just in repairs but also in time spent out of service). These are easy to perform maintenance on but not so easy (and much more costly) to repair if something goes wrong.
    • Air conditioning failure is another leading cause of vehicle downtime or accidents (19%) for fleets.
    • Furthermore, changing your air filter every 12000-15000 miles makes sure the vehicle’s electrical systems get the fresh air they need. Important on those hot summer days and, bonus, can help increase the gas/mileage ratio!

Check your tires!!

    • This is probably the most important one to remember. It may surprise you, but poor tire pressure is a primary cause of accidents in the UK, according to a recent AutoCar article.  It is also a leading cause of vehicle downtime or accidents (15%) for fleets, according to a report by Software Advice.
    • Hopefully, those stats identify just how important it is to perform that all-important summer maintenance on your tires!!
    • The takeaway? Schedule routine tire checks for your fleet monthly, so you can spot any potential issues quickly. Tire pressure increases when it’s hot. Why is this relevant? Well, over or under-inflated or worn-out tyres can be dangerous when driving.

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Belts

    • It’s recommended to replace straps every 60,000 to 100,000 miles, so check your vehicles’ belts at regular intervals! Again, not performing these checks regularly enough could be costly in repairs and time where the vehicle is being repaired. Additionally, worn belts add a safety risk that you don’t want to take!!

Oil / fluids

    • It is usually advised to change your oil approximately every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. However, it should be done sooner if your drivers take very long journeys, carrying heavy equipment or shipments. Make sure to also check underneath the car for leaks. Leaving your oil unchanged for too long can seriously damage a vehicle, leading to costly repairs!

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Engine check

    • Lastly, you must make sure vehicle engines don’t overheat. I suppose this is one that’s more for the vehicle users to keep an eye on. If an engine starts overheating, STOP!! Keep the engine off long enough for it to cool down to a safe temperature. If it’s consistently happening, get it checked out as there could be a problem with it.
      If you leave an issue like this too long then it could result in a case so bad that the vehicle has to be written off, so watch out for this one! To help put it into perspective, this was the highest cause of vehicle downtime or accidents (20%) for fleets (according to Software Advice).

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So, how can you manage all of the above for your whole fleet in a time and money-effective manner?

By using fleet tracking devices and fleet management software, like Redtail’s fleet management system!

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Redtail’s fleet management system allows fleet managers to perform functions such as:

  • Set routine maintenance reminders to keep track of everything ahead of time
  • You can use the system to alert for unnecessary idling to reduce the extra strain on your vehicles that can cause
  • There’s the ability to receive battery monitoring alerts to identify to you when a vehicle battery is having issues
  • Accident and claim management. If one of your vehicles is involved in an accident you can use the device data to assist with the claim process
  • Track your vehicles so you know where each vehicle is at any and all times
  • Geofencing and alerts. This allows you to set up “geofences” (specific areas your drivers must stay within or outside of), and alert notifications if any vehicles go outside or inside of your criteria
  • Maintain individual data on each vehicle that can be easily searched

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Furthermore, the greatest achievement of having the vehicle properly maintained is you will be able to reduce the risk of accidents and breakdowns.

You’ll be saving your wallet, the environment, and improving road safety!

Have you thought about all of the above?  Is your vehicle fleet maintenance complete and ready for summer?  If you need vehicle tracking and fleet management services, contact Redtail to find out how we can help you achieve your goals!