3 Factors Impact Equipment Cost and your equipment maintenance log
With the turning of the New Year, it is customary for our thoughts to turn towards reflecting on the previous year, and looking forward to the year to come; our successes, our failures, and our plans for improvement.
As a fleet manager, planning for improvement means the consideration of 3 main factors that most impact the cost of equipment ownership and the decisions you make about your fleet.
Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
Regularly scheduled maintenance has the greatest impact on the cost of equipment ownership. It helps to extend component life, reduces unexpected repairs and fixes, and helps you detect problems and issues in their infancy before they become expensive repairs.
If you have less than 20 pieces of equipment, a fleet maintenance spreadsheet can do the trick. But if you have more, fleet maintenance software may be a better option, especially considering the affordable software options available on the market today. One such is Fleet Harmony's Cloud Fleet management Software.
Maintenance scheduling allows you to maximize down time of your equipment while it’s in the shop and to be in control of your equipment maintenance log, as opposed to your drivers and operators, which is sometimes the case.
If you haven’t already, implement a simple but comprehensive preventative maintenance strategy that includes regular checking and analysis of oils, fluids, and filters, regular grease jobs, and inspections. These small maintenance items will pay dividends at trade-in time and add longevity to the investment you have made in your equipment. But beware, keep your maintenance scheduling simple!
Usage and Environment
How your equipment is used and the environment in which it is used can also significantly impact the cost of ownership. Operators that hard brake, turn at high speed, and are generally rough with your equipment can cost you real money. Equipment used on back roads or in the woods will require more maintenance than highway equipment.
Managing this involves a combination of training and tracking. Again, if you are a small fleet, use a fleet management spreadsheet. Otherwise, make sure the fleet maintenance software you choose enables you to track repairs by operator and also enables you to record and search on maintenance notes and comments.
Added bonus if you have Fleet Accident management software integrated with your fleet maintenance software.
Maintenance and Repair Management
Being consistent in your maintenance process and back office equipment maintenance log will help ensure that the decisions you make about your fleet are based on information that is accurate and complete.
Consistency is the key. Even a couple missing or incomplete work orders can impact the decisions your decisions.
However, one must also consider keeping your maintenance and repair management process simple for your shop staff, yet comprehensive enough to capture the key information that is relevant to you and the management of your fleet. The use of repair codes can help towards this.
Unfortunately, because of the lack of edit checking, being consistent with spreadsheets is difficult. But at the same time, not all fleet maintenance software have an easy to use work order process.
We live in uncertain times with an evolving political and business landscape. U.S. legislation on electronic logging devices looms large in December. One thing that is for certain: the need for concise fleet maintenance and management here in Canada has never been more important. A good start is to keep your fleet maintenance ducks in a row!