What Can Small Business Owners Learn From Large Fleet Managers?

If you run a small contracting company, you might not think of your handful of trucks or vans as a "fleet." While you might not have a vast commercial garage filled with vehicles, it's still critical to follow best practices when it comes to maintaining the ones you have. Even a small fleet of two trucks requires more care than you might expect.

Since your vehicles are likely to represent a significant investment, keeping these assets in good repair is critical. This article will discuss three fleet management and repair practices that you can apply to your fleet, no matter how small your business might be.

1. Driver Training and Awareness

Your vehicles get your employees where they need to go and protect them along the way, but your drivers are also your first line of defense. Unless you typically drive every vehicle in your fleet daily or weekly, you'll need to rely on your drivers to spot issues before they can lead to trouble. The best way to accomplish this is with adequate driver training.

Your drivers should learn to inspect their tires, avoid running fuel tanks too low, and know what to do in the event of a roadside emergency. These small steps can be enough to spot problems with your fleet early on, allowing you to repair them before they progress into more significant issues. Teaching your drivers these skills is one of the cheapest investments you can make in your fleet.

2. Detailed Fleet Repair and Maintenance Records

If you aren't already using fleet management software to track your vehicles' repair and maintenance status, then there's no better time to start than the present. Keeping detailed records allows you to budget for maintenance and repairs, and it can also provide a clear indicator of when a vehicle is too old and costly to keep.

More importantly, these records can assist you when you need to make repairs on one of your vehicles. Having a detailed service history on hand lets your mechanic know about previous problems and maintenance, making it much easier to diagnose problems. As a result, good record-keeping can save you serious money when one of your trucks requires repairs.

3. Proactive Repairs

When one of your drivers reports a problem, don't ignore it or put it off for a better time. Noticeable drivability issues with one of your vehicles can lead to roadside failures or even hazardous handling. The most cost-effective approach to repairing fleet vehicles is always the proactive one. Acting quickly and decisively ensures your trucks remain roadworthy and safe to operate.  

For more information, contact an auto service that handles fleet repairs.