Many businesses rely on having a fleet of vehicles for their employees to use. Whether they are for transportation to meetings or to move employees and equipment around, vehicles can be vital for the operations of a business.
With so much money invested in vehicles, businesses should do everything possible to keep cars or trucks running well. This will ensure the reliability of the vehicles, extend the operating life and keep employees safe when they are on the road.
Set the Rules
Businesses should set rules for the use of company vehicles. You don’t want to spend all of that money on cars or trucks and then allow any employee to use them in any way they see fit. As a business owner or manager, you need to take some time to think about what the vehicles will be used for, which employees may need to use them and the ways you want employees to care for the vehicles.
Start by considering the types of employees at your company and the ways they might need a vehicle to perform their work. Consider screening employees for their driving record. You may also want to think about whether employees can take the vehicles home or if they will stay at a company location when not in use. Beyond that, you may need to outline the responsibilities of employees as it concerns caring for the vehicle.
Buy the Right Vehicles
Some business owners end up increasing their costs by trying to save money on the types of vehicles they buy. This can be a big problem if you need vehicles with the ability to haul heavy materials or carry expensive equipment. Even if it costs a little more, it will serve the business better in the long run to have a vehicle that is made for the job.
The same is true as it concerns repairs and replacement parts. You should get repairs done as soon as they are needed, and you should make sure you are only using the right truck parts for repairs. Even if there is a cheaper alternative that will work for a while, having the correct parts will usually make for a longer-lasting repair.
Frequent inspections are one of the keys to keeping any vehicle in good working order. Regular vehicle checkups can help you catch small issues before they result in major problems. Along with that, they can also help you prevent accidents by identifying safety issues before the vehicle is out on the road.
First, you should have employees perform routine inspections on any vehicles they use. They should check things like the tires, fluids, lights, belts and hoses regularly. Beyond that, the business should schedule annual inspections with a mechanic to ensure everything is in proper working order. It might cost a little money, but the advantages of auto inspections are worth it for maintaining a fleet.
Create Maintenance Schedules
Regular inspections are necessary, but vehicles also need a lot of routine maintenance. From tune-ups and oil changes to new tires and windshield wipers, certain maintenance tasks need to be performed on a schedule. Keeping a record for each vehicle can be a way to guarantee this work is always done on time.
One of the best ways to do this is to maintain a vehicle maintenance log. The log can help you keep track of every maintenance task performed on each vehicle. You can also use it as a way to keep track of when different tasks need to be performed. All you have to do is enter new maintenance events in the log. You can then check the log every month to see which vehicles need different preventative maintenance measures.
Awareness and Education
Company vehicles come with a lot of responsibility on the part of the employees who use them. While it would be great if employees did everything you expect them to without you having to tell them, it is up to you to make employees aware of their responsibilities and to educate them concerning the care they should provide the vehicle.
Make sure your employees understand the rules and restrictions for using a company vehicle. Make them aware of the different inspections and maintenance tasks they may be expected to perform. Teach them about what they should do if there is an accident or if they notice anything wrong with the vehicle.
With the right policies and a little care, you can extend the life of company vehicles by many years. Along with that, you can reduce the costs that go into repairs and maintain the value of the vehicles for when you eventually sell them. It just requires some effort from management and the employees who may use the vehicles.