12 years. That’s how long the average truck has been on the road today. Many are closer to 20. Each year a fleet will only replace 1 truck for every 70 trucks in service.
It’s thanks in part to well-built trucks, dedicated drivers, efficient management and a focus on the importance of maintenance.
Let’s take a look at how your in-house truck maintenance can help you keep those trucks performing and paying you back as a business longer.
Proactive Vs Reactive Truck Maintenance
There are two primary types of maintenance.
Reactive maintenance is when your in-house truck maintenance team responds to a concern. These are usually identified by the driver. At this point, the vehicle may be unsafe to drive. If so, take it out of service immediately. Prevent further damage to the vehicle and risk to the driver.
Your driver is the first line of defense against breakdowns. Keep the communication channels open with your drivers. Encourage them to document observations they have about the vehicles they drive.
Don’t think the concern represents an immediate danger? That issue should always be communicated with the in-house truck maintenance team. They’ll know to check it out during regularly scheduled maintenance.
Taking this simple step slashes more expensive reactive maintenance costs. It will keep that truck and driver on the road working for you.
Proactive maintenance is your regularly scheduled maintenance. That’s when your in-house truck maintenance team inspects the vehicle. They repair or replace components before they cause a problem, but not too soon.
Proactive maintenance often feels like an extra expense that’s not really paying you back. But when proactive maintenance is done regularly on a schedule, it significantly extends the life of your vehicles.
Proactive maintenance greatly eliminates the risk of having to take trucks out of service when you least expect it. That costs you time. It costs you money.
Finally, a proactively maintained vehicle is safer for your drivers. To recruit and keep good drivers, show that you value safety.
Establish a Proactive Maintenance Mentality
As the leader of a fleet, it’s important that you establish a proactive maintenance mindset.
Create a checklist for your drivers. Include safety concerns like streaky wipers and efficiency concerns like rough idles or misfires, etc.
Put the responsibility on your drivers to keep you informed in an organized way that doesn’t involve telling you something’s wrong as you’re heading out for lunch.
Develop a regular preventive maintenance schedule for different types of vehicles. City delivery trucks may need to be on a different schedule than vehicles driving on dusty roads.
Whatever that schedule is, stick with it. Know when each vehicle was last inspected. And if you start to see more break-downs, re-evaluate that schedule.
How Insurance Contributes to a Proactive Mentality
A very important piece of the proactive mentality is making sure you have proper fleet insurance. Truck insurance helps get your drivers back on the road faster. That may be in a rental, if needed. It protects you against accident damage and replacement costs. It reduces liability risk for property damage, injury or even death. Making sure you’re covered before an accident is very proactive.
If you’re looking for truck insurance, we can help! We have a team of truck insurance experts who strive to help truck businesses save money on their insurance and make insuranc easy at the same time. To get started with your truck insurance quotes, you can fill out our online form or give us a call today.