Food & Drink International - Winter 2017, Volume 2 - 137
nance schedule is a great first step.
Often, in an effort to reduce costs,
fleet managers will extend the intervals between simple but important
preventive measures like oil changes
and tire rotation. Sometimes this is
pushed well beyond the manufacturer's recommendations.
Although that may save a marginal
amount of money in the short-term, it
can have drastic and profound effects
in the long-term.
These long-term effects can impact
a company's budget more significantly than the simple cost of regular preventative maintenance.
It is important to be mindful of the
manufacturer's maintenance schedules. A company should never take
a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead
of assigning an oil change interval
across the entire fleet, group vehicles by segment or class, specific job
function and operating conditions. If
GPS technology has revolutionized downtime by giving companies more information and visibility into its vehicle whereabouts. <<
you have a good working relationship
with your repair shop, try to schedule
preventative maintenance off-hours
or when the driver won't be on the
road, perhaps during a vacation.
>> Downtime probably can't be completely avoided, but it can be managed.
Finally, knowing when a vehicle has
served the company long enough is
important to reducing a fleet's downtime. Big data and statistical analysis
can pinpoint small issues that, over
time, could develop into larger problems and extended downtime.
Using that insight to develop a solid replacement cycle that supports
the functional needs of your fleet will
lead to vehicles remaining in good
working order to better support the
business and its customers.
In short, downtime probably can't
be completely avoided, but it can be
managed - effectively. Through a
combination of new technology and
old-fashioned common sense, the
number of hours a vehicle sits at the
repair shop can be minimized, reducing costs and allowing the driver to
continue earning revenue.
Don Woods is the director of information technology at ARI in Mount
Laurel, N.J., the world's largest family
owned fleet management company,
managing nearly 1.5 million vehicles
in North America, the UK and Europe. Visit
www.arifleet.com for more information.
food & drink international * winter 2017 volume 2 * www.fooddrink-magazine.com