In fleet management, there are various unexpected expenditures that might develop, and managers have increasingly focused on the costs of vehicle downtime. This is something that has to be addressed since these charges may build up to hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for businesses. What causes downtime, how it affects production, and how fleets may use modern technologies to reduce downtime.
Downtime is unavoidable when it comes to servicing fleets. Let’s look at some of the options for avoiding fleet downtime. Depending on the circumstances, vehicle downtime might be scheduled or unexpected. The purpose of this blog is to explore vehicle fleet downtime and how to reduce unwarranted downtime.
What is Vehicle Downtime?
Downtime is defined as the period of time when an asset, machine, or resource is unavailable or unable to perform its function. This generally occurs in fleets when a commercial motor vehicle, or even a driver, is unable to fulfill scheduled trips. Work comes to a standstill as a result of this. While the reasons for downtime might vary, the consequences can be financially devastating. When fleet-based enterprises face downtime, it’s usually due to one of the following:
● Vehicle breakdowns by the side of the road that were not scheduled
● Routes are experiencing delays.
● Missing freight loads that need dispatching additional cars to retrieve the missing goods
● Drivers or vehicles that have been ruled unfit for duty (out of service or OOS)
How does Downtime Affect Your Fleet’s Business?
Companies do not merely incur expenditures linked to vehicle maintenance when vehicles are down for unforeseeable causes, such as accidents or breakdowns. There are other expenditures that are not directly linked to the problem but nonetheless exist as a result of vehicle downtime: employee inactivity as a result of an accident or trauma, idle staff hours, lost business income, and the price of temporarily or permanently replacing a vehicle, to name a few.
Because accidents and failures are essentially unavoidable, it is nearly difficult to totally eliminate the expenses of downtime; nevertheless, you may still discover measures to reduce their impact.
Best Ways to Reduce Vehicle Downtime
Your whole organization suffers when unplanned service and repair events occur; however, there are various preventative maintenance activities firms can take to decrease fleet vehicle downtime. Fortunately, technology has progressed to the point that fleets may now use modern telematics and IoT technologies to decrease downtime. There are now hardware and software solutions that may be placed in vehicles or incorporated in processes to assist prevent all of the aforementioned types of downtime from occurring. Some of the most effective measures that can be taken by fleet management companies include:
1. Consider purchasing fleet management software.
Based on real-time data from a telematics device, fleet management software may assist you in making more educated maintenance decisions. You may be warned of any vehicle maintenance concerns right away with electronic DVIRs and fault code alerts, including difficulties with the fuel system, exhaust system, fluid leaks, transmission fluid, engine oil, and more.
2. Begin a routine of preventive maintenance.
Regular maintenance activities are accomplished with the help of a preventative maintenance program. When you get your commercial vehicles serviced on a regular basis, you’ll have less unexpected downtime and lower fleet expenditures because the cars will last longer.
3. Make vehicle replacements a priority.
While routine fleet maintenance extends the life of vehicles and improves their performance, nothing is indestructible. Vehicles that are retained past their useful lives become less efficient and require more maintenance. Having a replacement strategy in place ensures that older cars are replaced before they break down and cost you money.
4. Monitor Driving Patterns
Rash driving, over-speeding, harsh braking and other such poor driving practices are detrimental to the health of fleet vehicles. Keeping an eye on driver behaviour and driving patterns helps to prevent vehicle wear and tear, thus ensuring lesser breakdowns and unplanned downtime.
Downtime is unavoidable at times. It’s critical for fleet managers to strive to make the best of a bad situation and plan for downtime during these periods. The first piece of advice is to make the most of downtime when it occurs. This involves attempting to identify new solutions to deal with unforeseen failures that occur in the middle of a trip or when vehicles must be returned to service.
Another best thing that a business can do to deal with Vehicle Downtime is opting for an effective Vehicle Tracking & Monitoring Solution With real-time tracking, a full GPS-based fleet management system delivers more visibility to your vehicles, products, and drivers. A multipurpose fleet tracking system assists businesses and organizations in automating, optimizing, managing, organizing, and coordinating their fleet vehicles from a common data platform.
For the logistics and transportation businesses as well as many other such industries that use a fleet of vehicles, our vehicle tracking system (VTMS) is an easy-to-use, dependable, and comprehensive solution. Our vehicle tracking software uses sophisticated technology to monitor fleet vehicles, ensure timely maintenance and thus reduce unscheduled downtime. So, with the VTMS, get your business moving without getting affected by downtimes anymore. Schedule a call or demo to know more.