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Top 7 Proactive Maintenance Strategies for Enhancing Fleet Uptime

by Taabi Editorial Team

12 July 2023


Fleet Management technology could help maximize your vehicle's miles per gallon (MPG), helping to lower fuel costs. Taabi is helping customers reduce fuel costs by providing real-time data and insights on fuel consumption, allowing them to optimize their driving habits and make fuel-efficient decisions. With Taabi's solution, customers have experienced up to 15% reduction in fuel expenses, resulting in significant cost savings.

Fuel Economy defined

How Much Will Fuel Cost? Fuel costs can be seen when refilling vehicles to their full tanks. According to Automotive Fleet's assessment of fixed and operating expenses for fleet operations, they are one of the main contributors to operating expenses. Management must remain vigilant regarding usage and efficiency to prevent costs from spiraling out of control and prevent their company from running fleet operations at unnecessary expenses.

What is your fleet's fuel efficiency?

Fuel economy refers to the maximum distance one can cover with one volume of fuel, though variations depend on vehicle make and model; for instance, a compact and small car might achieve greater mileage per gallon (MPG) than one with high-powered engines such as those found on trucks. Fleet managers have various strategies available for them when looking at ways to increase efficiency, including tracking driving practices that waste fuel (such as speeding or idleness) and finding shorter routes that use less.

How can one calculate fuel costs?

Follow these steps to calculate the costs of fuel in your vehicle:

1. Start tracking the energy efficiency of your car after filling up its tank with fuel.
2. Record the odometer reading when filling your tank.
3. Once your tracking for an extended trip or a week and a half has concluded, fill up your tank with fuel before refilling the engine with any previous contents.
4. Write down how far you drove today.
5. Subtract half the miles traveled and divide by the gas consumed to obtain mileage per liter.
6. Multiply the miles per gallon by 4.544 to determine your average fuel efficiency.
7. Reduce fuel expenses with these tips for cost reduction.

Please note that step 5 and 6 are related to calculating mileage and fuel efficiency, but not the fuel costs directly. To calculate fuel costs, you'll need to consider the current price of fuel and the total amount of fuel consumed during your tracking period.

Automotive Fleet reports that fuel can make up an immense portion of total operating expenses for fleet managers, making fuel management essential in setting budgets, profitability ratios, and performance measures for their fleets.

Fleet Management programs can help fleet managers monitor, reduce, and track Idling by employing Telematics technology to establish idle limits while producing Idling Cost Trend reports weekly or biweekly. These reports display data as graphs to aid understanding.

What is Predictive Maintenance?

Predictive maintenance (PdM) is a technique that utilizes data analysis tools to monitor equipment and identify issues before they cause systemic breakdowns. PdM can reduce downtime, increase asset availability and extend equipment life spans while helping meet maintenance KPIs and budget costs.

One study demonstrated that companies using predictive maintenance saw an average reduction in repair of over 60%, which means more money in your wallet!

PdM uses time series historical and failure data to assess an asset's health. This allows you to anticipate failures before they occur and perform corrective maintenance only as necessary.

Predictive maintenance can be implemented in almost any industrial operation, including waste management, manufacturing, and oil refineries. When choosing sensors for predictive maintenance programs, it's essential to understand your equipment and its unique characteristics to determine which sensors will best serve them.

Sensor technologies for this task may include infrared, acoustic (partial discharge and airborne ultrasonic), vibration analysis, corona detection, and oil analysis. You will also require a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) that will collect, interpret and create work orders for technicians to complete.

Predictive maintenance programs rely on workforce training. By learning to utilize and interpret the technology, staff trained can identify problems more quickly, reduce downtime caused by unexpected breakdowns, reduce repair costs, and enhance product quality.

How to Improve Fleet Uptime?

Here are the 7 Proactive Strategies for Improving Fleet Uptime:

1. To improve fleet uptime, it is essential to provide superior customer satisfaction, run an efficient operation, and maintain profitability. Last mile delivery time being so crucial, any vehicle downtime could have serious repercussions for success - but with proper measures and technologies implemented, you can effectively mitigate downtime, ensuring deliveries arrive on schedule.

2. Due to global economic factors like rising oil prices,  chip shortages and labor shortages affecting the repair industry, fleets face increasing maintenance costs that impair uptime. Luckily, with an effective preventive fleet management solution and comprehensive onboard diagnostics solution, fleet managers can increase uptime to decrease operational downtime.

3. Proactive fleet maintenance strategies involve staying current with recommended services for your vehicles to ensure their optimal operation. Preventative maintenance is an invaluable strategy for minimizing downtime costs. It allows fleets to identify and address minor issues before they escalate further, which helps significantly lower repair costs while also helping minimize unplanned repairs that might impede operations.

4. Reactive fleet maintenance focuses on fixing problems as they arise, which may help lower downtime costs but is both expensive and unreliable. Fleet managers might spend too much time dousing fires instead of stopping them before they even begin! To combat this problem, fleets should utilize predictive maintenance, which detects various deterioration signs with condition monitoring tools to anticipate when components will likely break down and provide preventive maintenance at just the right moment.

5. An effective vehicle inspection checklist is an integral component of preventive maintenance planning. By customizing one to your fleet's needs and operating environment, creating a vehicle inspection checklist will help maximize uptime while cutting costs. When developing such a list, consider freight types transported and their operating conditions and input from drivers and maintenance technicians regarding what should be included.

6. Preventive maintenance programs play an essential role in ensuring inspections are performed on schedule, so keeping track of each fleet unit to ensure inspections occur on schedule can be key to their success. A telematics fleet management system can be used to keep tabs on vehicles' progress and provide accurate reports in real-time - for instance, a vehicle activity report details daily activities, including usage, operator, and mileage for each truck while harsh events reports can highlight when hard driving has caused stress to its components and how this has an impactful consequence for its components.

7. Fleet managers should develop an organized process for managing state and federal inspections. Digitalizing all inspection records makes the task simpler, while using a telematics solution can automatically notify drivers about impending reviews or MOTs so repairs can be completed before their deadline and prevent unnecessary downtime.

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