Every fleet operator knows the importance of maintenance in keeping costs as low as possible. As many companies face rising costs and an increasingly difficult economy to operate in, using maintenance to keep your costs down becomes even more important.
The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, reminds fleet operators that the driver plays an important role in keeping maintenance costs down. “Every company should take measures to ensure their drivers play their role in reducing maintenance. This can be difficult because it is where one has the least control. A number of tips can help you get drivers to a level where they understand both the importance of reducing maintenance and their role in this.”
Your drivers know the most about vehicle maintenance, performance, quality, fuel consumption, and more. “Involving drivers in maintenance rather than taking a totalitarian approach can also have the indirect effect of making the drivers feel heard, appreciated and important,” says Herbert.
Telematics tell you much more than where your driver is at a particular time. “It can indicate which drivers are guilty of costly behaviours such as harsh braking. Use the information provided by your telematics provider to identify where intervention is needed,” says Herbert.
Changing these bad driving habits then depends on additional training. “Training will help drivers understand why certain driving behaviours cause unnecessary maintenance and show them how to avoid and change these habits. Training is a much smaller expense than constant, regular and unnecessary maintenance,” says Herbert.
Ensure your drivers have the tools and resources available. “Ensure your drivers and fleet management work as a team. This is making sure you use quality maintenance providers, easy ways to report concerns about vehicles and encouraging drivers to communicate about maintenance needs. If a driver feels they will face negative consequences, working together is unlikely to happen,” says Herbert.”
Ensure every driver knows what is required. “At the start of employment and regularly throughout their employment remind drivers what their role is in reducing maintenance costs,”
Once drivers know what is expected of them, consider incentivisation for adherence to policies. “Drivers may not see the importance to the organisation as a whole but if there is a direct benefit for them, it may inspire changed behaviour,” says Herbert.
Everyone in an organisation must commit to good driving behaviour. “Any initiative or goal approached as a community will be more successful,” says Herbert.
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