Preventative maintenance can be a lifesaver for carriers. If you’re in the trucking industry, then you know how precious time is.
Whether you’re the manager of a fleet of trucks or the owner-operator of a single vehicle, you understand that deadlines must be met to satisfy the client and get paid.
Of course, unexpected events do happen at times. It could be a winter blizzard that shuts down roads for hours or even days. It could be roadwork or a traffic jam. Whatever the case may be, certain things are simply out of your control. On the other hand, there are also many things that you can control.
Preventative maintenance is one of these things. If your truck breaks down on the side of the road because you haven’t changed its oil for 60,000 miles, can you really say it was out of your control? But if you have a solid preventative maintenance plan in place, then odds are you won’t have to deal with sudden problems like that —or at least not as many!
What is Preventative Maintenance?
What are we talking about when we use the term “preventative maintenance?” Basically, it’s a strategy that helps your trucks to perform better and run longer.
It involves sticking to a schedule of routine maintenance, whether your truck needs major repairs or not. Instead of “reactive maintenance” —in other words, responding to a crisis when it happens —preventative maintenance allows you to keep your fleet in good condition and ultimately become a more reliable carrier for your customers.
How Does Preventative Maintenance Save Time?
At first, it may be easy to think that a preventative maintenance schedule will take time away from running your business.
After all, you’ll need to set aside time to perform basic maintenance like oil changes, fluid checks, and so forth.
You’ll also need to perform regular inspections of your fleet —after all, early detection of a problem is a big part of preventative maintenance.
You may wonder: “Am I busy enough as it is? Where am I going to find the time to do all this extra work?”
If you can relate to that question, then consider these 3 important points:
Preventative maintenance can keep costly breakdowns from occurring in the first place.
Let’s say you have a big client that wants you to transport some very important cargo cross-country. Can you afford to suffer a breakdown in transit, and potentially lose the client’s business? In the long run, sticking to a preventative maintenance plan will save you time when it really counts.
Preventative maintenance can enhance your reputation.
Delayed shipments and missed deadlines are no good for business. By investing in a preventative maintenance strategy, you’ll enhance your company’s reputation —and likely earn some more business in the process.
You don’t have to implement a preventative maintenance plan on your own.
For example, you can contract with a carrier service provider to develop and implement a customized maintenance schedule that works for your business. Your provider’s expertise can ensure that these maintenance tasks are completed promptly, leaving you with more time to coordinate your fleet’s movement safely.
Preventative fleet maintenance will save you time in the long run if you consistently perform the necessary tasks on schedule.
It may seem like extra time and effort now, but as your fleet keeps humming along, year after year, without many (or any) major incidents, you’ll no doubt grow in your appreciation for the preventative maintenance strategy that you utilized. The bottom line? Whether you work with a 3rd-party provider or do it all by yourself, be sure to make preventative fleet maintenance a top priority today. You won’t regret what you did!
The England Carrier Services (ECS) division offers a variety of services for carriers ranging from maintenance to support. As ECS members, carriers have access to nationwide discounts on fuel and tires from dedicated team members who are committed to finding the best price. ECS also provides factoring services with benefits such as same-day funding to a bank account or fuel card. These options allow carriers the freedom to focus on growing their business while saving time and money.