Cars, trucks, vans, and bikes are essential for many businesses. And some rely on them more than others. Therefore it becomes necessary to keep your fleet running throughout the summer and beyond to deliver a first-class service. Here are some tips to make the most of yours.
Take Them in for a Seasonal Service
It’s good checking your vehicles yourself, and it goes a long way. But you should take them for a quick check by a professional mechanic on a regular basis. The UK requires the MOT test. But it’s helpful to have your vehicles checked more than the standard requirements if they are used often, such as for deliveries or public transport.
Fortunately, there are skilled services (like this company) all over the place, so you never have to go far for a quality vehicle check. However, increased usage means an increased chance of failure, so go the extra mile with safety.
Keep Your Fleet Running with Sun Protection
Summer is a great season for enjoying the sun. But vehicles are prone to damage when the sun is hotter than usual. Of course, this depends on where you live or operate. But in the UK alone, there are over 60,000 vehicle breakdowns due to exposure to higher temperatures. Fortunately, it’s not too challenging to protect your fleet from the sun.
For example, you can use windshield sunscreens to reflect heat away from the interior. You can also ask your drivers to park in the shade where possible. Or you can install AC units for driver comfort and to keep vehicles cooler.
Be Responsible with Your Drivers
Your drivers are the ones who will use your vehicles day in, day out. But as the vehicle owner, you are responsible for whoever drives them. This means you could be held liable if something terrible happens, such as a crash with a fatality, if you didn’t ensure your drivers were fit for purpose.
So to ensure your drivers are suitable, you should first check they hold all necessary licenses to operate any vehicles. But you can also go further by observing them for intoxication each morning. And you have the legal right to test for illicit drugs without notice.
Install Telematics Devices
Telematics devices are typically used by insurance companies to check the stability of your driving. They use data such as speed, acceleration, and braking competence to determine how much your premiums are. In short, they monitor whether you are a good driver or not. However, you can also install these devices to monitor the efficiency of your drivers.
If a driver doesn’t handle your vehicles the way they are intended, then they become prone to increased wear and tear. They will also have lower fuel efficiency and be more susceptible to road traffic collisions.
Perform a FLOWER Check Every Day
As a responsible fleet owner, you must check your vehicles for defects every day. A standard vehicle check only takes five minutes, and there are specific things you must do, such as the routine FLOWER check. You can remember what needs to be done with this easy mnemonic:
- F for Fuel
- L for Lights
- O for Oil
- W for Water
- E for Electrics
- R for Rubber
If you can remember the sequence, try putting up posters on your garage wall, or give a card to your drivers. But you or your drivers must perform a FLOWER check before every departure. This small act could save lives when out on the road.
Use GPS Apps to Reduce Fuel Waste
The cost of living extends to business since you still have to pay bills. And like gas and electricity, fuel costs are at an all-time high. Therefore, you can keep your fleet going and reduce expenses by doing all you can to reduce the amount of fuel wasted by drivers.
One easy and effective method is to simply ensure they always get to where they need to be without detours. GPS systems are excellent for this. And they don’t cost much money. Additionally, you can even use Google Maps completely free, and you will be alerted to traffic jams and other annoyances.
Switch to Paperless Log Books
You might have heard of the paperless office. When you go paperless, you basically use paper as little as possible or banish it altogether. The principal goal is to reduce the impact on our forests. But it’s easier than ever these days with modern apps since you can manage everything with digital devices.
As a fleet owner, you can switch to paperless log books and use apps like Big Road. With apps like this, drivers can fill in digital logbooks while on the road without having to do it at the end of the day, Which is great in the summer when you want to be outside.
Stock Up on Fuel to Keep Your Fleet Running
Global fuel prices are rising to exorbitant amounts all over the world. In the UK alone, it currently costs over £100 to fill a standard petrol tank. And it’s predicted to rise further. As a means of reducing costs, it is helpful to purchase and store fuel to offset the coming price hikes. This can have a significant impact on business costs.
However, fuel is flammable, so you must store it properly away from your main office or place of business. Your fuel storage building should also be kept as cool as possible, especially in summer, and ventilation is also a big help.
Don’t Overload Your Vehicles
In addition to saving on fuel, your vehicles will use more if you overload them. Furthermore, weight is crucial when loading a car, van, or truck. Your vehicles can be damaged by excess weight. If your car is not correctly loaded, obstacles along the route may make it difficult for you to travel safely.
For instance, to lower a vehicle’s center of gravity, large objects should always be disassembled. Additionally, you should constantly inspect your route for obstacles like low bridges and unlevel ground. These might be dangerous for your vehicles to pass through.
Many things are going on in the world right now that could affect your business. So you must take all precautions to keep your fleet running. Get your vehicles professionally inspected, do a FLOWER check before departure and watch the weight of your loads.