The Small Business Times

How Small Businesses Can Increase The Lifespan Of Their Vehicles

Whether the pandemic or rising costs have impacted your business, you may be looking for ways to cut costs without negatively impacting your customers’ experience.

Cutting corners can end up costing you in the long run and even though it might bring you pause, sometimes you must spend money to save money over time. There are also several ways you can get more life out of your vehicles and reduce costs for your business without spending a fortune. 

Using the Right Fleet Management Tools

Fleet management tools can help you track everything from repairs, warranties, fuel usage, to other preventative maintenance. When you put all this information into one system, you will ensure it is available to everyone for easy reference.

It also helps workers keep these assets in great condition, allowing any issues to be detected before they become larger ones and cost you even more money. A good fleet management solution will help you figure out the cost of ownership for each vehicle, allowing you to determine when it becomes too expensive to repair instead of replacing.

Another way you can use these tools is to use GPS tracking solutions, which can help you figure out the best route in each situation. A good GPS tracking device can do more than just help you keep track of each asset. These devices can also help you cut down on spending.

Correcting Bad Driver Habits

Of all the investments to make as a business owner, investing in your employees is one of the most crucial. The way the vehicles are operated can impact how long they last. Look at each employee’s habit and try to pinpoint bad ones before vehicles are affected.

Aggressive acceleration, too much idle time, or hard braking can all cause more wear and tear than necessary. Note any unsafe techniques, such as driving while distracted. Consider placing sensors in the vehicles to detect when these behaviors take place.

Follow Best Practices

Spend some time looking over the manuals for each vehicle. That’s because each model and make can differ significantly, so it’s a good idea to get familiar with referencing each of them and keeping them on hand.

That way, you can figure out whether you are maintaining them correctly. If you do not use the right tools or materials when maintaining the vehicle, their lifespan may be shortened. 

Preventative maintenance is one of the best ways to increase vehicle lifespan and performance. You may opt to do this yourself or take it to a shop to have a mechanic do the repairs.

Either way, it’s important to make sure the vehicle is checked for damage, the air filters are changed out, and the tires are inflated correctly. If your employees are driving the vehicle when the tires are worn or not inflated enough, they can wear out faster. It’s a good idea to check the tire pressure and the tires themselves to ensure they are still fit to be driven on.

Keeping Vehicles Clean

Cleaning business owned vehicles is not just to make them look nice, although that can be an added benefit when meeting with clients. Dirt can also affect the surface finish, especially if it’s mixed with salt from winter road treatments. Regular cleaning can prevent rust from building up on the surface as well. 

Many business owners see this type of suggestion and worry about the cost, but the truth is that many car washes offer fleet packages. Depending on the size of your fleet you may be able to get each vehicle washed daily for an exceptionally low cost.

Price shop places that are closest to where you house your fleet so that this is on route for your road team. Close proximity also ensures that the vehicles remain as clean as possible when traveling from the car wash back to the garage. 

Build Relationships With Trusted Mechanics

Some companies opt to have an in-house mechanic team while others will outsource this part of the business. Either way, establishing trust with the people who are performing repairs on your vehicles is essential.

These are the ones who have the trained eye to see what you cannot, and unfortunately sometimes that can lead to being bamboozled into repairs that are not necessary or paying prices that are marked up.

Another important aspect of having this rapport is that the mechanic or team of mechanics that work on your fleet will learn each vehicle inside and out. They will be the ones who can tell what a simple quirk from a major problem looks like. Having this on your side means that you can understand how to prioritize repairs in a way that best suits the vehicles safety and function.