Fleet Managers need to maximise fleet performance and vehicle availability. One key way to do this is to undertake preventative maintenance.
A recent survey of drivers who use their own cars for business journeys – grey fleet drivers – has revealed that more than a quarter of them drive regularly with a warning light illuminated in their car.
While the Enterprise Rent-A-Car survey focused on vehicles that are out of an employer’s control, shouldn’t the principle of vigilance apply across all vehicles used for business purposes?
Why is Preventative Maintenance Important?
“It is like the difference between maintaining your health, to avoid illness, and having to constantly apply medicines to alleviate the effects of physical neglect,” explains Alan Locke of AYCEN Group, fleet vehicle servicing specialists.
In business terms, scheduling in servicing, inspections and repairs for vehicles makes sense because it is an investment in the means of guaranteeing a level of service.
“If a vehicle is prone to excessive breakdowns, then it is a potential source of loss for any business”
Alan Locke, AYCEN Group
“Regular preventative maintenance can reduce the risk of nasty surprises, when a vehicle goes out of service when it’s needed the most,” explains Alan.
There is also the safety aspect to consider. If a vehicle becomes unsafe because of a lack of regular, scheduled maintenance, fleet managers can become liable for neglect.
“If there’s an accident and some aspect of the vehicle, such as poor brakes, is found to be a contributory factor, then there may be demands to see full maintenance records,” Alan explains. “If these records indicate a general lacklustre or inconsistent approach to vehicle maintenance, a charge of negligence could arise.”
Similarly, with grey fleet drivers, there could be legal implications for their employers even if they are not maintaining their own private vehicles for business use.
“Many businesses and organisations allow their employees use personal cars for work and reclaim the mileage,” concludes Alan. “But they are responsible for ensuring that their employees are driving properly maintained vehicles for business purposes. So there are potentially serious legal issues here.”
There are two ways of undertaking vehicle maintenance, either reactive or proactive. Unscheduled breakdown maintenance can be both unpredictable and costly, while scheduled repairs to components and driver inspections can help ensure that fleets, vehicles and their drivers are safe and prepared for business.
To discuss options for maintaining your fleet and the safety of your drivers, please call AYCEN Group on 0161 223 5335 or visit aycen.co.uk