Downtime is costly for businesses. When it comes to fleet management it can cost SMEs on average £200 a day, according to figures quoted in Fleet News.
While many SMEs feel they cannot afford a dedicated fleet management service, they are also failing to budget sufficiently for maintenance.
“The risk for some businesses is that they damage their productivity by increasing their amount of fleet downtime, when preventative maintenance could lessen the impact,” observes Azhar Iqbal of Colne Tyre Centre.
Off the Road Costs
“Vehicles can spend up to four days off the road on average, meaning a loss of manpower and productivity,” Azhar says.
The issues of fleet maintenance and tyre management can put SMEs in a double bind:
- On the one hand, they find it difficult to budget for the sort of preventative maintenance which would help them
- On the other hand, they then find dealing with vehicle downtime impacts negatively on their bottom line
“There’s also an issue with finding the time to focus on vehicle maintenance, if you’ve not got the dedicated resources,” Azhar suggests.
Keeping Vehicles on the Road
“Preventative maintenance has a role to play, but there are other factors to think about, including vehicle selection, scheduling servicing in advance and employee responsibility.”
“For all fleets, vehicle reliability is key, so it makes sense to choose the best vehicle for the job before it joins the fleet””
“Get this right, and you minimise your downtime,” Azhar advises. “Maximum reliability then restricts maintenance to routine servicing and annual MOTs.”
Another factor in reducing downtime is in spreading the responsibility more effectively by scheduling and pre-booking servicing well in advance.
“The earlier you know when a vehicle will be taken off the road, the better you can plan to plug any gaps using relief vehicles.”
Then there is the issue of individual drivers taking responsibility.
“Ensure your vehicles are firmly linked to the relevant employees, and that those employees are aware of their responsibilities regarding how their vehicle is performing and its day to day upkeep”
“Also, remember that vehicle downtime is directly linked to employee costs,” say Azhar. “It has considerable financial impact in this light.”
Specialised and Mobile Support
“SMEs can get the support they need without having to rely on a dedicated fleet management resource,” Azhar emphasises.
“It’s about building relationships with people who offer specialised vehicle support, such as tyre management and maintenance.”
This is another area where drivers can take personal responsibility by utilising mobile tyre fitters.
“Mobile tyre fitting is one way of ensuring a vehicle is back on the road sooner rather than later,” Azhar concludes, “and it can be done quickly and efficiently if the individual driver has access to a reliable mobile tyre fitting service.”
To discover how Colne Tyre Centre can support your fleet, please call 01282 786110.
For an additional read, please visit: