Fleet Hot Tips!

Motive-8 Your Fleet

Get more mileage and better performance from every vehicle

A part of the responsibility of every manager is to utilize all resources assigned to them in the most effective and efficient way to achieve maximum results with the least expense. Whether the resource is personnel or equipment the same rule applies. With human resources, one can use a variety of motivational techniques that spark awareness, increase output, reduce error, and improve customer satisfaction.  But, how would motivational strategy improve your fleet performance, reliability, output, and customer satisfaction?

            Research has shown many times over the years, when managers and organizations appear to and actually do pay attention to the staff's working conditions and ask the staff to be involved in assisting with or providing input/feedback on a specific activity, it influenced production and morale positively. This is called the Hawthorne Effect.

            Could the same thing be stated about your fleet? Absolutely, by providing a little TLC regularly to each vehicle and getting your drivers involved in the process, your fleet tends to last longer, have fewer major breakdowns, be more cost effect, and operate more safely. All of which help you achieve your goal of utilizing the resources assigned to you in the most effective and efficient way to achieve maximum results with the least expense.

1.      Regular maintenance is critical

According to the experts regular maintenance is "the key to vehicle longevity." The correct schedule is what the manufacturer list in the owner manual has based on the driving conditions. 

2.      Inspect Regularly: Use Sight, Sound, and Smell

Have your drivers do routine walk around inspections, listen carefully for noticeable changes in the operating sounds of the vehicle, and be sensitive to new smells that come from the vehicle

3.      Beware of the “Granny Syndrome”

A major maintenance misconception is that short trips and infrequently used vehicles require less maintenance. The opposite is true. On trips where the engine doesn't have a chance to reach operating temperature, very acidic moisture can collect in the engine and get into your oil and exhaust system which can eventually lead to trouble. Follow the "severe duty" schedule for frequent servicing if your manufacturer specifies one when doing short trips, carrying heavy loads, and towing.

4.      Change the transmission fluid

If changing the transmission fluid and filter is specified in your car's maintenance schedule, then, take care of it. Increasingly, vehicle manufacturers are either just indicating that the fluid should be checked at intervals or saying the fluid is "lifetime." how long is a lifetime? David Muhlbaum of Kiplinger, in a recent article on increasing the life of your car suggests that if you're looking for a long lifetime, plan on replacing the transmission fluid at least by 100,000 miles (and there's no harm in doing it earlier).

5.      Keep your car clean inside and out

While it’s critical to keep your fluids and filters fresh and clean, you should also focus attention to the exterior of the vehicle. Washing off the environmental contaminants picked up from the yard and business parking lots at regular intervals will delay corrosion and prolong paint life. If you vehicle look nice, employees tend to take better care of them.

6.      Regularly inspect the “consumables”

Regardless of how diligent you are with maintenance, parts will need to be replaced periodically. Known “consumables” or "wear parts", items like tires, brake pads, timing and accessory belts, shock absorbers, engine and cabin air filters, fuel filters, etc.

7.      Maintain accurate and up-to-date records

A key element to any successful maintenance program is up-to-date, accurate record keeping. While documentation is necessary for purposes of budget control, it also helps in decision-making about the fleet, and empowers you to optimize your preventive maintenance program.

8.      Let Jiffy Lube Fleet Care help

Jiffy Lube may be best known for changing oil, over the years we have expanded our brand into the leading comprehensive automotive preventive maintenance service center in the United States. Our vast array of products and services are also available in our Fleet Care program. With fifty-seven (57) Jiffy Lube centers in the Washington Metro Area, we have a location and a qualified team ready to provide you with timely, friendly, trustworthy, and value-added performance.

If you show your Fleet a little regular TLC by tackling these issues proactively, it can help you avoid larger repair bills that may lead you to give up on a vehicle sooner than necessary.