5 Ways to Boost Fleet Maintenance Using Connected Vehicle Data

Preventive Maintenance Is Key

Preventive maintenance consists of scheduled servicing, inspections, and vehicle repairs to prevent potential problems and maximize vehicle availability. Reactive maintenance, on the other hand, tends to be mainly performed in response to breakdowns and severely affects the fleets’ availability, efficiency and expenditures.

Important to fleet maintenance, preventative maintenance can proactively avoid or reduce vehicle breakdowns, consisting of inspections, scheduled repairs and service that are typically based on time or usage (mileage, engine hours etc.). It’s crucial for driver safety as well. If a vehicle becomes unsafe due to lack of maintenance or repair, the fleet manager can be held liable.

Many fleets still manage their preventive maintenance using paperwork and spreadsheets, This is inefficient and may lead to missed routine maintenance, downtime, and costly repairs. Automated preventive maintenance programs help fleets with well-timed scheduling of maintenance, repairs, and replacements to prevent failures, but they require relevant, accurate and timely data.

Typically, maintenance scheduling is based on time or usage (mileage, engine hours and the like). The vehicle driver is the first line of defense against unexpected breakdowns and repairs. The driver needs to report vehicle usage, status, and problems at the end of each journey to reduce breakdowns. It’s laborious, inefficient and prone to mistakes.

As vehicle connectivity is transforming fleet management with access to more and more data which enables increased efficiency, maintenance automation is the next step. Automated maintenance tools reduce costs, improve safety and yield productivity gains throughout the fleet. The best fleet vehicle maintenance programs combine real-time vehicle data with preventative maintenance schedules to maximize fleet gains.

1. Streamline Repairs with Service Inspection Alerts

Managing a fleet of vehicles includes scheduled maintenance and repairs that require accurate recording, tracking all issues and keeping everything organized for optimized service scheduling. Fleet managers need to stay on top of regular service items, such as oil changes, wheel alignments, brakes and more. Fleet managers need to keep track of the recommended service schedules per each vehicle brand and model in their fleet to proactively perform preventative maintenance or otherwise vehicle life span may be greatly reduced.

With connected vehicle data, service inspection times, residual distance and regular service can be automatically recorded and used to optimize maintenance scheduling and the availability of vehicles.

2. Take Advantage of Reliable, Real-Time Odometer Readings

Fleets maintenance schedules heavily rely upon accurate mileage which requires periodic odometer readings. As many fleets still use manual processes, drivers provide odometer readings when they return to the office. This means managers are receiving infrequent, and sometimes inaccurate, odometer updates.

With connected vehicle data, odometer readings can be automatically and reliably captured, without wasting the drivers’ time on tedious administrative tasks. This data can be utilized for scheduling service periods that keep fleet vehicles well maintained and roadworthy.

Automated and accurate odometer readings can be further used for mileage logbooks, eliminating the need for an Electronic Logbook Device. They also can be used for establishing the residual value of a vehicle and whether it is still a suitable asset for your business. 

3. Optimize Tire Management and Costs

As tires are financial and safety assets, they should be managed from purchase through retreading to disposal. Fleet managers must monitor the air pressure of each tire on every vehicle, check for irregular wear, and repair any punctures that may be dangerous for drivers.

Tire management is fundamental to controlling fleet operating costs. Tire-related costs consist of new tires, casings, and retreads as well as tire repair and replacement work. Ultimately, the cost of vehicle downtime associated with tire issues quickly adds up. 

Whether tires are tracked manually or using a tire management system, fleet managers need ongoing, fresh tire information. With connected vehicle data, tire pressure, status and relevant warning notifications are periodically sampled and sent so fleet managers can stay ahead of the curve when it comes to drivers’ safety and tire maintenance and expenditures.

4. Safety Warnings for Safer Drivers and Roads

For a business that relies on driving, maintaining the highest safety conditions is a must. Fleet managers are responsible for the safety of their staff of other road users by keeping vehicles at best operational condition.

With connected vehicle data, warnings such as brake lining wear, brake fluid, tire pressure and even windows washer fluid warnings are automatically communicated. Connected car data enables fleet managers to track important safety features, alert drivers, quickly schedule required actions and repairs to enhance driver safety.

5. Take Action to Tackle Drivability Warnings

Whether it’s fuel level, coolant level or AdBlue level warnings, timely connected vehicle data can help fleet managers stay on top of vehicle status, maintenance needs and regulatory compliance. Fuel level warnings for example, can help you better understand fuel consumption trends, optimize routes and possibly utilize an on-demand fueling service provider to keep vehicles on the road.

Power next-generation fleet productivity with embedded vehicle data

Gain access to rich, high-quality data from multiple OEMs, with valuable information about the vehicle status, usage, and safety to boost preventive maintenance plans.  Otonomo vehicle data is cleansed and normalized across multiple OEMs, and available through a single integration and point of business and a single-touch consent and revoke management for regulatory compliance.

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