Routine Maintenance and Downtime – The Long and Short of It

For what good reason would you make a short-term decision to put off routine maintenance beyond the manufacturer’s recommendations? Business is booming, and you need your vehicles on the road? Business is down, and changes in the availability of capital require you to postpone? Or, maybe you honestly forgot to check the data coming in about upcoming maintenance schedules?

It is critical to understand that there is no good reason to skip routine maintenance. Waiting too long to schedule maintenance and necessary repairs will inevitably extend vehicle downtime, which will only intensify any of the not-so-good reasons you thought you had for your delay.

This gamble could result in not only an expensive repair bill but also an increased risk of extended downtime that will also impact productivity. While the vehicle is in the shop, your driver is either off the job as well, or you need to pay for a temporary vehicle on top of the repair costs.

Implementing a preventive maintenance (PM) schedule gives you control over your fleet operations and expenses in a number of ways:

• You will know which vehicles will be in the shop and when. You will be able to plan for vehicles to avoid downtime by getting the needed attention during off hours, or you can plan ahead for replacement vehicles.
• You will know what maintenance work will be done specifically, i.e. the parts and labor costs, so you’ll be able to accurately forecast budgeting.
• Having mechanics’ eyes on your vehicles routinely, you will have better insight as to the overall condition of your vehicles and therefore experience fewer unforeseen mechanical issues.

Effective repair management won’t eliminate unexpected repairs or accidents caused by malfunctions, but it will help you avoid large-scale failures and downtime.

To learn more, read how to reduce downtime through preventive maintenance, and listen to ARI’s IT executives talk about how to use your fleet maintenance data to answer questions that will help you become more conscientious of opportunities to drive meaningful business outcomes.