Keeping vehicles in their best condition is essential to fleet management. Vehicle upkeep not only enhances a fleet's efficiency and safety, but also significantly prolongs the lifespan of the vehicles themselves. The ultimate result is a dramatic reduction in downtime and a noteworthy increase in both short and long-term cost savings, particularly crucial when managing larger vehicles that demand more resources to stay operational.

While there are various approaches fleet managers can adopt for the maintenance of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), preventative maintenance is highlighted as one of the most effective. To provide you with all the details on the subject, we’ve compiled this piece which covers all the details of fleet preventative maintenance for HGVs.

What is Preventative Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is a proactive strategy for the routine upkeep of a fleet’s vehicles. The primary objective is to maintain the vehicles in an optimal condition, ensuring maximum availability while averting sudden, costly malfunctions and consequent downtimes.

Preventative maintenance is defined by how fleet managers perform the involved practices even while their vehicles are still in good working order, as opposed to only when an immediate issue presents itself and needs repairing. These activities consist of scheduled servicing, daily vehicle checks, fluid inspections, necessary adjustments, systematic parts replacements, brake performance testing, and tyre pressure monitoring.

The Benefits of Preventative Maintenance

There are five main benefits which fleet managers can expect to gain from preventative maintenance for their HGVs, these are:

1. Cost reduction

Accounting for the expenditure demanded by HGVs, preventive maintenance serves as a leading means of achieving cost control within fleet management. By conducting regularly scheduled checks, fleet managers can identify potential issues before they escalate into larger problems. 

By addressing minor concerns early on, fleet managers mitigate the risk of costly repairs, ensuring that their resources are allocated logically and that no unanticipated expenses impact an organisation’s budget.

2. Downtime prevention

Preventative maintenance directly contributes to the operational continuity of a fleet. By staying ahead of potential disruptions, fleet managers guarantee that their vehicles are consistently available for jobs. 

Additionally, such maintenance safeguards against unexpected breakdowns, while also minimising the risk of extended downtimes in the case of HGVs, those which can disrupt schedules and impact overall productivity massively.

3. Improved vehicle life cycle

To a large degree, preventative maintenance is an investment into a fleet vehicle’s longevity, and therefore makes sure that managers get the most out of their HGVs which are costly to purchase and run.

In essence, looking after a vehicle’s prospective requirements means that fleet managers improve a HGV’s reliability, performance, and overall value, important factors if the vehicle ever comes to be sold.

4. Ensured safety

While fleet vehicle maintenance undoubtedly places a focus on performance and cost efficiency, proactive plans are likewise essential to driver safety, a particularly vital point where HGVs are concerned.

Through regular functionality inspections and the replacement of critical components such as brakes and tires, fleet managers thereby actively diminish the risk of on-road incidents. In this way, a fleet manager’s commitment to preventative maintenance plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the lives of their employees and those of other road users.

5. Compliance with regulations

Neglecting preventive maintenance schedules can in fact lead to hefty fines and penalties. Regulatory bodies impose strict maintenance requirements for commercial HGVs in order to certify that their safety standards and environmental regulations are being met. 

And so, adherence to proactive maintenance schedules ensures the smooth functioning of a fleet as well as securing it against legal action, reinforcing the importance of a well defined preventative maintenance plan.

Implement a Preventative Maintenance Plan

In conclusion, preventative maintenance plans have widespread benefits for HGV fleets, and this is natural considering that vehicles are the very core of every fleet. 

What’s more, the cost savings that come with preventative maintenance plans typically cancel out any initial investment, being at once a way to improve fleet safety, compliance, and longevity all while reducing downtime.

Yet, it’s much easier to talk about preventative maintenance than it is to set a plan in motion. For this reason, we at MICHELIN Connected Fleet have developed fleet management solutions which incorporate preventative maintenance strategies.

Moreover, our consultative approach to fleet management means that our solutions wholly cater to your individual HGV fleet’s requirements. If you’re interested in implementing a preventative maintenance plan for your fleet, be sure to make an enquiry into how we can help you today.