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The importance of predictive and preventative vehicle maintenance of in field service for business growth

4 February 2022

Home > Blog

> The importance of predictive and preventative vehicle maintenance of in field service for business growth

Find out more about how preventative and predictive maintenance of vehicles in field service is essential for cost efficiency across the business.

When it comes to fleet management, it may seem sensible to repair your vehicles as and when they become damaged. However, in reality, reactive fixes cost an eye-watering three to nine times more than pre-planned maintenance, ultimately creating a large dent in your profits. 

In addition to being costly, unplanned maintenance can severely hinder or bring your projects to a halt, setting you back days, weeks, or even months. Therefore, to lower expenses and keep all your appointments on track, you must conduct routine maintenance on your vehicles before it becomes too late.

This article will explore the key benefits of proper vehicle maintenance, how it can save you money, and the solutions you can implement to ensure effective preventative maintenance. 

How does preventative and predictive maintenance work? 

Predictive maintenance helps your organisation to prevent equipment failure which can cause unnecessary downtime and loss of profits. 

Effective asset management helps you to prevent costly repairs and equipment downtime before they become a problem for your business. 

To get the most from preventative maintenance you should: 

Collect data – ask your technicians to complete daily vehicle checks and record the results.
Share data – the data you collect from your technicians should be shared and stored with back office staff.
Analyse data – once you have collected and shared the data, you should be analysing it to ensure that vehicles are in good working condition and to spot problems before they become a major and costly problem. 

Now that you know how it works, let’s have a look at the top benefits of preventative and predictive maintenance…

Top 5 benefits of preventative and predictive maintenance

  1. Only replace the parts that need replacing

It can be tempting to ignore any major issues that arise with vehicles in your fleet, especially if they present a risk to your technicians, in order to reduce costs. 

However, issues that start as minor problems can quickly become more severe and financially damaging than you anticipated. 

In the long run, it makes sense to replace single parts as and when they wear out instead of waiting for a complete breakdown. 

Plus, there are hidden bonuses to keeping your vehicles in extra condition. For example, tyres are responsible for around 20% of a vehicle’s fuel consumption. 

⚒️How can you do this? 

Providing your technicians with a mobile app that allows them to complete a daily walkaround check of their vehicles and raise any issues with back office staff. 

In addition, your organisation will have a full record of each vehicle, allowing you to perform maintenance and repairs before they become major and start eating into your profits. Replacing a tyre on a vehicle will cost you much less than a vehicle that is in a collision as a result of poor maintenance or is taken off the road due to needing repairs.

  1. Extend the lifespan of your vehicles 

When you invest in predictive and preventative maintenance for your fleet of vehicles, you also ensure that the lifespan of your vehicles is extended. 

With the knowledge of vehicles and their status, you can analyse data and fix problems before they cause major damage and vehicles require replacing. 

This provides a number of benefits: 

✅ You keep your vehicles on the road for longer
✅ You prevent technicians from breaking down and losing a day of work 
✅ You prevent technicians from breaking down on the way to a job and affecting customer experience
✅ You keep your technicians safe on the roads

  1. Increase efficiency and reduce emissions 

According to research, poor maintenance strategies can reduce productivity by 5-20%. 

Having the knowledge of when maintenance to a vehicle is likely to be required, you can schedule repairs or servicing when the vehicle is off the road. 

This means that your mobile workforce is less likely to break down on the road and they don’t have to stop work for the day while their vehicle is repaired or towed back to your premises. 

As a result, regular servicing can increase your business’s efficiency and reduce downtime across your business. 

In addition, keeping your vehicles in good repair helps to maintain fuel efficiency, releasing fewer emissions and remaining more environmentally friendly.  

  1. Lower risk of expensive legal issues 

Unfortunately, there were over 100,000 road accidents last year in the UK. With technicians spending a large proportion of the day travelling between jobs, it’s paramount that you do everything possible to prevent them from becoming part of this statistic. 

By not regularly taking the time to maintain your fleet, you put your technicians at risk. 

For example, one of your vans could suddenly break down on the motorway, causing a collision that injures your technician or others. 

In addition to being a terrible experience for your employee, you may have to face lengthy legal battles and hefty fines if you’re found guilty of health and safety negligence. 

In fact, the Sentencing Council introduced harsher penalties in 2016 for companies that fail to manage health and safety matters competently. Now, the average fine sits at £150,000.

⚒️How can you do this? 

Encouraging every technician to complete a daily check of their vehicle and record their findings allows you to guarantee you’re following health and safety best practices. 

As a result, you and your employees can rest assured that the likelihood of a serious accident is significantly lowered. 

  1. Prevent delays to profitable projects 

Around 20% of a fleet’s vehicles annually incur downtime due to accidents.

Although some breakdowns are inevitable, regardless of how well you care for your vehicles, there are ways to substantially reduce the frequency and length of downtime. 

⚒️How can you do this? 

🗒️ Daily vehicle walkaround checks are a must-have to ensure that your fleet is DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) compliant. Not only will this improve health and safety records, you’ll also have a comprehensive record of every vehicle’s history, providing proof of compliance and work carried out. 

🚛 Monitor drivers’ behaviour on the roads – you can use live tracking software to check driver’s behaviour when driving. Analyse behaviour such as speeding, harsh acceleration, breaking, cornering, and idling and provide technicians with a score that accurately reflects their driving style over time. Then, you can offer additional training to those who are taking greater risks on the road. 

As a result, you can eliminate risky behaviour and driving styles that cause additional wear and tear on your vehicles. You’ll be able to reduce downtime and maintenance costs annually, allowing your company to take on projects that boost your bottom line. 

Key takeaways 

Your vehicles are a crucial component of your business, so maintaining your fleet is crucial to maintaining your bottom line. 

By allowing technicians to easily identify and report vehicle checks while they’re on the road, you can fix minor issues before they become major, costly problems. 

In addition, field service management software allows you to have an overview of each technician’s driving style, so you can offer additional training to those who are taking more risks on the road and causing additional wear and tear to vehicles. 

You can also ensure that customer experience remains unaffected as technicians are not likely to be taken off the road on the way to a job due to a broken-down vehicle or a crash as a result of a breakdown. 

Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.

4th February 2022



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