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As equipment capabilities have evolved over the years, so too has associated technology, and the construction industry is one of the greatest beneficiaries.

There has been much discussion about companies undergoing a digital transformation; however, the connotation of a transformation implies an arduous process requiring extensive implementation time, investments and computing power.

This is not the case with fleet maintenance technology. Instead, cloud-based software offers a cost-effective solution with immediate activation on computers or mobile devices and only requires internet access with login credentials.

When it comes to managing assets in the field as well as tracking multiple stakeholders, having easy implementation and adaptability is crucial. By digitizing vast amounts of data into a single platform, managers are able to track and analyze assets to ensure operational efficiency and reduce potential downtime.

Use electronic inspections to streamline processes

Fleet inspections are an integral part of preventive maintenance best practices and required by the FMCSA. Many businesses with commercial vehicles are required to conduct daily vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) before and after a shift.

Trying to complete thorough inspections using paper forms can be cumbersome. Operators simply don’t have enough hands to simultaneously examine an asset, hold the pad and write with a pen. Conversely, electronic inspections are easier to complete because they are conducted on a mobile device, which only requires one hand, freeing the other to probe around the asset.

The benefits of electronic inspections carry over to managers as well. For one, they make it much easier for fleets to remain in compliance with regulations by maintaining an easily accessible inspections log. Unlike paper-based forms that can get ruined or misplaced, electronic inspections are immediately submitted by an operator. By eliminating this communication lag time, managers are notified of any issues or obscurities and can verify that inspections are conducted thoroughly and take the necessary action to prevent further issues.

Automating maintenance scheduling

Fleet maintenance should be conducted routinely, but it can be difficult to keep a record of servicing history and predict when each asset is overdue for service. With fleet maintenance software, operations managers can use automated scheduling tools to set reminders for servicing based on things like meter value or specific time intervals.

The use of technology creates efficiencies in managing maintenance schedules with custom automation such as receiving notifications when assets are due for service soon. Administrators are able to customize these notifications based on the characteristics of the assets. For example, if it’s a commercial vehicle or a cement truck, maintenance reminders can be set for oil changes based on miles elapsed; for heavy equipment, the criteria can be based on the hour meter gauge.

Automations like these reduce time spent on data entry, eliminate human error and ultimately boost team productivity. Letting technology do the grunt work of everyday operations is an enormous burden lifted off of the supervisor who has to prepare maintenance schedules.

Asset defects can have a wide range of legal ramifications to a business. It’s good practice to maintain a complete servicing and DVIR history in one place to provide proof quickly in the event of an emergency. Liabilities, insurance claims and risks to employees can compound if assets are not properly maintained, which can be a tremendous drag on business.

Track and measure fleet maintenance

Whether fleet maintenance is conducted in-house or outsourced entirely, administrators must ensure work is performed properly and at the right time. Using fleet maintenance software allows teams to monitor important data points and assess the overall quality of the service.

Metrics such as repair turnover rates and comeback rates can be easily managed and provide insight into the overall effectiveness of maintenance. Track the maintenance turnaround time to verify that it is consistent and routine things like oil changes aren’t taking three or four days to complete. This insight can have a considerable impact when determining which maintenance vendors to choose.

Managers can also verify if a specific part is having ongoing issues and could be the result of a defect. These measures, which can be easily tracked and analyzed through the use of technology go a long way in preventing asset breakdowns and ultimately limiting excess spending.

Asset repairs and preventative maintenance is considered to be one of the biggest ongoing expenses for a fleet, yet it’s much more cost-effective than having to replace them. The best practice to sustain the health of assets and improve operational processes is to leverage today’s increasingly accessible technology.

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