What is vehicle downtime?

When a vehicle is not available for use for any reason, that period of time is referred to as vehicle downtime. Vehicle downtime can be triggered for a number of reasons, though often the cause is some form of malfunction or damage to the vehicle that requires repairs or part replace­ments.

Vehicle downtime impacts various aspects of your business. It can have an impact on the total cost of ownership, revenue, and even your reputation. Vehicle downtime can be prolonged for a few reasons. These include both the unpre­dictable nature of its causes (i.e. you don’t know when/if your drivers will be in accidents or when the vehicle will show signs of malfunction) and the lack of a proactive fleet management strategy.

How to reduce vehicle downtime?

How to reduce vehicle downtime?

Here are four tips to reduce vehicle downtime and boost fleet efficiency:

1. Routine vehicle inspections
Daily vehicle inspections ensure you are staying compliant with regulation but also ensuring the safety of your drivers before they go out on the roads. Using paper to check vehicle health manually is time-con­suming, increases human error, risk getting lost or damaged, as well as takes away from more critical tasks. Digitising vehicle inspections will increase fleet efficiency and provide accurate reporting.

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2. Track and analyse vehicle health
As a fleet manager, it’s good to understand the past and current health of vehicles across your fleet. How do you gain this valuable insight? By tracking and monitoring previous health inspections. Fleet management software comes in handy here. Many systems offer complete visibility over your entire fleet from one interface, customised reports, and analytics.

3. Monitor driver behaviour
One of the most significant impacts on vehicle downtime is how your drivers behave on the road. For example, speeding increases the risk of accidents, impacts vehicle parts as well as lowers fuel economy. Make sure your drivers are fully trained on appropriate road behaviour such as engaging cruise control when applicable, coasting when possible and limiting harsh braking. Some fleet management software allows you to monitor driver behaviour and also provides active coaching to break bad driving habits.

4. Plan maintenance
The best ways to prevent vehicle downtime is to be proactive with scheduled maintenance tasks. Routine servicing, also known as planned prevent­ative maintenance (PPM), allows you to allocate expenses accordingly and keep your vehicle in top condition.

Vehicle downtime software

Vehicle downtime software

A fleet management solution like Webfleet gives you the tools to closely monitor service require­ments across your fleet and stay informed on its condition.

With smarter scheduling, gain insight into the condition of each vehicle so you can minimise the chance of breakdown and Vehicle maintenance downtime. Webfleet records odometer information so you can define dates to plan prevent­ative maintenance effectively.

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Well-main­tained vehicles are safer vehicles, therefore increasing driver safety. Webfleet’s green and safe driving feature, OptiDrive 360, can help your team learn, get coached, evaluate and compare driving performance indicators. Improve your driver behaviour with direct feedback and predictive driving advice.

Further, Webfleet has advanced vehicle diagnostic and engine troubles codes are sent instantly to the fleet manager. Automat­ically schedule maintenance as soon as a vehicle reports a trouble code. Act promptly, before something goes wrong.

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