Fleet Maintenance Trends to Know 2021: How to Better Manage Your 4×4 Fleet

Managing a 4×4 fleet of vehicles is now more important than ever. It plays a crucial role in reducing the risks related to vehicle investment, driver safety, improving efficiency and productivity, therefore reducing overall operating costs for transport managers.

Important factors responsible for efficient fleet maintenance are the noticeable fleet maintenance trends in 2021. As a fleet manager, your vehicle fleet is only as effective as your maintenance strategy. 

An efficient and effective fleet strategy increases route productivity, improves driver performance, meets objectives and builds a stronger client base. Providing you are prepared for the recent trends.

According to experts, the cost of fleet maintenance and unscheduled repair is anticipated to go up in 2021, among other things including:

  • Vehicle service lives being extended as companies right-size their fleets or look to reduce new-vehicle acquisition budgets 
  • Higher utilisation rates, requiring fleet managers to reassess their maintenance policies to reflect new operating rhythms
  • Skilled labour shortage of automotive technicians, resulting in an increase in labour rates

In this post, we list out some essential points that are important for managing your 4×4 fleet efficiently, including necessary vehicle fit-outs and their benefits. Here are 5 tips to better manage your 4×4 fleet.

Account for changes in business volume

According to a report, global auto production has dropped 16% in the last year due to COVID-19. With limiting new vehicle orders and constraints on budget, fleet managers should account for changes in business volume by reducing the number of vehicles in their fleet account or keep vehicles in service longer. 

Account for increased vehicle utilisation

With an increase in vehicle utilisation, standard operating rhythms will change and need to account for more regular repairs and servicing. This means fleet managers will have to assess their fleet maintenance policies and budget to reflect an increase in usage and extended vehicle lifecycles. 

Account for sanitisation services and costs

With COVID-19 changing the way we do business, it is your responsibility as a fleet manager to ensure the health and safety of all drivers and staff. There are now service vendors available who offer a curbside drop-off and pick-up sanitation service to ensure driver safety. These costs, while small, add on an additional cost to routine maintenance expenses. 

 Plan for an increase in routine maintenance and repair

Of course, with an increase in vehicle utilisation comes an increase in maintenance and repair and costs. As part of your fleet management strategy, 4×4 fleet service maintenance should include engine oil checks and regular tyre inspections, especially in harsh environments such as mine sites and construction sites.

Make sure your fleet is fit for purpose

You wouldn’t use a weed wacker to mow the lawn, or a road roller to build a driveway. Similarly, the vehicles in your fleet should be kitted out with the right equipment for the task at hand. Under-speccing a 4×4 on a mine site without a mine fitout can lead to faster wear and tear. Over-spec your 4×4 fleet and you’ve just spent a fortune on unnecessary upgrades. Consider what your vehicles will be carrying and the operating conditions to ensure you get the most efficient and cost-effective use out of it.

Other 4×4 fleet maintenance tips

  • Reduce fleet idle time by setting a threshold to check which vehicle exceeds the idle time limit
  • Using fleet management software, create reports on the number of trips taken by the drivers to keep track of when tasks are completed
  • Reduce the risk of drivers getting lost by communicating with drivers while they are in transit
  • Get regular driver reports on the vehicle and prevent problems from turning into safety hazards. Task them with checking on things such as engine oil and tyre pressure

Speak to the 4×4 fleet fit-out experts

Here at Total 4×4, we supply and install fleet fit-out solutions for all commercial fleets. With years of experience servicing the WA 4×4 industry, our experts put the focus on you to provide a tailor fit purpose build solution suited to your end use and environment. We consistently deliver sturdy, safe, and compliant fleet modifications on time, and on budget to help keep your 4×4 fleet on the road for longer. For simpler fleet management in Perth, contact us today for a fit-out solution. 

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