Do your fleet vehicles miss their oil change or braking system checks?
Well, that’s why you need a fleet vehicle maintenance checklist.
If you’re wondering how to create one, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered!
This article explores what a fleet vehicle maintenance checklist is, how to create one, and its important elements. We’ll also cover five key things you should know when creating your checklist.
This Article Contains:
- What is a Fleet Vehicle Maintenance Checklist?
- What Should Be Included in a Fleet Vehicle Maintenance Checklist?
- 4 Essential Elements of a Fleet Vehicle Maintenance Checklist
- 5 Things to Remember When Creating a Fleet Maintenance Checklist
Let’s get started!
What is a Fleet Vehicle Maintenance Checklist?
A fleet maintenance checklist is a list of routine vehicle repairs, replacements, and any inspection that your fleet must undergo to stay on the road in good condition.
The fleet maintenance checklist is an essential part of a fleet management system.
But what’s fleet management?
Fleet management refers to the process of fleet tracking, organizing, and dispatching — basically managing your fleet with the help of a fleet management system that includes:
- A fleet management software
- A fleet safety program
- Checklists or forms needed to ensure smooth fleet operation
An efficient fleet management system helps save money, avoids potential accidents, and ensures you’re on the right side of the law.
An ideal fleet maintenance checklist will include all exterior and interior parts of your fleet vehicle — whether it’s a car, truck, or bus. Let’s find out what they are.
What Should be Included in a Fleet Vehicle Maintenance Checklist?
When creating a maintenance schedule or a checklist, it’s essential to remember that distinct commercial truck or car parts need different checking frequencies.
Your tire pressure, for instance, may need more frequent checks than brake fluid levels. So it’s important to schedule these checks accordingly.
Here’s what you should include in your checklist:
1. Fluid Levels
Check the quality and levels of the following fluids to avoid expensive car maintenance issues and repairs as every fluid deplete or gets contaminated over time:
- Engine oil
- Brake fluid
- Transmission and differential fluid
- Power steering oil
- Wiper fluid
- Antifreeze solution
2. Engine, Transmission, and Exhaust
Check out these drivetrain parts to catch minor problems before they become significant:
- Engine spark plugs
- The gearbox and differential
- Power steering
- Engine cooling system
3. Wheels and Tires
It’s critical to check the following wheel components frequently as they face a large amount of wear and tear. For example, low tire tread can lead to less grip, which can be quite dangerous on slippery roads.
- Tire pressure
- Wheel hub
- Rim balance
- Worn bearings
- Tire treads
4. Chassis and Body
This involves a complete check of your fleet’s body, including potential scratches and dents that you may miss:
- Body panels and fenders
- Doors, windows, and tailgates
- Underrun protection
- Bumpers and grilles
- Windshield wipers
- Cargo haul
- Wheel axels and undercarriage
5. Braking System
Like braking fluids, it’s equally important to check your vehicle’s braking system parts listed below:
- Brake pads and shoes
- Brake discs
- Brake drums
- Pedal linkage
- Braking response
6. Couplings, Plumbing, and Belts
Checking your CV joints and couplings ensures they’re sufficiently greased and wear-free. Here are some parts you should keep an eye on:
- CV joints
- Alternator drive belts
- Starter motor
- Cooling fans
- Hydraulic system
7. Electrical Systems
It’s essential to check the electric system parts given below, especially if you own modern vehicles, as one malfunction can potentially affect your fleet’s performance:
- The battery
- AC system
- Horn and backup alarm
- Fleet vehicle tracking sensors
- Speed limiter
8. Drivability and Safety Checks
Although these features may not affect the vehicle’s performance directly, ignoring these tasks could have a massive impact on the driver’s safety and experience:
- Driver aids (cruise control, warning systems, parking sensors, etc.)
- Antilock brakes
- Cabin customization features, such as adjustable driving position
- Climate control
- Assisted road visibility
- GPS and navigation system
Next, let’s check out 4 essential things your fleet maintenance checklist should include.
4 Key Elements of a Fleet Vehicle Maintenance Checklist
Whether you own a commercial car or truck fleet, your maintenance schedule should include the following checklist fundamentals to be successful:
1. Preventive Maintenance Checklist
A preventive maintenance checklist usually includes regular inspections, replacements, and repairs based on:
- Manufacturer’s recommendations for regular maintenance and inspection
- Engine hours
How does this help you?
Preventative maintenance is a proactive method where you schedule regular maintenance to avoid sudden fleet vehicle breakdowns. An excellent fleet maintenance schedule allows a fleet manager to prevent a sudden, costly repair, avoid vehicle downtime, and ensure drivers’ safety.
Although a preventive maintenance schedule depends on the commercial vehicle type, here are some typical items included in a checklist:
2. Demand Maintenance Checklist
Demand maintenance is basically any repair that’s done when your fleet vehicle has issues or breaks down.
These checklist items are used if the mechanic or fleet manager finds parts that need repair or replacement during preventive maintenance checks.
This includes maintenance activity items such as:
- Replacing light bulbs
- Replacing springs
- Putting in new window glass
3. Crisis Maintenance Checklist
What happens when you don’t follow your preventive and demand maintenance?
Of course, your vehicle breaks down!
And that’s when you need to tick off crisis management checklist items. Crisis management usually involves fleet managers sending an additional vehicle so the driver can complete his journey while a mechanic fixes the broken-down car.
However, you should try and avoid the use of crisis management items in your checklists as it’ll result in extra costs like:
- Additional time to organize repairs and reroute deliveries
- Vehicle downtime
- Employing new mechanics if the company doesn’t have an in-house one
- Replacement parts
4. Maintenance Checklist Form Records
For any repair or inspection to go well, the mechanic should know about the previous vehicle inspection, repairs, and maintenance done on your fleet.
And that’s why fleet managers need to maintain maintenance checklist forms to keep you and your mechanic aware of your fleet’s repair history. As such, these forms should:
- Stay up to date
- Identify the commercial vehicle correctly
- Include vehicle inspection data
- Include previous preventive maintenance schedule data
- Mention any prior repair works done on the vehicle
- State any unattended vehicle maintenance issues
Next, let’s check out a few things you need to keep in mind when perfecting your maintenance checklist.
5 Things to Remember When Creating a Fleet Maintenance Checklist
You can create a well-rounded fleet maintenance checklist if you include the following checklist essentials:
Companies typically use a fleet maintenance checklist to:
- Avoid unplanned costly repair
- Enhance fuel economy
- Keep fleet vehicles in good condition
Although a preventative maintenance checklist aims to achieve any or all of the goals above, it’s essential to have your own goal to create a focused preventative maintenance checklist.
Without a goal, you may waste time on fleet maintenance activity tasks that won’t help you achieve anything.
2. Type of Vehicle
So how does your vehicle type affect your maintenance checklist?
Different commercial vehicle models and makes have varying wear patterns — meaning their components will have distinct replacement and upkeep timings.
For example, a commercial truck or semi-trailer may have completely different needs than a fleet of cars, as both have distinct uses and components.
3. Federal and State Regulations
Most countries have federal and state laws to ensure people maintain their fleets to prevent avoidable accidents.
For instance, the US’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issues fleet safety program guidelines like:
- When the fleet driver or managers should inspect their commercial vehicle fleet?
- How to establish a maintenance program for your fleet?
Such guidelines help ensure that the vehicles are environmentally friendly and safe on roads.
4. Maintenance Task Frequency
Did you know that a third of vehicle maintenance is done too frequently than necessary?
If you do a fleet maintenance task, like checking the steering column more than necessary, you may waste time, money, and resources. Whereas if you don’t do regular maintenance, you may have your hands full with expensive repairs and sudden breakdowns.
So it’s essential to strike a careful balance and schedule your maintenance task checklists when required to save costs and maintain a super-efficient fleet.
Your checklist must include where the regular fleet maintenance is done and by whom. Some companies may have their driver look into maintenance needs when on the road, while others may do a regular inspection post-trip.
Alternatively, you can employ professionals like AutoNation Mobile Service, who will come to your chosen location to tend to your fleet’s regular inspections and maintenance needs.
As your fleet vehicles have different parts with varying maintenance intervals, it may be a hassle to maintain and follow an extensive fleet maintenance schedule or checklist on your own.
But don’t worry — that’s why you have AutoNation Mobile Service.
We’re available seven days a week and offer a 12-month | 12,000-mile warranty on any repairs made.
So contact us, and we’ll conduct your company’s regular fleet maintenance at a time convenient for you and your business.