When it comes to fleet expenses, maintenance is generally one of the top two or three highest, after all, you have to keep your equipment in good working condition to keep assets moving. For years, the focus has been on preventative maintenance, and rightfully so. Those added steps help to increase the longevity of your equipment and reduce the likelihood of unforeseen issues.
As technology in the space has improved, so has the rise of predictive maintenance. Instead of fleets being reactive when a major issue pops up, they now have the ability to get real-time insights that lead to better fleet decisions.
3 Ways Predictive Maintenance Can Improve Your Fleet
For many fleets, the idea of predictive maintenance seems out of reach. They take a “we’ll address it when it is needed” approach. This is typically true of smaller fleets that do not have the resources to manage and monitor maintenance issues.
Newer technologies like PitStop have opened the door for better information that ANY fleet can tap into. Here are three reasons that you should take a closer look at predictive maintenance as part of your 2022 fleet strategy.
Eliminate Expensive Surprises
There is no reason to beat around the bush, no one likes unexpected surprises. The challenge is that even the best preventative maintenance cannot account for every unforeseen issue simply because it is not based on real-time information. Sure you might catch the one-off issues that were right around the corner, but it is far from a perfect solution.
Predictive maintenance systems have the ability to give you real-time updates before a fault code appears and a fleet vehicle is left stranded. Smart systems like PitStop provide the equivalent of vehicle grades that allow you to get out in front of issues before they disrupt operations. While the repair might have been inevitable, being able to predict before the truck is under a load or a job is delayed can save you money in other ways.
Extend the Life of Fleet Vehicles
One of the biggest challenges that fleets are facing in 2022 is acquiring new equipment. The worldwide microchip shortage is starting to catch up but we have already seen signs that fleets are holding on to equipment longer as a result of the uncertainty. With orders down, and lag times stretched out, fleets will be looking for ways to extend the life of those vehicles that are already in their fleet.
This is where predictive maintenance really comes into its own. Early detection can help prevent larger issues from forming as your vehicle's engine stresses to compensate for the issue at hand. Beyond additional damage, it can help you avoid multiple trips to the mechanic which will quickly add up.
Improve Fleet Safety
Safety might not be the first thing that comes to mind when considering predictive maintenance, but it is on this list for a reason. With predictive maintenance, fleet managers are able to minimize risk by leveraging the vehicle health score and insights and remove any dangerous assets on the street or remarket underperforming ones ahead of the normal replacement cycle.
A perfect example of this is brake performance. The ability or inability to stop within a reasonable distance is not something that you would be able to manage with preventative maintenance. Yes, you can check the depth of your brake pads, but what happens if your calipers are slowly failing? Wouldn’t you rather be alerted before your fleet vehicle is involved in a collision? Better data creates safer fleets.
Pairing Predictive and Preventive Maintenance
In a perfect world, fleets will combine the powers of predictive and preventive maintenance. Both have their place in an overall fleet management system. Chances are, your fleet already relies on preventative maintenance, and that is a great start. As you look to improve your maintenance program, the next logical step is to leverage technology.
The Argos Connected team has years of experience in helping fleets navigate the technology side of the industry and has become a trusted partner for fleets of all shapes and sizes. To learn more about our suite of fleet management products or to connect with our team, visit our website.