Truck breakdowns – just say no! If only it were that easy. But there is a lot you can do in the way of preventing costly and inconvenient truck breakdowns. If you are responsible for managing a fleet, you must know the ins and outs of breakdowns, what to do about them, how to manage your fleet regarding unavoidable breakdowns, how to avoid those that are avoidable, and the science of troubleshooting them.
With the following handful of tips, you will hopefully be able to reduce the severity and number of truck breakdowns; thereby also lessening those unexpected, sometimes devastating costs.
Remote Diagnostics through Telematics
Telematics and diagnostics allow you to manage engine lights, fault codes, and other diagnostic trouble codes. This method of diagnostics will let you know whether the driver, in order to avoid a problem, must immediately stop. On the other hand, if it is simply a scheduled service event or something that can be handled at the next stop.
Reporting Fleet Data
The information and data that you get from dealers, OEMs (original equipment manufacturer), third-party providers, and fleet maintenance should be analyzed. This will be used across common assets to proactively schedule campaigns when you spot trends in component failure. This will help avoid unscheduled service events and future truck breakdowns.
Truck Maintenance – Do Not Defer It!
As mentioned under Remote Diagnostics through Telematics (above), some maintenance can be put off for a short time. And we know that, due to the pressure to make the numbers, fleet maintenance is sometimes deferred. Unfortunately, at some point in time, this can result in truck breakdowns that are costlier than they needed to be, originally. Sure, for a quarter, or a month, those numbers might look great while you’re deferring needed maintenance. But that same deference of maintenance is going to wipe out the gains when you have to pay more for the long-term breakdowns.
Whenever Possible – Bundle Service Procedures
During any unscheduled or scheduled service procedure, check to see what other PMs are either coming due soon or are currently due. Reasons for maintenance can be recalls, outstanding service campaigns, pending/deferred operations, etc. While the truck is already in the shop is the perfect time to complete any and all needed service. Because that means that you will not, once again, have to take the truck out of service losing valuable time and money.
Last But Certainly Not Least – Does Your PM Program Need Improvement?
Of course, and you’ve heard this before, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why PM programs (preventative maintenance) are essential. They’re your best defense against those troublesome breakdowns. If you haven’t already, set up automated notifications and maintenance alerts. That way you’ll be notified whenever preventative maintenance is needed. OEM PM interval recommendations that should be incorporated include mileage, engine hours, or calendar time based on your application.
A good automated system will let you know if you have deferred scheduled PM and alert you with reminders to execute whatever procedure you put off.
When breakdowns occur, and sometimes they can’t be avoided, call one of our Mickey certified service centers. We have them located throughout the United States for your convenience. You can trust Mickey for your trucking, trailer, and transportation needs. Contact us today if you have questions or would like to place an order.