There are a few options out there, but you want to be careful to make the right choice. After all, you don’t want to go through all the work of getting buy-in and adoption for a new piece of tech, only to find out that it isn’t the right fit or doesn’t address the issues you were hoping it would.
Here are some factors and features you’ll want to consider as you make your decision.
Consider your fleet size and growth aspirations
Fleets of equipment or vehicles come in all shapes and sizes. The needs and focus of an
software (or collection of solutions) can be a challenge, but following these guidelines can help you arrive at a decision that keeps your fleet running at the right price.
You want fleet maintenance software that offers the features you need right now, but you don’t want to be taken in by a bunch of features you don’t need. And you want the features you do need to still be helpful if you decide to grow your fleet. Bottom line: when you’re choosing fleet maintenance software, you should consider your future plans. Fleet size can dramatically impact pricing and feature needs.
Some fleet maintenance platforms alert you
if a particular vehicle is costing too much to
keep on the road. At the very least, they should make it easy to see an asset’s cost history at a glance, removing the need for you to maintain an elaborate spreadsheet. Having this level of visibility can help fleet managers and mechanics identify particularly costly vehicles, routes, and drivers.
Fuel, and its rising costs, makes efficiency essential. A good fleet management software system delivers driving behavior back to the manager, who can then correct fuel-wasting driving mistakes. A system that tracks refueling receipts will also help the manager monitor the health of the vehicle. This information helps the manager make changes to reduce the amount of wasted fuel within the fleet. As you can imagine, this is also very helpful information to have on hand when considering replacing traditional vehicles with alternative-fueled assets.
Most fleet maintenance solutions will offer some sort of mileage and engine hour tracking solution. But how is that mileage being tracked? Some options plug into your onboard diagnostics system which requires an investment into and installation of equipment. Others, like Whip Around, use optical character recognition to make the process as easy as pointing your camera at your odometer.
And more importantly, what happens once that information is captured? Does it get added to an asset’s profile? Does it trigger automatic maintenance reminders?
Scheduled preventative maintenance is integral to safety and protecting your business’ margins, but it’s also required by the DOT. If you’ve struggled to create and stick to a planned preventative maintenance schedule, or you’ve found yourself with lots of unscheduled maintenance, you’ll want to prioritise software that helps in this area.
Whip Around, for example, gives you maintenance reminders whenever something is due for a cleaning, replacement, or a top-off. You can see all upcoming maintenance in a single dashboard across all your assets. Maintenance reminders can include order lists for parts and customized alerts with any asset-specific considerations, ensuring your team members always have all the information they need to efficiently address issues.
Fleet maintenance software can save you from putting a truck out of commission for want of a simple part that should have been in stock—but it can also keep you from tying up unnecessary inventory dollars in overstocked parts. Some tools even send reorder notifications when it’s time to re-up on given parts.
If managing parts inventory has been a struggle in the past, or if you suspect that this is an area of the business that could be run more efficiently, this is a feature you should look for when considering fleet maintenance tools.
While a small fleet may be able to track their tires’ wear and tear manually, keeping abreast of hundreds of tires is likely not the best use of your time. Some fleet maintenance programs automatically log tire usage for you, so your maintenance team knows which tires need to be rotated, repaired, or replaced, and when.
If you are managing a fleet of more than ten vehicles, you will likely benefit from a fleet management solution that includes this feature.
Work order management
If you have a fleet with more than 50 assets, you likely have one (or more) in-house workshops to handle your maintenance needs. And you’re likely using a fleet management solution like RTA to manage those internal workshops. In that case, you don’t need to abandon what’s working—you need a solution like Whip Around that integrates with your existing software. Software can record and send mileage and faults to your other systems, triggering maintenance reminders automatically.
If your fleet isn’t large enough to warrant an in-house maintenance crew, that’s fine too. Some tools have a work order system baked right in that will help you stay on top of preventative care and deal with reactive maintenance issues before they become a problem.