A guide to looking after your new fleet/new van
Buying your vehicle direct from the manufacturer/dealer
Of course, one of the first steps to creating or adding to your fleet is to buy the vehicle in question. Some fleets are able to go directly to the manufacturers, while others may need to deal with local representatives in dealerships. In regards to the longevity and easy maintenance structure for vehicles, it’s always worth considering buying new vehicles for your fleet. They can be less troublesome when it comes to problems, but they also have a warranty that can be utilised for at least three years of the vehicle's life. Which can save you a fortune on repairs.
Managing ongoing fleet maintenance
You may have already guessed it, but one of the key components for any fleet of vans or cars is maintenance. There will always be a structure to follow set from the manufacturer. This is to ensure that any warranty on the vehicle remains valid, should you need it. But some companies would do well to add additional maintenance checks of their own, depending on the type of mileage the vehicles will be doing daily.
Maintenance tasks to plan for:
• Many manufacturers will suggest a service once a year or at a milestone of mileage, for example, 12,000 miles. You may want to add additional checks to ensure that vehicles are running up to scratch every three months, for example. This helps you avoid unforeseen repairs or vehicles off the road. Which in theory not only costs you the repairs, but the time lost can also be costly.
• You could also consider training your drivers to do some preventative maintenance while the vehicles are in their care. This could mean things like oil checks and tire treads.
• More vans are being pulled over for the smallest of details that could result in hefty fines. Tire tread, in particular, can be something you get caught out on. These days you can have a small portable tire tread checker that will be easy to indicate at what point a tire will need to be changed.
• This sort of preventive checks can avoid any larger repairs that need to take place. Other things you may want to include on a driver checklist would be the windscreen, other fluid levels in the engine, lights in the rear such as breaks and indicators, seat belts and also whether the load is secure in the rear.
• Utilising fleet management software like RAM Tracking can help you record maintenance checks, receive reminders when tasks like M.O.Ts are up for renewal and also help keep an eye on your vehicle is being used by staff.
Disposing of your fleet vehicles
It is just as important to ensure that you get the most value from your vehicle when it comes to disposing of them before replacing with new vehicles. Of course, having kept the vans and vehicles maintained, you should be able to fetch a good price. A lot of people prefer to buy used vehicles and vans from company fleets for this very reason.
There are certain guidelines in place to ensure that a company keeps vehicles road worthy, so a new customer would be getting a very looked after vehicle capable of doing the job they want it for. Some companies prefer to sell vehicles directly. Others may want to use the value against their next vehicle purchase in a part exchange. If you have a few to dispose of, other options that could prove easy to use are auction houses. You may find that the bids are little lower, but it is a fast and convenient option.