Summer tips for fleet managers

Graham Wood 08/16/2019 Vehicle Management

Summer is here and for many businesses it’s a time of year when things are more relaxed and more importantly, there’s time for some fleet TLC. Let’s face it, vehicles need a vacation, too. And that’s why we’ve come up with our top summer tips for fleet managers.

While general fleet maintenance is one aspect, there’s also several things you need to be aware of to keep your vehicles in tip-top shape during the hotter summer period - for the ones that are on the road anyway.

Warmer temperatures can affect your fleet in different ways. So first off, it’s important to know some basics that you need to have in mind. So let’s start there.

An introduction to top summer tips for fleet managers

Where do we start? Well, it’s important to think about what’s different during the summer versus the rest of the year in general terms and on the road? And how do warmer temperatures affect the condition and operation of your fleet?

5 key things you need to check in summer

Air-conditioning

Apart from offering a pleasant and environment inside your vehicles, temperature also affects your drivers’ concentration and safety. Your drivers’ and your vehicles’ safety are paramount. Hence, you need to make sure the air-conditioning systems are working properly.

Tires

Summer heat causes air pressure to increase. If we go ‘back to school’ for a second, we all remember that heat causes expansion to almost all materials. This means you need to adjust the air in the tires of all of your vehicles accordingly. Also, due to possible dilation, it’s also a good idea to replace any older tires if necessary. Have a look at our recent blog post about replacing tires for more detail on this.

Oil level

Check your oil levels weekly in order to refill as you usually do. And always change oil according to your vehicle’s owner manual guidelines. This one is one of the most important, as far as summer tips for fleet managers go. High summer temperatures have a large affect oil levels, especially on older vehicles.

Engine checkup

Ensure that you give the engines of all of your vehicles a quick health/sanity check. This is just to make sure that everything is ticking over alright and to prevent high temperature issues. This is especially important for vehicles that are making long-distance trips.

Fuel filter

The liver of your vehicles’ engines. This is the first thing you should check at the start of the summer, and then each month afterwards. Replace it if you deem it necessary, as fuel filter problems can affect your engine’s ignition. A clogged-up filter may leave your vehicle in the middle of the road. And that’s something you definitely want to avoid. So, keep a log of the dates you changed your vehicles’ filters and plan your next replacement in good time. As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

How to organize your vehicles’ maintenance

This may be preaching to the choir a little but bear with me. Because you will be surprised at how many businesses miss the little things, and then end up paying big; like needing to replace a vehicle before time. Make sure you schedule routine check-up visits at your auto-repair shop for all of your fleet vehicles. Prioritize the older ones that have a history of issues, based on your log data and/or the years they’ve been on the road.

In this way, you don’t run the risk of interrupting your workflows and visiting/delivery schedules depending on what industry you’re in. In short, you’ll always have the right number of [healthy] vehicles at your disposal to serve your needs and more importantly your customers. This is what fleet efficiency is all about.

Track, care and win - whatever the season

We hope you find our points on summer tips for fleet managers useful. Clearly, there is plenty to be aware of, and a few specific things to take into consideration during the hot summer months. Every little helps to keep your fleet in top shape. But, the general rule of thumb is that if you keep a good track of your vehicles - both on and off the road - you will win.

And by winning, I mean in terms of cost-savings, efficiency and peace of mind.