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Fleet telematics helps extend the life span of your fleet vehicles


 Most fleet managers associate fleet telematics solutions with location tracking, route optimisation and driver behaviour monitoring – but they overlook the tool’s ability to automate and control maintenance tasks.

Many companies also follow a regular maintenance schedule, but is this the best way of maintaining your fleet?

Managing fleet maintenance with a telematics system automates otherwise tedious tasks. For example, telematics devices keep an eye on all the important factors, so fleet managers can make informed choices when maintaining the vehicles. Fleet maintenance telematics can do everything from tracking how much fuel you’re using to sending you alerts when vehicle maintenance is needed to prevent future issues. Of course, the greatest benefit is how the use of telematics increases profitability.

What is fleet telematics & how does it work?

What is fleet telematics & how does it workTelematics (also known as fleet telematics) is a system used to collect fleet location data along with a range of vehicle-specific information and store it in a database. Telematics works by installing a device into your fleet vehicles to get information about the condition of the vehicle. After data is sent via GPS and wireless network telecommunications to an online portal, it can be analysed and processed. Reporting can also show a fleet’s fuel economy, idle times and allow managers to create geofences (geographical points of interest).

What are the benefits of Telematics?

Knowing exactly what maintenance to cover and when to cover it allows businesses to save money by eliminating any future unnecessary repairs. Telematics helps driver-safety professionals extend the longevity of their fleet vehicles with maintenance reminders and reporting.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Extend the life of commercial fleet vehicles with a proactive approach to maintenance
  • Reduce fuel costs by conducting preventative maintenance based on telematics insights
  • Identify & document failure trends happening with vehicles of the same model
  • Review & document technician repairs
  • Track & manage documentation for warranties and claims
  • Receive alerts about unprecedented maintenance issues
  • Efficiently collaborate with internal teams and departments

How fleet telematics improves your maintenance management

Telematics might sound good, but how well does it work for fleets in practice? Fleet maintenance telematics can help businesses big and small in many ways.

  1. Find and solve problems quickly

Many fleet managers will send in vehicles for a regular check-up, only to be shocked by the bill as more problems arise than expected. Telematics helps you avoid those big shocks by tracking the maintenance state of your vehicles more accurately.

  • Conduct preventive maintenance based on odometer readings

Most fleets base their preventive maintenance (PM) schedules on kilometres travelled, but manually tracking odometer readings is inefficient and often prone to error.By utilising fleet telematics devices, odometer readings can be automatically uploaded into fleet management software, allowing fleet managers to set service reminders based on odometer readings. Setting service reminders and due-soon thresholds allows you and your team to receive email or push notifications to schedule preventive maintenance.

  • Immediately address issues from diagnostic trouble codes

When it comes to unplanned maintenance, time is of the essence. Vehicle issues can lurk under the hood for days, weeks, even months at a time without you knowing, resulting in more extensive and costly repairs.

While that check engine light may go ignored by drivers, a fleet management solution allows you to see issues across your assets immediately and jumpstart the maintenance process to reduce overall downtime.

  1. Kilometre tracking

From timing belts to oil changes, some maintenance is prioritised based on the distance a vehicle has travelled. Odometer based schedules assume maintenance is required at specific points and intervals of kilometres driven.

While this is a reasonable factor for some maintenance needs, it also falls short. Fleet managers have a fiscal responsibility and need reliable data to protect company assets. Distance alone cannot properly indicate the complete maintenance needs of a fleet. 

  1. Performance Evaluation

Declines in vehicle performance can result in costly repairs if they are not identified early. Even neglected repairs turn into necessary replacements. Poor performance can also cause route delays, dissatisfied drivers, and customer cancellations. Increased gas consumption can indicate a multitude of problems from simple maintenance items to costly repairs.

  1. Boost your driver’s skills

How do you know how your drivers are behaving on the road? Are they following speeding limits or driving recklessly? Your telematics system can alert you if your drivers are going over the speed limit.

Good driving behaviour translates into vehicles being driven with care and consideration for the equipment. Fleet maintenance telematics helps you every step of the way of your driving journey, not just the step before the technician.

  1. Improve your routes

Are your drivers using the most fuel-efficient routes? Fleet maintenance telematics often include route mapping features. The mapping tool can calculate the fastest ways to get from your start to end point using real-time data to keep you moving in the right direction. The mapping tool will keep an eye on traffic updates and more, so you can follow the most efficient route, which in turn cuts down on wear and tear of the vehicle.

  1. Aggregate fleet maintenance and telematics data into actionable reports

To maintain an efficient fleet, fleet managers must track and analyse every aspect of their operations. Tracking maintenance and telematics data in fleet management software eliminates manual data entry, saving fleet managers countless hours and allowing them to use that extra time to analyse data and monitor their operations.

By integrating telematics data into fleet software, users can view maintenance reports regarding asset utilisation, vehicle service records and fault codes. Fleet management software also calculates cost-per-kilometre based on geolocation data, allowing you to track fleet expenses and develop strategies to cut costs and improve your bottom line.

Fleet telematics in summary

Receiving up-to-date information on your fleet can be extremely difficult when it’s spread across the map.

Drivers may be unable to reach you whilst on the road, but with a telematics device, you get real-time data on the vehicle’s health status to ensure that you are informed in case any issues occur.

Integrating telematics devices into your fleet management system can facilitate increased visibility into fleet operations, thus allowing you to automate fleet maintenance tasks and make data-driven decisions. It will help in making wise fleet management decisions to prevent downtime.

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