Explore the key challenges and solutions in fleet management as we present the top 10 maintenance stories of 2023. From implementing preventive maintenance programs to optimizing vehicle lifecycles and addressing communication breakdowns, these narratives delve into the critical aspects of maintaining efficient fleet operations.

Join us as we look back on the year's most impactful maintenance stories, shedding light on the serious considerations that define the landscape of fleet management.

1. How to Implement a Fleet Preventive Maintenance Program

Preventive maintenance consists of scheduled servicing, inspections, and vehicle repairs to prevent potential problems and maximize vehicle availability. It is used in fleet management to proactively avoid or reduce vehicle breakdowns and is based on time, mileage, engine hours, or gallons of fuel used. And it should be clearly covered in your vehicle maintenance policy and procedure guidelines. 

2. How Kansas Highway Patrol Justifies 50,000-Mile Vehicle Lifecycles

When it comes to law enforcement vehicle lifecycles, most fleets aim for 100,000-mile lifecycles. Sometimes, fleets can justify fewer miles. But more often than not, they are forced to hold onto vehicles for more than that, with some agencies pushing vehicles closer to 200,000 miles before replacing them.

3. Efficient Fleet Maintenance Means Few Communication Breakdowns

With fleet maintenance, projects can pop up at any time. However, communication is key when it comes to staying on top of what needs to be done and keeping the operation running smoothly.

Staying proactive with vendors is not always fruitful when it comes to dealing with parts shortages and maintaining an efficient fleet maintenance operation.

4. Preventive Maintenance Starts with a Thorough Checklist

Keeping a fleet up and running is vital in day-to-day operations. A large part of this is staying on top of what is happening and being prepared for what could, and does, happen. This is where a checklist comes in. Two fleets break down how they follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure nothing gets overlooked. 

5. Measuring Hours vs. Miles in Medium-Duty Truck Performance

Measuring medium-duty truck performance helps fleets effectively manage vehicle replacement strategies, establish optimal preventive maintenance schedules, identify vehicle utilization, and calculate a fleet’s total cost of ownership. However, many (rightly) contend that mileage is not a true indicator of actual vehicle wear and tear.

6. The Future is Now: Using AI Predictive Maintenance for Your Fleet

These days, people across many industries are abuzz about ways artificial intelligence (AI) can benefit their operations. That’s certainly true in fleet management as well.

AI uses existing data to solve problems, and so does predictive maintenance. AI takes away the human guesswork involved in predictive maintenance, putting it instead on an equation that uses data from a vehicle’s maintenance history and telematics device.

7. Shop Tools Essential to Your Operations

The fleet shop is the heart of a fleet operation; it keeps vehicles on the road so they can offer critical services to their communities. Every fleet shop has tools their technicians can’t live without. Government Fleet asked two fleet managers what kinds of tools keep their shops running and we’ve compiled them here.

8. Managing Recruitment & Maintenance as a New Fleet Manager

Alison Kerstetter, fleet manager of the Sacramento, California, Department of Public Works, is responsible for Sacramento’s six maintenance shops, as well as 2,900 vehicles and equipment and roughly 160 contracts. Kerstetter advises spending time in the shops, talking to staff, and understanding what is needed to make everyone's jobs easier and safer.

9. Maintenance Checklists Can Decrease Asset Downtime

Using customizable maintenance checklists can help fleets better track what type of maintenance is needed for which asset and when, including preventive, seasonal, and asset-specific maintenance. Public sector fleets can quickly and easily build custom checklists with fleet management software (FMS) using detailed asset service histories and inspection data.

10. Understanding the Importance of Shop Tools

Two fleet managers agree that fleet tools play a vital role in public safety and improving technicians’ work, but “a lot of things are considered tools” in government fleet maintenance.

About the author
Nichole Osinski

Nichole Osinski

Executive Editor

Nichole Osinski is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She oversees editorial content for the magazine and the website, selects educational programming for GFX, and manages the brand's awards programs.

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