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How to minimise fleet downtime

December 29, 2017

One of the greatest sources of frustration for fleet managers is unplanned vehicle downtime, also known as ‘vehicle off-road time’ (VOR), the time lost to unscheduled repairs and servicing.

VOR can cause major disruption to your fleet’s operations and can be quite costly, especially during recalls and other time-consuming procedures. According to a recent survey, some firms believe VOR can cost them between £3,000 and £4,000 per day, with some registering an average of three VOR days per year.

Although it’s inevitable that your fleet will experience some unplanned VOR from time to time, there are a number of steps you can take to minimise disruption…

Robust routine checks

Vehicle breakdowns are often caused by damaged or faulty equipment, which could have been easily spotted during a routine maintenance check. By making these compulsory, your drivers can identify and report any benign issues before they worsen and begin to interfere with the performance of the vehicle.

Driving style

While you may consider your employees to be experienced and proficient drivers, regular training can only help build their knowledge and awareness of potential road risks – and how to cope with them.

Confident and well-trained drivers are less likely to be involved in an accident – one of the most common causes of VOR – while smooth and controlled driving is easier on the vehicle itself, reducing the likelihood of wear and tear – another contributing factor to vehicle off-road time.

Scheduled maintenance and servicing

This can be seen as ‘planned VOR’. Regular preventative maintenance and servicing is essential to keep your vehicles in good nick, but you should try to schedule such work for a time that will least impact your fleet’s operations, such as the weekend.

While these types of checks could prove costly and time-consuming in the short term, they could prevent prolonged VOR in the long term.