As we move closer and closer to the winter months, there is one thing that needs to be on everyone’s priority list: fleet maintenance. If you don’t want to find yourself unexpectedly browsing through vacuum trucks for sale come spring, then you need to ensure you have your fleet prepared. Unfortunately, maintenance planning isn’t just something that happens over night. Creating and implementing this plan takes both time and effort.
For best practice, it is important to have two different plans of action, one for the routine and one in case of emergencies. Think of it in terms of medicine. You probably go to your doctor regularly for check ups, but also have a plan in case illness or issues arise. Just like with your medical concerns, the same concept applies when servicing your fleet.
If you’re not sure where to get started, don’t worry! Here at FlowMark, we’ve compiled a list of tips that can help you get things squared away easier.
Tip #1: Develop checklists that make sense for your fleet.
Preventative service starts with the development of checklists. You should create a checklist for tasks that should be completed daily, weekly, monthly, and even annually. What each list entails can vary depending on what type of vacuum truck you have, the type of services you provide, and even how often you provide said services.
A few standard items you should have on your checklist might include oil changes, swapping out air filters, testing the battery, checking various engine fluids, and rotating and balancing your tires. For more in depth checks, be sure to inspect belts and hoses, check out the undercarriage and power steering, and make sure that all electrical systems are properly functioning. Our website also has a quick checklist you can view that is especially helpful for properly maintaining vacuum trucks.
Tip #2: Make sure to involve your whole team, including drivers and service techs.
When it comes time to draw up your fleet maintenance plan, don’t reinvent the wheel. Odds are good that your team already has an idea of what that plan should look like. In fact, they may even have a few checklists or notes of their own. Since they are the people responsible for operating and maintaining the equipment, getting their input is necessary.
Training is another important factor in this equation. While drivers know a lot about their vacuum trucks, they likely don’t know much in the realm of maintenance and repair. That is why you need to ensure that they have proper training to be able to identify issues as they arise. For example, make sure that they understand why it’s important to report brakes not working as well as they should or any abnormal noises coming from the engine. These reports play a key role in getting the vacuum truck repaired before it suffers from a very costly breakdown.
Tip #3: Use the data you have collected to help draw up a plan.
If you have been in business for any length of time, you likely have some data you can work with. This would include service records, such as oil changes and repairs. Data might also include engine hours, fuel consumption, and any breakdowns reported by drivers. See if you can spot any problems or patterns that might show up along the way. Numbers never lie, and this data can prove to be an extremely valuable tool when trying to implement a plan. There is no need to start from scratch!
Tip #4: Let technology do its job.
Each and every day, technology makes leaps and bounds at streamlining various aspects of our lives. Take advantage of it whenever you can, including implementing a digital system. Even if you have a small fleet of vacuum trucks, entering data manually or keeping track of paper documents can be unnecessarily time consuming.
Twenty years ago, this kind of data tracking technology was pricey. However, in this day and age, it is surprisingly affordable and easy to use. In fact, many offer app versions that are available right there on your smartphone or tablet! These computerized systems are worth the money, as they can help generate reports, log and track data, and even review a driver’s performance. If you haven’t yet, take the leap and invest in this technology – you won’t regret it!
Tip #5: Do your research.
It’s okay if you need to seek out additional resources to come up with the most effective maintenance plan for your fleet. Taking the time and effort to do a little more research will certainly pay off in the long run. Check around online for various pre-made maintenance checklists that you can use as a baseline. If you have a trusted friend or colleague who also works in the industry, swap notes with them about what they do.
Above all else, you want to make sure that your trucks are well maintained, as this is the simplest way to protect your drivers while they are out on the road. There is nothing more important than your people and their safety!
Start with FlowMark
Did you know that one of the best preventative measures you can take for protecting your fleet is to actually invest in quality trucks? When browsing through vacuum trucks for sale, make sure you look at what we have to offer. Our machines are well made and manufactured right here in the heart of the United States.
Because we partner with KC Tank, we know how these machines are assembled from front to back. Each hose, every valve, right down to the smallest electrical parts, we understand how those were assembled because we’re the very same ones who did it. Should a part or component need to be replaced, simply call on us and we can get it ordered through our parts store. In fact, we warehouse thousands of parts on location.
Don’t just settle for any old vacuum trucks for sale – make your next purchase from FlowMark and understand the value of adding a well made machine to your fleet!