Fleet vehicle downtime, particularly if it is unscheduled, can cost organisations thousands of pounds per day and cause reputational damage.
It therefore makes sound commercial sense to measure downtime - or vehicle off road (VOR) time - and implement a series of initiatives to eliminate causes.
Mechanical problems and incident damage are the most common VOR time causes and forward-thinking fleet managers have taken preventive steps to ensure vehicles remain on the road and not in the workshop.
However, minimising downtime starts before vehicles join the fleet with reliability data key in commercial vehicle selection alongside ensuring models are fit for purpose.
Dave Bowen, managing director of BT Fleet, says that any commercial vehicle fleet operator that wants to improve cost efficiency, performance and driver satisfaction as well as gain that all-important competitive edge, should begin by establishing an effective service, maintenance and repair (SMR) regime.
Bowen, will provide a wide range of top tips on minimising VOR time when he addresses delegates at the first Commercial Fleet Summit and Exhibition on Thursday, September 24 at the International Centre, Telford,
Leading BT Fleet for almost five years, Bowen said: “As operational demands increase, commercial vehicles must work harder and thus mechanical components may suffer increased wear and tear, at a time when it is particularly tempting to increase the amount of time between services. This can lead to increased unscheduled downtime, which can have a significant impact on productivity and operations.
“Subsequently, fleet operators have higher expectations from their SMR providers in order to mitigate these factors.”
BT Fleet, which manages more than 75,000 vehicles including its own fleet as well as on behalf of a wide range of customers that includes the likes of The AA, National Grid, G4S, EDF, Post Office, Network Rail and E.ON, is at the forefront of meeting the unique demands of mission-critical fleets.
Bowen said: “Making sure commercial vehicles keep up with operational demand is a constant challenge for fleet managers, particularly when the fleet is operating at close to maximum utilisation. This is where fleet operators need an SMR provider that can work with them seamlessly and proactively to reduce the pressure on fleet owners and managers, freeing them up to focus on core business.
“In short, the ideal SMR is one that can maintain vehicle availability and performance whilst minimising downtime.”