In today’s hyperactive global supply chain, fleets are always looking for new ways to increase truck roll time. They want to do this while also complying with government regulations and keeping CSA violations as low as possible.
There are a number of ways to meet that goal, from improvements in recruiting, training and benefits to making maintenance work for you. But how do you do that? The fact is, if you haven’t heard of mobile maintenance, you may be missing out on a valuable tool for your fleet maintenance arsenal.
Why Mobile Maintenance Matters
There are a number of reasons why mobile maintenance is right for your fleet. Mobile maintenance provides your fleet with a way to get services without the logistical hassle of having to go back to the shop, get the fleet technician involved and go through the whole process.
When you are using a mobile maintenance truck, you can spend less on brick-and-mortar solutions. While some may not be able to buy their own mobile maintenance vehicles, there are outsourcing operations that will handle it for the fleet.
Using mobile service allows you to reduce your downtime for what would otherwise be normal maintenance and repair procedures. In essence, you are able to get your trucks back up and running a lot faster than you would otherwise.
Today, transportation has become a business relying on a just-in-time philosophy. When you are operating at the margins, trimming time where you can is very important. Mobile maintenance allows you to trim time from your maintenance logbook while saving money and boosting efficiency.
How Does It Work?
Mobile maintenance usually comes in a wide variety of types, whether you are talking about a preventative inspection or a comprehensive inspection. Depending on the application, you’ll want to focus on things like lights, tires, air leaks and other small repairs. Changing oil and filters might also be included.
There are a number of different types of mobile service trucks you may encounter. They include everything from someone operating out of the back of their pick-up truck to 24-foot straight trucks decked out with a liftgate and running lights.
Take a company like Ryder as an example. They utilize a number of different mobile maintenance vehicles. Their systems are designed to perform all routine maintenance services required, but they can also be adapted to suit specific needs, depending on the truck they are servicing.
These are essentially diagnostics and maintenance shops on wheels. They generally come equipped with computer diagnostics equipment, air and lube equipment, welding capabilities and some can even be equipped with fully functional cranes. Advanced mobile maintenance units should be able to support whatever type of repair is needed.
Who and How Much?
Generally, the fleet will have a certified technician performing any necessary warranty work, service calls, upgrades, warning lights and so on. They should be equipped to handle turbochargers, valves and other integrated electronic and mechanical components.
A good mobile maintenance technician will also need workable computer skills. They will need to ensure work orders are entered, photos are sent and invoicing is completed quickly and correctly.
It is also important to make sure your mobile maintenance unit is keeping the environment in mind. You’ll want to ensure your technicians and the vehicles they are using are well equipped to prevent spills or other mishaps.
To set up your own mobile maintenance truck, you are looking at around $100,000. This cost covers properly setting up a truck, say a 16-foot box van, ensuring it has all the equipment it needs to do the job. Not only will you need tools and outside lights, an awning to protect from weather is also important.
Are you wondering if a mobile maintenance unit is right for you? Evaluate the costs and weigh them against the size of your fleet and it won’t be hard to decide if this is a tool you should be utilizing.