We recently took a dive into a topic that is gaining more traction as mobile technologies and the wireless world continue to integrate themselves into our reality: Mobile Maintenance Trucks.
As fleets continue to try and find ways to streamline operations and cut costs, mobile maintenance solutions are increasingly becoming more mainstream. Cutting costs on the fleet side is a lot easier when you can bring the fleet technician to you, as opposed to bringing your truck to the fleet technician.
The fact is a properly equipped truck is the key to mobile maintenance. Whether you are hiring a third party to conduct your mobile maintenance needs or running a mobile maintenance truck of your own, the truck must have the right equipment. Still, this is only part of the equation.
The other part of the equation surrounds the fleet technician you have operating the mobile maintenance truck, or the person your third-party partner is using. In the end, you want to make sure the person operating the vehicle has the right skills for the job.
Consider that one of the primary focuses of mobile maintenance is conducting DOT inspections, and you realize why this is such an important skillset for any mobile maintenance fleet technician.
A Focus on Soft Skills
Outside of knowing the intricacies of a DOT audit and what to look for before the inspector finds it, a mobile maintenance fleet technician has to have really good soft skills. They have to be a good communicator and be able to effectively interact with others.
Considering mobile maintenance technicians work solo, they also need to be effective self-starters. Working by yourself isn’t easy if you aren’t good at motivating yourself.
Finally, a mobile maintenance technician needs to know how to prioritize. When you have several calls coming in, knowing which take precedence is a huge matter of importance.
Mobile maintenance fleet technicians must also understand the importance of environmental impacts. Is he or she cleaning up after themselves on the job? Safety aspects of mobile maintenance includes monitoring environmental controls.
There are other innovations that many may overlook. The first of these lies in electronic inspections with pictures. Electronic work orders with imagery allow the home office to get visual imagery and better inspection data.
Also, does your fleet mobile maintenance technician or mobile maintenance partner understand VMRS codes for complaint, cause, repair and future correction?
Mobile fleet maintenance solutions should allow you to track how long an appointment took, whether they showed up when they were supposed to and whether or not you are given updates throughout the process.
Mobile maintenance trucks should always be equipped with a laptop to foster better communication. This also allows technicians to type up work orders on the fly. These work orders can be transmitted back to the home office or to the shipper or receiver as needed.
A major consideration if you are using an outside provider is to ensure they are properly insured. Make sure the truck is scheduled to come out during certain days of the week to avoid extra busy times.
Matters of Outsourcing
For a fleet who does hire an outside provider, it’s important that you get a good idea of how they operate. When the mobile maintenance truck arrives, have a look in the back to see if it is clean and organized or messy and unkempt.
Always check a provider’s rating and reputation. You want to make sure you are working with someone who has the adequate equipment and meets all applicable environmental and OSHA regulations.
In the end, bringing your equipment back to the shop adds time and money, which could put you in a pinch when times are tight. Mobile maintenance solutions rectify that problem, just make sure you are doing it right.