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The importance of maintaining work vehicles properly

When your business relies on its vehicles to achieve its goals, maintenance is an essential part of keeping things moving.

Regular maintenance will help to save your business significant amounts of money in the long term, as well as providing a raft of short-term advantages. So what are the most important of these?

Keeps employees safe

A well-maintained vehicle is safer for employees to drive. The Health and Safety Executive advises that “planned maintenance helps to prevent failures during use”. And the lower the risk of failures while driving, the lower the risk of a road traffic accident. This could be particularly important if your organisation and its employees have a history of car accident claims.

Extends the vehicle’s life

The better your vehicles are maintained, the longer they’ll last. Although they’ll go through the same amount of wear and tear as a less well-maintained vehicle, what they’ll go through will be less likely to then cause further problems. This will help keep the car on the road longer, saving you both money and time spent on acquiring new vehicles.

Cheaper repairs

If your business regularly carries out proper maintenance of its vehicles, it will spot any problems sooner. This makes it far easier to get these sorted out and fixed. It means that if a problem has been developing slowly, your company is more likely to catch it before it turns into something more serious – and expensive.

Maintains appearances

Your fleet is a reflection of your business. This means that in order to reassure potential clients that you are a professional and reputable organisation, your work vehicles need to look good, sound efficient and run well. Waxing your vehicles can help prevent rust, which can in turn prevent some costly repairs.

Improves fuel efficiency

If your vehicle is being regularly maintained, you will be able to quickly address any issues that can affect fuel efficiency. This includes wear on tyres, which can result in fuel efficiency falling by up to 3%. That can add up to a huge amount in fuel costs across an entire fleet.

Keeps vehicles on the road

When a car is maintained properly and, therefore reduces the chances of more serious repairs being needed, it’s able to spend more time on the road. Spending a few hours on maintenance is more efficient for your business than having it in the garage for a few days.

Some of the most important – and simple – checks you can carry out on your vehicles include:

Tyre tread

The right tread depth is essential for giving your car enough grip on the roads. This is particularly important when surfaces are wet, as tread helps to get rid of water between the tyre and road. You should also rotate your tyres regularly to even out tread wear.

Oil changes

Oil can break down over time, becoming contaminated with debris from both the vehicle’s engine and the outside environment. This means it can’t keep the car’s moving parts lubricated, preventing the engine – and therefore the entire vehicle – from working properly.

Brake system

One of the most important parts of a vehicle, the brake system needs to be properly maintained for safety – not only that of the car occupants but also other road users. If a driver can’t brake, the car can’t stop, meaning there is a risk to everyone in the vicinity.

Air filter

Your air filter keeps your engine clear of debris, helping it work properly. After time, though, your filter will need to be replaced. Ensure you’re doing so after roughly every 20,000 miles to keep air flowing freely.

Belts and hoses

A fault in your vehicle’s belts or hoses can cause your engine to overheat, which can lead to the car being unable to drive. It could also result in a loss of power steering or an electrical system failure. When you change your coolant, check on the state of your hoses and belts.