It’s the thing all shops and fleets are working toward. No matter how big or small your customer, you’re thoroughly devoted to maximizing their uptime while minimizing downtime. So how can you, as an independent repair shop, make that happen?
You measure data.
(Or rather, in this case, we measure it for you and post our conclusions.)
So we dug into that data and looked into the tasks a shop can perform that ultimately keep trucks on the road and fleet managers happy.
So, after intense internal discussion and a few days spent staring at numbers from different angles while muttering to ourselves, we came up with six ways your repair shop can help increase a fleet’s uptime.
Ready to learn more? Let’s go!
1. Know your customers’ state and federal inspection schedule. This is absolutely, 100% critical to maintaining uptime and keeping your customers in the good books of The Authorities. If your customers are missing important inspections, they may be forced to take a vehicle out of service even if it’s running.
Troy Willich, CEO and Co-Founder of TDI Fleet Services, emphasizes working with your customers, not just for them. “When they feel like you’re on their side and you’re not just trying to invoice them,” he says, is the situation to aim for. “You’re in business with them together. You’re making plans and you’re forecasting expenses.”
2. Keep an eye on unit data like engine hours and mileage. This is how you determine the need to replace parts like tires. The goal of any preventive maintenance you do is ultimately to reduce downtime, and replacing parts according to their manufacturer’s schedules will hopefully eliminate emergency repairs, which are usually far more expensive than regular PM work (and can cost you a contract if you haven’t been paying attention to them).
3. Maintain a strong vendor network. You may be the fastest wrench-turner in all the land, but if you don’t have the parts you need, man, that truck is staying out of commission. A strong online marketplace (like Fullbay Marketplace!) puts hard-to-find parts at your fingertips.
4. Make PM work and repairs easy to access. Don’t your customers deserve better than the mess associated with phone calls and email strings? Those methods can lead to misplaced messages, misinterpreted problems, and a host of other issues. Give your customers a platform where they can submit repair orders directly and keep up with maintenance as it’s performed.
5. Streamline your workflow. We can’t say this enough! We mentioned in the step above that emails and phone calls can get hairy, especially for things like estimate approvals, parts approvals, and invoices. If your techs are eyeballing their labor times and marking down two hours for a job that takes three, well, that’s an easy way to lose money. Adopting a functional workflow keeps everyone on track and prevents corner-cutting.
6. Be proactive. Look at the data you’ve gathered for your customers. Are they replacing tires far too often? The type they’re using may not be working for them. If you determine this is the case, then make a recommendation on what could drive additional uptime! “Anybody can tell you, ‘Hey, you need to change your oil every 35,000 miles or we’re running this oil, we’re going to go 50,000,’” says Troy. “You need somebody more. Somebody to recommend better maintenance practices, different types of tires, or a different oil for you.”
If a new tire brand can get them an additional delivery or two out of each truck in their fleet, that equates to a lot of revenue…which you, friend, are directly responsible for.
(You can thank us later.)
You’re not going to hit 100% uptime all the time, but you can get pretty close — and Fullbay can help you get there. Our software makes tracking preventive maintenance a breeze, giving you the data you need to make practical recommendations to your customers.
Ready to help your customers boost their uptime? Head over to our free demo!