More and more heavy-duty repair shops are recognizing the value of offering PM tracking service. They know that PMs matter as well as how to use them to build up their bottom lines and keep customers happy. Tracking PMs is a big job for anyone but, if done right, it can be a piece of cake. Using the right tools can help you unlock the power of PMs and global services for your shop.
Why PMs Matter
PMs are routine, but they’re a big deal, no matter what type of shop you have. For a commercial shop, offering PM tracking service can mean a steady stream of business from your ideal customers. Small carriers don’t usually have a structure in place to track PMs, but they still need to do it in the interest of maximizing uptime. Providing the service allows you to align your interests with their priorities and take over an agonizing process they don’t have the time or the resources to do. Additionally, a PM tracking service makes the best use of the techs you have, and it fills empty slots in your shop’s schedule. That turns slow periods into profits.
For private fleets, tracking PMs keeps vehicles compliant, safe, and on the road. Everyone knows scheduling downtime is infinitely less expensive than surprise repairs due to lack of maintenance. Plus, when you track PMs, you’ll build a database that allows you to see what’s spent on each truck in your fleet. That will make it easier to make financial decisions such as when it will save more money to park a unit or get rid of it instead of investing more money to keep it going.
What is a PM?
“Preventive maintenance” usually brings to mind the bare minimum that needs to be done to maintain a vehicle. However, PMs are much more than just oil and filter changes. Plus, preventive maintenance could be a service OR an inspection. Common PMs include value-adds for your customer such as required inspections like the DOT and CVIP checks and even state- or province-mandated inspections. Some PM checklists look a lot like pre and post-trip checklists to ensure everything is looked at on a regular basis.
There are always the wet and dry services, but why not consider including pre-service inspections with the PM tracking service you offer? They aren’t just a chance to upsell. Pre-service inspections are also about safety and compliance. Every time you touch the unit, do some kind of inspection to keep customers’ units safe, compliant, and on the road.
Other vital PMs that should be on everyone’s radar include:
- Air braking system
- Air intake inspection
- Automatic transmission
- Battery and charging system
- Engine cooling system
- Engine drive belt and pulley system
- HVAC system
- Internal engine and overhead adjustment
While PMs have intervals, global services are canned jobs that are on your menu. They tend to be jobs that don’t necessarily have intervals but, much like PMs, are done the same each time. They’re things like alignments and wheel seals. Global services can always become PMs if the customer wants to attach intervals to them.
Who is Your Customer?
Before you can make a plan for using PM tracking, you need to know who your customer is. For example, commercial shops can target over-the-road customers, local fleets of varying sizes, and other businesses. Those “others” can include businesses that have construction or farm equipment, but they might not even be heavy-duty customers. They might be restaurants, florists, and any business that delivers goods. You can offer discounts on your labor to any commercial customer who signs up for your PM tracking service. If the vehicles you end up servicing are employee-owned, they’ll especially appreciate the savings.
In a private fleet, a shop won’t necessarily have to identify customers to sell the service to. However, you’ll still need to understand who PM tracking will benefit and why. The last thing anyone in a fleet wants is a fatality because of a missed PM, or downtime because of OOS.
In a private fleet scenario, the customers will include drivers, safety compliance officers, fleet managers, and the owner. Ultimately, the end customer the fleet serves is another one that benefits from staying on top of PMs.
Using a PM Tracking Service to Attract the Right Customers
Once you’ve identified your ideal customer, you’ll have a better understanding of how a PM tracking service will benefit them. Then, just show them. If you’re a private fleet shop, share the tracking tool with the safety director, fleet manager, and drivers. They’ll love it because they can log in notes on pre and post-trip inspections. In cases where that information affects the PM schedule, managers and drivers can make corrections mid-stream to take care of maintenance on their terms without worrying about unscheduled downtime.
On the commercial side, meet with the fleet manager or owner and get their fleet data. Upload it to your PM management software like Fullbay and give them an estimate for your PM tracking service. Fullbay has a customer portal that they’ll love. It lets them see everything you track to stay on top of their PMs. Plus, it displays repairs found during maintenance and gives them the option to do the repair, even informing them of DOT violations. You can also help them save the portal link to their phone or tablet, using your business logo as the icon. And don’t just target brand-new customers. You can use Fullbay and a PM tracking service to bring back previous customers, too. When you stay on top of these issues for your customers, they’ll see the benefits in their bottom lines, and that will be good for yours, too.
How to Track PMs in Fullbay
The philosophy behind Fullbay is to mirror human medicine, with the viewpoint that it’s more cost-effective to prevent illness than cure it. Therefore, Fullbay was designed to be a medical record for trucks and heavy equipment. Fullbay gives you access to PM histories and compliance reports on any Internet-connected device.
The Fleet Report shows which units are coming due for PM service, which ones aren’t, and which ones are due right now. It also displays information on mileage, DOT stickers, and inspection dates.
The Fleet Cost Per Unit Report is a new feature in Fullbay. The report can be run according to date blocks so you can see labor and parts costs, mileage, cost per mile, and even service call costs and sales tax attached to individual vehicles within whatever time frame you want to see.
Unit Records are the medical records for individual trucks. Everything you need to know about the vehicle is in this report, including the VIN, mileage history, and the PM schedule. Use this feature to track individual trucks in a fleet or track them all. Also, you can add parts and intervals at the unit level, and can even modify the list according to components of certain types of vehicles and customize the PM intervals based on miles, hours, days, or months, whatever fits the unit. What’s more, any repairs the customer defers to a later date get added to a pending repairs list, and you can create service orders based on which PMs and services are due.
Take a look at all the features Fullbay has to offer and see how it can help you unlock the power of a PM tracking service. Just fill in the form below.
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