Buying used is a common strategy for car buyers to save some dough, but it's just as advantageous for many small business owners. If your commercial fleet consists wholly or partially of used trucks, then you know that the savings over buying new can be considerable. Of course, the downside to owning vehicles entirely out of warranty is that your company is entirely on the hook when something goes wrong. These extra repair costs rarely cancel out the savings on the purchase price, but it is still essential to understand how to minimize your fleet expenses and keep your vehicles on the road for longer. These three tips will help you to handle your fleet's repairs with aplomb to keep your drivers (and accountant) happy.
Listen To Your Drivers
The most important thing you can do when your fleet consists primarily of older trucks is to listen to your drivers. Is a driver reporting an odd squeak or an unusual vibration? Don't just make a mental note and resolve to deal with it later! Taking a truck off of the road for repairs can be costly, but planned downtime is always more cost-effective than an unplanned breakdown on the road. This approach is essential no matter the composition of your fleet, but it is especially vital when dealing with older trucks that may have lurking maintenance problems.
Pay Close Attention To Coolant System Issues
What's one all too common problem that can stop a commercial vehicle dead in its tracks? Overheating. Many fleet vehicles haul heavy loads or pull trailers across difficult terrain daily. Work like this can stress a multitude of vehicle components, from the transmission to just about everything under the hood. Overheating is a particularly significant concern for work trucks, so it is critical never to ignore coolant issues. If one of your vehicles is losing coolant or (even worse!) overheating on a regular basis, then that truck needs to be pulled from the road immediately. A leaky coolant hose or lousy water pump is a relatively cheap problem to fix, but these small issues can create four-figure repair bills when ignored.
Have A Repair Plan In Place
Always plan for the unplanned! No matter how reliable you believe your used fleet might be, it is essential to have an action plan in place for unexpected downtime. If your company does not handle maintenance in-house, then you should always have a trusted commercial truck repair shop on call for significant issues. Likewise, it is essential to be able to deal with one or more trucks in your fleet being removed from service for any given period. The better your contingency plan is for unexpected repairs, the less money you will lose by taking a truck out of service for a few hours or a few days.
Contact a truck repair service like White Pass Garage to learn more.