Back-to-School-Is-your-fleet-in-shape

“What do astronauts receive when they complete their homework?”

Gold Stars.

It’s that time of year already – preparing for back-to-school.  Is your fleet in shape for the first day of school? From safety features to efficiency enhancements, buses have many more components to inspect and maintain than ever before.  Riders expect to get from point A to point B in a timely and efficient manner.  Having reliable transportation is a must!

Preparing for back-to-school does not need to be terrifying.  Here are a few tips to ensure your fleet’s back-to-school experience is not only manageable but successful.

Plan ahead, be prepared and stay organized.

Minimize the risk of failure.  Are preventive maintenance schedules in place, tires ready to roll, warranties up-to-date, and annual inspections complete?  These are just a few of key areas in which effective fleet management pays off.

Establishing a centralized data system to track vehicle status, employee management, warranties, cost breakdowns and company-specific analyses ensures any fleet manager has planned, is prepared, and stays organized for the workload which lies ahead.

Being prepared and organized means a fleet manager knows the status of equipment, parts, warranties, costs, and employees.  Does your fleet management program provide this invaluable information at your fingertips?

Coordinate.

Are “scattered” and “fragmented” two ways to describe your day?  Eliminate these troublesome areas and develop a centralized schedule.  Know where your labor force is at all times, when PMs are due, what warranty statuses are, and which assets are in or out of service.

Implementing a preventive maintenance (PM) program allows the operator and mechanic to know when routine maintenance is to occur.  Both areas can plan their schedules accordingly knowing when equipment is or is not available for use.  Mechanics can plan ahead for parts inventories too.  Having a parts inventory program in place helps ensure parts are available when and where they’re needed.  Don’t throw money away – keep up with warranties on parts and equipment.

Knowing where parts and labor are allocated and viewable in a centralized location allows the fleet manager to see updates in real-time.  Whether an employee is working on a particular vehicle in a dedicated location or if an employee is up-to-date on required certifications, a fleet manager needs to know status updates on various levels at the same time.  Having the right fleet maintenance software system and program in place eases schedule coordination.

Be informed.  Do your homework!

Each school year brings a new schedule, new opportunities, new customers, and new activities.  By analyzing the operation, becoming better informed, one understands the overall picture.

How is the shop operating?  Do you know the status _____?  This is where you have the opportunity to plan ahead, be prepared, get organized and have the ability to coordinate schedules.

Being informed is being efficient.  Each fleet manager should have a centralized data system, effective reporting, warranty tracking, and cost accounting operations in order to understand how and where fleets are operating.

RTA offers 100s of reports to analyze data – labor, parts, downtime, warranties, fuel, tires, tools, fleet costs.  Usable data to quickly realize the status of the fleet from any angle.

Develop (and stay) in a routine.

When managing the fleet, it’s important to get and stay in a routine.  Equipment operators and employees perform better if they have a routine.   Time is better managed as well as resources.  It keeps things under control (well, as much as possible anyway!) and helps everyone stay on track.

How often do you check your data?  Get into a routine of checking dashboards, reports, and inventories daily.  Know PM status, where assets are located, and see real-time labor and warranty costs.

Practice.

A sporting team doesn’t show up to a game without being prepared.  Many hours are invested in a team’s practice.

A fleet manager’s job is to be a coach to their staff and ensure they are prepared to make the best of each game day.  A team puts in a lot of effort to perfect each person’s skills and abilities, so take these tips and work to incorporating them into each employee’s daily routine to perfect the schedule.  Maintain accurate parts inventories, take advantage of warranty tracking, and maintain employee training and certifications in one location.

Having a scheduled maintenance program for our vehicles ensures they will be on the road as much as possible and serve us well. Costs are higher for fleets without PM scheduling.  Keep repair data current, know when PMs are due, use the warranties you’ve paid for, and stay informed.  Your equipment, operators, employees, and bosses will thank you!

Review your fleet software to ensure it is up-to-date, and staff is adequately trained.  Install updates as they are released and know RTA is here to help along the way.

With all the things life throws our way and having to add on back-to-school activities, we are busy people.  Adhering to a plan helps us stay focused and do our best each day.

Now…reach for those gold stars!

This entry was posted in fleet management. Bookmark the permalink.