Many companies are dependent on their fleet vehicles to keep their business running smoothly. It is important that company drivers to maintain their vehicles and keep them clean as they travel between work locations. The company vehicle is often the first thing that a customer will see which is why fleet vehicles should be kept spotless. Although business owners can’t be certain that their employees will use their vehicles appropriately and keep them well maintained both inside and out. Or can you? By hiring a fleet manager, you will have someone working each day to ensure that your fleet vehicles are being well maintained. Fleet managers use incentives, as well as, consequences to encourage drivers to take care of their company vehicles.
Create a Good Policy
- Create Expectations – As an employer, you should be clear about your expectations from the very beginning. If your employees will be operating company vehicles, be sure to include relevant policies that explain the driver’s responsibilities. These include… proper vehicle care (inside and out), cleanliness, and maintenance needs. Different fleet vehicles might have different expectations which can depend on the role it serves and what services the company provides. For instance, vehicles used for sales should be well maintained and be aesthetically pleasing, whereas service vehicles should be focused on maintenance and mechanical condition. Ultimately, companies hope that their fleet vehicles will look good but also are reliable so their employees are able to get the job done. Some companies require their employees to sign a vehicle use agreement that provides a list of detailed responsibilities that the driver is expected to follow when driving the fleet vehicle. Some of these include: plate/registration renewal, oil changes and preventative maintenance, and keeping an up to date insurance card available. If changes are made to the fleet policy, provide vehicle operators with an updated copy. Routine checklists can be used to help remind drivers what is expected and to keep you informed on the vehicle’s condition.
- Periodic Check-ins at Least Every 3 Months – Fleet drivers should submit photos or their fleet vehicle to their managers to ensure that the vehicle is being cared for on the interior and exterior.
- Incentive Employees to Care for Your Vehicle – Some businesses offer an employee buy-out when they upgrade fleet vehicles. This allows the employee to purchase the vehicle they have been driving at a deeply discounted price. You might also conduct on-going vehicle quality checks. If drivers express interest in the quality of the car, they are more likely to care about keeping it in perfect condition. However, not all employers believe that you should have to offer incentives to ensure that your employees are maintaining your fleet vehicles. Instead, they feel that by holding their employees accountable for failing to maintaining their vehicles is an effective way to motivate their drivers to follow fleet policy.
Educate Employees About How the Fleet’s Looks and Mainteance Affects The Business and Them
You can create a policy and give your employees a list of requirements but without educating them on why it’s important to maintain their vehicles, it could all be a waste. Employees tend to think the cost of any big repair will not directly impact them. However, repair costs can not only limit their earning but it also impacts the company’s ability to bring in revenue. As a result, it could directly effect their job security. You should properly train any employee that will be driving your fleet vehicles. This should occur both at the start of employment and continue regularly so that you can be sure that they understand fleet policies, procedures, and what is expected of them. Educating your employees on how to care for fleet vehicles is another essential aspect of ensuring that they will do so. By subscribing to a preventative maintenance program, you can send your drivers reminders when their vehicle needs serviced which is based on the vehicle’s history, the length of time since the vehicle has been serviced, and/or mileage. Managers should inform drivers how important routine maintenance is, reminding them that it is part of company policy.
Monthly Washing and Semi-Annual Detailing Programs
At a major discount, many car washes like Bailey’s, offers monthly washing programs and semi-annual detailing programs to keep your vehicles looking their best and giving your employees pride in your vehicles. Some companies pay outright, some split the cost, and some offer the discounted rates through their communications with employees, etc. It’s not one size fits all but the benefits of having a good looking and clean fleet outweigh the costs of the services in the long-term life and value of your fleet vehicles.
Use Technology and Managed Mainteance Programs
New technology allows fleet managers to use driver apps which will specify preventative maintenance issues that must be addressed, locations where the vehicle can be serviced, and an area where the driver can communicate with the shop. If drivers fail to follow the policy, there should be a consequence which could include cutting off their fuel card or charging a fee during vehicle inspections. Managed maintenance programs allow fleets to access and compare vehicle records to look at mileage and services that is expected and compare them to when those services were actually performed. You can include this information when conducting your employee assessments. This tool makes it easy to reward drivers who maintain their vehicles, keep unexpected repair costs low, and excel on their visual inspection.
Communicate Regularly To Vehicle Operators
As an employer, it is imperative that you communicate with your drivers to ensure they understand your expectations and their responsibilities. Providing them with newsletters, training, and checklists helps motivate them to maintain their vehicle. Publicly commending a job well done is just another great way to encourage your drivers to value your assets. One of the most important is by creating a positive relationship with your employees. Your drivers want to know that you value them and their safety. If they know you will take care of them, they will take care of you and your assets. Invest in their safety. If they don’t feel appreciated, they might not give your company and fleet vehicles more than they have to. Fleet managers should communicate directly with drivers and get out in the field to understand their perspective. You need to know how they feel and that they have all the tools needed to succeed. You can’t make a positive impact without understanding how your employees use your vehicles in the field. So get out there! Talk to your employees face-to-face and ask them how you can help them get the job done.
Bailey’s Offers Many Types of Car Washes | Learn More
Contact us (859-534-5999) for more information!
Bailey’s Car Wash & Detailing
Bailey’s is a local and family owned car wash providing a range of washing and detailing options for our customers! Since 2002, we have been providing outstanding services to the Greater Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky area. Our experience, customer service, and overall value is what sets Bailey’s apart from our competition.
- Full Service Car Washes
- Quick Exterior Car Washes
- Full Detailing
- 30 Minute Express Detailing
- Monthly Car Wash Plans
- Fleet Services
- Preventative and Restorative Automotive Services