The real cost of downtime for your vehicle fleet

Aug 06, 2020 car park, maintenance, road transport, logistics, digitalization, software

Reducing unplanned vehicle downtime is key to reducing your fleet costs, but is that easier said than done?

Vehicle downtime is a heavy burden for companies. This is part of the smooth and efficient operation of vehicles. However, breakdowns are unavoidable, resulting in unplanned repairs.

However, when downtime is unplanned, its costs are often higher than expected, making it more complex to manage.

Let us take a closer look at the causes of these costs and how they can be managed.

What is the cost of downtime for your fleet?

Even if companies budget for fleet maintenance costs, these can quickly be overwhelmed by expenses related to unplanned downtime.

Having a clear understanding of the causes of vehicle downtime costs is a good starting point for determining how they can be reduced or avoided.

First, there are the visible costs of downtime, such as regular maintenance checks and associated repairs to get vehicles back on the road. Depending on the age of a vehicle, labour, parts and repair costs can be somewhat anticipated and managed. But when unexpected breakdowns occur, there are much less visible costs to be charged to the budget.

These may include:

Practices, processes and plans that limit downtime

While some downtime within your fleet is out of control, a proactive rather than reactive maintenance approach can curb excessive costs. Even small changes and more effective planning can make a big difference in the bottom line.

Using technology to improve availability

Fleet management and maintenance software offers many features and benefits that help companies achieve the goals of reducing downtime and cutting costs. The software can effectively plan and track vehicle maintenance and repair with the ability to receive automatic alerts to alert fleet managers.

In the long term, complete visibility of maintenance activity from your software is invaluable in reducing vehicle downtime costs. For example, by using stored and easily accessible vehicle maintenance and repair histories, you can see where process inefficiencies and asset-related problems are causing higher capital costs.