If you’re in the business of courier work, then one thing is certain: your vehicles are your livelihood. You want to take care of them as best as humanly possible. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: prevention is the best cure, and the best way to prevent unforeseen maintenance problems? Keep on top of things by knowing what to look out for and how to best look out for it.
Here are some of my top tips to reduce and manage unexpected upkeep issues.
Maintain a Maintenance Schedule Routine
Supposedly it takes about a month to form a habit – and if you’re in the courier work business, a good habit to form is adhering to a regular maintenance schedule. Not only does getting into a routine make it easier to remember to do frequent checks, you’ll also keep on top of possible upkeep problems you may not have noticed otherwise.
While most everyone knows you should rotate your tyres and get an oil change every 5,000 miles or so, some checks can accidentally fall under the radar until there’s something obviously wrong. Make sure you take a look at the status of the following so you can nip potential issues in the bud:
Unbalanced tyres, uneven tyre wear and broken tyre belts
Springs, spring shackles, drums, brake pads, calipers and rotors
Wires, fluid levels, belts and the radiator
Struts, joints, shocks and the frame
The condition of the windshield wipers
If there are any leaks
If the chassis needs lube
Test it Out
Take your fleet vehicles out for a test ride every now and then. No matter how great your working relationship is with your drivers, maintenance problems can be easily overlooked or not reported. If you don’t know exactly what to look out for, have a mechanic you trust do these checks.
Communication is Key
Communication is vital – so make sure you maintain good contact among your employees. Businesses specialising in courier work often have many different departments (sales, accounting, drivers, etc.) and it’s important everyone keeps in touch with each other. An open door policy will make your employees feel comfortable coming to you to discuss everything from updates to issues. You’ll learn how your drivers are caring for and driving your vehicles – and that can prompt an early diagnosis of any maintenance problems, which will save you time, hassle and money in the long run.
If you’re in the business of courier work (and especially if you’re in a managerial position), you want to make sure your vehicles are running clean and mean at all times. By taking just a few extra precautions, such as routinely checking the status of your vehicles and keeping the doors for communication with your employees open, you can easily manage and reduce unforeseen maintenance expenses and keep your entire fleet running smoothly and efficiently.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier work in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.
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