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Common Fleet Maintenance Challenges

May 12, 2023
Michael J. O'Connor

Keeping a fleet of vehicles maintained and serviced can be a massive challenge for any fleet manager or owner. Vehicles that are used in a commercial fleet spend much more time on the road than personal vehicles, which means their maintenance needs are a lot more complex as well as much more important. If your fleet is well-maintained, you can avoid large, expensive repairs and keep your vehicles on the road so they can serve your customers. However, this comes with challenges, which will require some personalized and creative solutions. 

If you are going to take your fleet maintenance seriously, you have to understand some of the biggest issues that managers and owners are up against. While it is easy to focus on your business operations and neglect fleet maintenance, this can cause serious issues down the line and cost you money as well as business. By taking a good look at what commonly gets in the way of quality fleet maintenance, you can find solutions that will suit your business and keep you on track. 

Cost Management 

Cost management is a big challenge for fleet managers in their day-to-day operations but especially when it comes to fleet maintenance. Keeping an eye on maintenance costs and understanding where they are coming from can be difficult, especially if you have a relatively large fleet. If you are going to be smart about your maintenance costs, you need to have a good idea of which vehicles are costing the most and how you can improve their overall performance. If you can do that, you can effectively manage the fleet and cut costs in a meaningful way. 

One solution to the cost management challenges that come with fleet maintenance is understanding how to convert your fleet maintenance costs into money saved later on. For example, vehicles that are not well maintained will almost always end up costing more in the long run. Whether this is through larger, more expensive repairs stemming from a lack of maintenance or a decrease in fuel economy, it’s important to know how fleet maintenance can offset these larger expenses. 


Scheduling fleet maintenance can be a massive challenge if you are trying to keep your vehicles on the road. With any fleet, the more often a vehicle is in the shop, the less return you will be getting on your investment in that vehicle. If you are going to make the most of your fleet, you need to effectively schedule maintenance and stagger service appointments so you can serve your clients. The smaller your fleet is, the more difficult this challenge can be. 

Most vehicles will need oil and filter changes every 3,000 to 5,000 miles with larger procedures needing to happen at the 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000-mile mark. Scheduling these procedures at the right time is difficult without the use of telematics and automation. However, if your vehicles are equipped with sensors and automatic scheduling, you can save yourself some work and make sure that each vehicle gets its regularly scheduled fleet maintenance service. Plus, you can program staggering appointments so you are never short of a vehicle for very long. 

Driver Reporting 

Odds are, you rely on your drivers quite a bit to report any sort of change in your vehicles or issue that might need attention at the shop. This can be anything from an unusual smell to a new behavior that might indicate a problem is developing. However, your drivers are most likely focused on the jobs at hand and may not always report problems in a timely manner. This can be a big challenge to overcome and could also result in driver safety issues that you are not even aware of. 

While drivers reporting their mileage is a fairly common practice, other vehicle issues can slip through the cracks. Having a telematics system in place allows you to take drivers out of the equation when it comes to recognizing problems with your vehicles. With automatic fleet maintenance scheduling and other alerts, you can stay on top of the performance of your vehicles remotely. This way, your drivers can focus on delivering great service to your customers and you don’t have to worry about small issues becoming big, expensive ones. 

Vehicle Downtime 

One of the major challenges that managers and owners face when dealing with fleet maintenance is vehicle downtime and cycle time. No matter what, you want your vehicles to be on the road as often as possible. Any kind of hold-up that occurs at the shop while getting fleet maintenance services can result in lost profits, upset customers, and wasted money. However, delaying service just to avoid vehicle downtime can result in even longer downtime in the future. 

It can be difficult to accept that sooner or later your vehicles will need to go in for fleet maintenance, especially if you rely on a relatively small fleet to get things done. Neglecting to do so, though, puts you at risk of large, expensive repairs that can take a vehicle off the road for an extended period of time. Most vehicles can get their maintenance done in a day or so, whereas a large repair can take days or even weeks, depending on the availability of specialized technicians and parts. Even though fleet maintenance can be an inconvenience, if you schedule it correctly and stay on top of it, it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. 

Vendor Selection

Finding the right shop to do your fleet maintenance is a huge challenge, especially if you want the very best service you can get. There are a lot of mechanics working on the market and if you don’t choose wisely, you could spend more money than you should and develop bigger issues with your vehicles. Plus, you want to be sure that the mechanic you are working with is experienced with your particular vehicle types and understands the needs of fleet managers and owners. 

When selecting a vendor for your fleet maintenance, it can help to narrow your search to mechanics who regularly work with fleets. They will understand how important it is to decrease turnover time and will have telematics integration with their own systems so you can automatically schedule fleet maintenance. By working with an experienced fleet maintenance expert, you can take some of the responsibility off your plate and get back to expanding your business and making sure your company runs smoothly. 

Overcome Your Biggest Fleet Maintenance Challenges 

Fleet maintenance is essential for keeping your vehicles in optimal shape and keeping your business on track. No matter how big or small your fleet is, you will most likely run into some fleet maintenance challenges along the way. By knowing what some of the most common challenges are and how you can overcome them, you can make the most of your fleet while properly maintaining it and avoiding expensive repairs down the line. 

If you want your fleet maintenance to be as easy as possible, ServiceUp is here for you. With one easy-to-use dashboard to help you manage your maintenance, collision, and mechanical repair needs and seamless integration with major fleet management companies, it has never been easier to get your vehicles repaired by qualified, experienced technicians. Whether you need simple oil changes or major body work, ServiceUp will take care of everything and get you back on the road. Request a demo today to find out how ServiceUp can help your business thrive!

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