Samsara Power User Guide: How to Proactively Manage Fleet Maintenance

January 23, 2019

An unexpected breakdown can cost your business more than lost work—it can also result in upset customers or spoiled cargo. And, the maintenance needed to get vehicles back on the road is often expensive: last-minute repairs can be up to four times the cost of scheduled ones.

Without a successful fleet maintenance plan, you can quickly lose control of what’s going on with your fleet. Regardless of your fleet size, real-time vehicle diagnostics and preventative maintenance planning can help you decrease vehicle downtime and maintenance costs. Let’s dig into how Samsara's features can help you streamline your maintenance processes.

Feature Highlights:

  • Real-time vehicle diagnostics are pulled from the onboard diagnostics port for real-time decision-making.
  • Preventative maintenance scheduling keeps your fleet in good health with regular check-ins.
  • Maintenance alerts notify you when a maintenance-related issue needs your attention.

Combining These Features to Improve Maintenance:

Address maintenance issues in real time

  1. Use real-time engine data to monitor the health of your fleet. Preemptively check fuel levels on your dashboard before the next job, or make sure vehicles are in tip-top shape to ensure passenger safety.
  2. Set up a Vehicle Faults alert that notifies you the instant an engine fault occurs. Understanding the details can also help your team diagnose problems remotely and respond appropriately. If a vehicle needs to be serviced immediately and can’t finish the shift, this alert can help you quickly notify customers and employees that there’s been an unexpected change to the schedule and that there will be a new ETA.
  3. Streamline your maintenance workflow by giving your mechanics access to your Samsara dashboard so they can make decisions in real time. Sharing information with your service team will also help the entire team stay up to date on maintenance issues so there’s never a question about whether a vehicle is cleared for duty.

Plan ahead with preventative maintenance

  1. Proactively take care of your fleet by scheduling Preventative Maintenance based on actual mileage, time, or engine hours. Choose the appropriate schedule for all vehicles of a particular class (for example, mileage for light duty vehicles or engine hours for heavy equipment).
  2. Set up a Scheduled Maintenance alert that notifies your team when it’s nearing time for a regular service check. This alert can help you decide whether a group of vehicles should come in for maintenance at the same time or one after another so that you don’t need to sacrifice productivity.
  3. Make sure your mechanics have access to your Samsara dashboard so they can mark maintenance items as complete and the entire team knows that vehicles have gotten their scheduled service.

Bonus Pro-Tips:

  • Use the Fuel Usage report to investigate one potential cause of preventable wear on your engine: idling. View idle time by vehicle or driver to identify inefficient behavior and use that information to coach your team. Dohrn Transfer Company was able to reduce idling by 50% through a coaching program after seeing idling reports in their Samsara dashboard.
  • Use the Maintenance log to keep track of service activities and costs associated with each vehicle. This can help you identify money-sucking pieces of equipment or find potential issues with quality of service.

Interested in finding out more? Check out how Samsara can help effectively manage maintenance to maximize vehicle uptime and minimize costs.

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