The organization has to design and implement policies for vehicle fleet operation, such as maintenance management, breakdown management, spare parts management, control and reduction of fuel consumption, tires management, prevention and reduction of traffic accidents, or the use of owned or outsourced workshops.

The organization has to write and establish the operations manual for the fleet’s vehicles concerning their maintenance, use, safety, fuel consumption, driving, and what to do in case of an accident or breakdown. This manual has to be given and explained to every driver and/or person in charge of the vehicle.

The goal of vehicle operations is that they operate the maximum time possible in order to meet the established service level, with the least possible variable operational costs.

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Maintenance management is one of the most important activities in vehicle fleet management, because not doing maintenance in the established period and according the manufacturer’s indications has several consequences. Some of these consequences are the possibility that the motor break downs for not changing the oil or the timing belt; not detecting possible breakdowns or worn out elements that affect the vehicle’s safety; the vehicle’s deterioration due to use; and having a higher number of breakdowns, consumption and contaminating emissions.

The organization has to establish a system to plan ahead of time the vehicle’s maintenance. In order to do that, the vehicle’s traveled distance or working hours have to be known every week or month. The best solution is a telematics system that reports this data automatically; if a telematics system isn’t available, the organization would have to establish:

  • A person responsible of reporting this data every week or month. Said person could be each vehicle’s driver or a person in charge of a set of vehicles.
  • A way to do this is introducing the data to the system directly, or by communicating it to the maintenance manager via text (SMS), email or fax.

Once there’s a database for traveled distance or working hours, maintenance can be planned considering an average prevision of the vehicles use by week or month, which would result in the approximate date to do said maintenance.

The maintenance planning has to be handed to the person in charge of the vehicles or drivers so they know when it’s going to be done.

If a vehicle hasn’t gone through maintenance in its correspondent period, it has to be communicated to the person in charge of the vehicle immediately, and this vehicle will have priority for maintenance before other vehicles.

The organization has to establish which vehicles have priority for doing maintenance and for repairing breakdowns because in the fleet there are vehicles that are more important for the service performance than others, for which these vehicles have to have priority.

The organization has to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and comply with current laws for vehicles’ maintenance and breakdowns repairing.


JMFI´m a Fleet Management expert, and the manager of Advanced Fleet Management Consulting, that provides Fleet Management Consultancy Services.