August 23, 2022CMMS
Why You Should Keep Vehicle Maintenance Logs
Your vehicles need upkeep. Fleet managers keep track of servicing schedules and required repairs. However, fleet managers also need data to make good decisions. That’s why we recommend fleet managers keep vehicle maintenance logs.
These logs offer fleet managers information about vehicle maintenance, including who performed maintenance, when, and what type. This granular data helps them make insightful decisions. For example, fleet managers can determine if replacing a vehicle may make better fiscal sense than repairing it based on the log information.
This post dives into why you need vehicle maintenance logs and how they help you effectively manage maintenance, maintenance schedules, and maintenance costs for your fleet.
Why You Should Keep Vehicle Maintenance Logs
While preventive maintenance is vital to improving a vehicle’s useful life, it’s incomplete unless you log these regular maintenance activities for future reference. Auto maintenance logs allow you to track vehicle details to help you make better decisions about managing your vehicles and purchasing replacement parts. Below are three reasons to keep vehicle maintenance logs:
1. Ensure Compliance
You must keep your vehicles in excellent condition to ensure they pass Department of Transportation inspections. Non-compliance can be expensive because you may need to pay a fine and keep your vehicle off the road for a while.
Even when you’re diligent about maintenance, you should have vehicle logs. If there’s ever a problem during an inspection, you need to be able to quickly check your fleet preventive maintenance history to get an answer.
2. Effective Decision Making
Data in your vehicle maintenance logs offer granular insights into how an asset has behaved in the past. For example, you may be able to find an asset’s average useful life, repair frequency based on age, and possible solutions for an issue based on its troubleshooting history.
Repair vs. replace decisions are an excellent example of when a fleet manager might use maintenance logs.
For example, suppose your company owns a car that drives employees around town for meetings and fieldwork. Turns out one of your cars has been demanding frequent repairs.
So, you refer to the car maintenance log to see how much you’ve spent on repairs over the last year. Then, you calculate the cost and compare it with the car’s economic benefits for the business. You notice that the repair cost exceeds the benefits. So, you decide to sell the used car instead of paying for repairs.
Thanks to fleet maintenance data, you made a wise financial decision. As a result, you can claim a depreciation expense on the new vehicle and minimize the cost of repairs, which means the new car will cost less to own than the used car.
3. Faster Repairs
Vehicle issues often follow a pattern. If you’re facing a problem with a vehicle, you can check the maintenance log before you start troubleshooting. A technician may have experienced the exact fault with the vehicle and found a fix.
You can save time you’d have otherwise spent troubleshooting by referring to the maintenance logs. If you need help to perform the repair, you’ll also know the specific technician to speak to based on the maintenance log data.
How to Keep Up with Vehicle Maintenance Logs
Maintenance logs are essential. However, logging maintenance tasks can drop a few places on the priority list when the team has a full plate. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you’re always keeping up with logs:
1. Use a CMMS
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) makes logging maintenance tasks easier for you and the team than an Excel spreadsheet.
Using a mobile-friendly CMMS enables the team to check off maintenance tasks in real time on their mobile devices, streamlining their role in the maintenance procedure. In addition, you can issue work orders directly from the app and, when needed, guide the maintenance team from within the CMMS.
A CMMS creates vehicle maintenance records without manual effort as your staff works through the vehicle maintenance schedule. With a CMMS, you can practically put the process of keeping vehicle maintenance logs on autopilot.
2. Streamline Maintenance Logging with Checklists
Keeping fleet maintenance logs can feel like an extra task if you or a staff member has to manually create a list of tasks every time you need to perform maintenance.
The easy solution? Digitize fleet maintenance checklists. This will ensure you don’t need to create checklists every time and allow the maintenance professional to check off boxes as they perform maintenance tasks.
The easiest way to templatize checklists is to use a CMMS. Create a checklist, issue a work order, and assign a list to a maintenance professional via the system. The CMMS will record maintenance tasks automatically as the professional checks off the boxes. Your fleet maintenance data will be at your fingertips.
3. Ensure Staff Knows the Importance of Maintenance Logs
Your staff may not fully understand the importance of maintenance logs. And that can get in the way of effective log keeping.
Invest time to help staff understand why maintenance logs are essential for the fleet’s health and to comply with laws.
Also, ensure vehicle technicians know how to log data accurately using a CMMS. Staff members who are intimidated because they can’t use the CMMS properly to log maintenance tasks are also less likely to do it. Help them understand how the CMMS works, and more importantly, select an easy-to-use CMMS like MaintainX.
Log Vehicle Maintenance Data with MaintainX
MaintainX is a mobile-friendly CMMS that helps streamline logging maintenance data. In addition to assigning work orders from within the app and creating standard operating procedures, MaintainX lets you create templates for vehicle maintenance checklists.
You can create checklists from scratch or use one of the vehicle maintenance log templates from our Global Procedure Library:
- OSHA Heavy Powered Industrial Trucks Checklist (Daily Inspection): This checklist helps ensure that your industrial trucks meet OSHA standards. Use this template to record truck maintenance logs for all maintenance tasks, such as wiper and oil changes.
- Bobcat S205 Skid-Steer Loader Preventive Maintenance: This checklist provides detailed instructions for preventive maintenance of a Bobcat S205 Skid-Steer Loader. The list includes details like when exactly you should change the air filter. You also can quickly “pass,” “flag,” or “fail” basic tasks like checking tire pressure.
You can customize these checklist templates to fit your needs. Getting started is easy—just pick a template and assign the tasks to a staff member. If that sounds intriguing, try MaintainX for free.