The Missing Link to a PM Program

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Release date: 5/18/2018

The Missing Link to a PM Program
Michael Bisogno, CAFM, Director, Commonwealth of Virginia Office of Fleet Management Services

As a fleet manager, you spend hours developing and evaluating your preventive maintenance (PM) program to reduce maintenance costs and downtime. You balance the cost versus mileage based on usage and history.

You may even run sophisticated schedules based on PM due dates. A successful PM program, however, is predicated on one key aspect: the vehicle has to make it to a shop. This important aspect is most often in the hands of drivers who have full-time jobs and taking time to have their vehicles serviced is an inconvenience.

Here are some important steps in ensuring drivers take their vehicle in for their PM.

1. Make sure you know. The first step is to make sure you are tracking PM due dates as well as a report-back mechanism for PM completions. Most fleet management information systems will have functionality specifically for this purpose but even if you have to track manually, it is necessary.

2. Make sure they know. Notify your drivers. Don’t rely on the drivers remembering to get their vehicle serviced or remembering to look at their inspection stickers. Email drivers or vehicle managers with enough lead time to get PMs and inspections completed on time.

3. Make it easy. From scheduling to dropping off to picking up, find ways to make it easy for your fleet drivers. Good coffee and WiFi at the service location never hurts either.

4. Follow up. Use PM compliance reports to find out which units are not complying. Send friendly reminders and have a plan for escalation if drivers continue to put off PMs.

5. Get creative. Develop incentive programs, give discounts for on-time completions, give departmental awards. Different fleets will have various tools at their disposal but if PM completion is a problem for your fleet, spending a little money can pay off in the long run.

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