When you use work vans to get your team from one location to another, you probably already know how crucial it is to keep these vehicles running at their best. However, you might not know how preventative maintenance can extend your vehicle's life and support your staff's productivity. Knowing the value of preventative vehicle maintenance and practices associated with it is crucial for any business with work vans or other vehicles.
If you're interested in keeping your work vans in the best shape possible, you'll likely want to learn more about preventative maintenance and the practices it entails. You might also be interested in finding out more about the importance of preventative maintenance.
What Is Preventative Maintenance?
Preventative maintenance refers to routine maintenance of a vehicle's parts. This type of maintenance aims to prevent unexpected part failures, such as engine, tire and transmission breakdowns. Since vehicle repairs can take a significant amount of time to complete and put your work van out of commission, preventative maintenance is critical. Additionally, vehicle breakdowns can result in costly repairs and reduce your company's profitability.
Usually, a preventative maintenance program includes everything from vehicle lubrication, cleaning and inspection to testing, adjustment and part replacements. The frequency of a vehicle's preventative maintenance and the type of work required will often come down to the vehicle's engine hours, mileage and manufacturer recommendations.
What Does Preventative Maintenance Entail?
If you want to keep your work van running at peak condition, you may want to use a preventative maintenance checklist. This checklist includes various preventative maintenance practices, such as replacing belts and batteries. Additionally, preventative maintenance often involves regular inspections of a work van's essential parts.
Here are some of the main preventative maintenance practices:
- Belt replacements: Work vans have several belts necessary to the vehicle's proper functioning, such as the power steering belt, timing belt, fan belt and drive belt. Over time, these belts will wear down, and if not replaced, could snap and significantly damage your engine. Your van's manufacturer should have recommendations you can follow to ensure you replace your belts before they wear out.
- Tire and brake inspections: Faulty brakes regularly cause accidents and can significantly damage your vehicle. A great preventative practice is to check your suspension and brake system every time you change your vehicle's oil. Additionally, it's crucial to ensure your tires aren't worn down, as worn tires can make it difficult to brake and control your work van. Schedule regular tire inspections and rotate your tires at your manufacturer's recommended intervals to catch potential issues early.
- Transmission checks: Transmission repairs can be some of the most expensive repairs for your vehicle. Besides the high costs, a broken transmission means your van can't move. You can prevent your transmission from breaking down by scheduling regular inspections and oil flushes.
- Oil changes: Routine oil changes are a must for any work van you have in your fleet. This service is necessary for proper vehicle functioning, as tiny metal pieces will gradually mix with the engine oil and harm your engine. By performing oil changes at your work van manufacturer's recommended intervals, you'll flush out this debris and keep your engine healthy.
- Battery cleaning and replacement: Your work van needs power, and its battery is responsible for it. Regularly clean the battery with a specialty battery cleaning brush to ensure corrosive materials don't build up. You may also want to invest in a battery tester, so you can keep an eye on when your battery is getting close to needing replacement. Additionally, ensure you have another battery ready before the older battery dies so you can get your work van back on the road with minimal delay.
How Preventative Maintenance Can Help You
By performing the preventative maintenance practices listed above with other recommended practices for your vehicle, you can receive several benefits. From preventing expensive major repairs and raising your gas mileage to increasing your team's productivity and improving your van's resale value, preventive maintenance comes with numerous advantages. Due to all these benefits, preventative maintenance can significantly help your business and work vans.
Learn more about why preventative maintenance is important and how it can help:
- Prevent costly and time-consuming major repairs: A major reason to conduct regular preventative maintenance is to prevent time-consuming and expensive repairs. While preventative maintenance will involve repairs and upkeep, these maintenance practices help extend the life of major parts like your engine and transmission and help you catch potential issues early. By extending essential parts' life and taking action on small problems, you lower the chances your work van needs major repairs requiring a great deal of money and time to complete.
- Increase your team's productivity: Your team likely has to go to multiple clients a day. If their work van suddenly gets a flat tire or has engine problems, they could be stranded in the middle of nowhere, unable to make it to the next client. By making preventative vehicle maintenance a priority, you can lower the chances your team gets stuck waiting for a replacement van or a tow truck. As a result, your team can stay more productive by consistently making it to clients on time.
- Raise gas mileage: Another way preventative maintenance helps your work vans is by increasing their gas mileage. Preventative maintenance practices, like regular tire rotations and oil changes, can give you more miles to the gallon, significantly raising your gas mileage by ensuring your engine doesn't have to work extra hard to perform basic tasks due to dirty oil or worn parts.
- Protect your team and others: Preventative maintenance protects against unexpected major breakdowns. As a result, it's less likely your van breaks down on the road and causes an accident. This protection keeps your team and other drivers safer.
- Improve resale value: Eventually, you'll probably want to upgrade your work van or fleet of work vans and sell your older models. By performing preventative maintenance, you ensure your parts and components stay in better condition. As a result, you'll keep your vehicle's resale value higher, helping you recoup more of your original costs and have more money available to finance your new fleet.
Turn to Advantage Outfitters, LLC for Your Van Outfitting Needs
Preventative maintenance for your van is crucial to your staff's efficiency and productivity. So are van outfitting options, as they ensure your team's equipment and materials are organized and protected. At Advantage Outfitters, we can help you outfit your van with special equipment designed to help your team better organize their materials while out in the field, such as shelving units and shelving packages. Much like preventative maintenance, when you add protective floors and wall liners to your vans, you can guard against vehicle damage.