Stay on Top of Vehicle Maintenance with Telematics


By Wyn Partington, Vice President of Marketing, NexTraq

Maintaining a properly functioning fleet is a vital part of operations for companies in the oil and propane industries, and regular vehicle maintenance plays an important role in keeping vehicles running efficiently.

By taking a proactive approach to vehicle maintenance, companies can ensure drivers and fleets are operating safely on the road, while also avoiding costly repairs due to needed maintenance signs being ignored. Additionally, routine maintenance allows vehicles to continue running at the most efficient fuel levels, which helps companies control fuel costs.

By integrating with a GPS fleet tracking solution, companies can stay on top of vehicle maintenance and be equipped with the tools they need to be proactive about repairs. Telematics solutions offer a platform that tracks fleet and asset maintenance and includes schedules and alerts, so that managers can ensure maintenance will happen in a timely, organized manner. By utilizing telematics, companies can manage the process and ensure all vehicles and assets receive the service they need to function properly in the field.

Logging Repairs and Setting up Schedules
No matter the fleet size, monitoring every single company vehicle and trying to make sure maintenance is handled in a timely manner for each one can be overwhelming for managers and can lead to neglected repairs that can turn into larger, costlier issues down the road. These repairs are often more expensive but can be avoided by simply sticking to a regular maintenance schedule.

By integrating with a telematics solution, companies can set up automated maintenance schedules, eliminating time spent on managing schedules and allowing business owners to focus on more pressing matters at hand. A sophisticated fleet tracking solution provides easy-to-use maintenance schedules that take the guesswork out of servicing vehicles. It also maximizes company assets by ensuring preventive upkeep is occurring consistently and on schedule.

As an added benefit, managers can receive alerts if needed repairs are overdue. This allows them to rest assured that maintenance is happening on time and operations are running smoothly.

A telematics solution can also help speed up the process when a repair is needed. For example, if an employee out in the field notices that an oil change is needed, it can potentially take days for this to be communicated back to the office when maintenance monitoring is a manual process. A comprehensive GPS fleet tracking solution allows employees to log vehicle repairs easily through the system with a touch of a button. The logs are updated across all devices and users within the solution, so all employees are updated on the maintenance schedule and status.

Monitoring Assets
In addition to providing managers with a clear view of vehicles in the field, a comprehensive GPS fleet tracking solution should offer insights into asset activity, so managers can track any assets being utilized in the field as well. Power Take-Off (PTO) sensors provide data regarding asset activity in the field by monitoring when any extension of an asset is being used, even if the engine is not running. Similar to maintenance alerts, managers can receive instant notifications when an asset’s PTO mechanism is engaged. This provides a complete and detailed picture of all asset activity and usage on jobsites.

GPS fleet tracking solutions should also provide the option for employees to update details regarding an asset remotely, usually via a mobile application. A mobile app can allow field workers to report any maintenance issues via a smartphone or tablet, ensuring repairs are dealt with quickly.

Creating Customized Reports
With the right solution, managers can create reports that provide valuable insight on vehicle repairs. Customized reports can be generated on the fly, and managers can set up subscriptions to reports so that they are delivered straight to their inbox. Reports can include information on a single vehicle or the entire fleet and can be customized to provide an insightful look into fleet operations to learn what is working and any areas for improvement.

Through the reports, managers can gain valuable operations knowledge such as fleet productivity and fleet fuel expenses. Vehicle maintenance reports can be printed and emailed in multiple formats to share with teams, allowing the entire company to stay informed and updated on maintenance needs.

Proactive vehicle maintenance is a vital component of keeping fleets functioning in the field and operations running efficiently. By taking a proactive approach to maintenance, companies in the oil and energy industries can not only extend the life of vehicles, but also reduce vehicle repair costs. Businesses that implement a fleet management solution can achieve ROI in as little as one month, saving the company valuable time and money.

Wyn Partington is Vice President of Marketing at NexTraq. NexTraq’s applications—Fleet Dispatch, Fleet Metrics, NexTraq Connect and NexTraq View—deliver real-time data needed to optimize fleet operations.

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