Paul wants to keep on top of his small fleet’s truck maintenance. His boss came down last week with a half dozen unexpected emergency bills that she thought should have been avoided.
He wouldn’t argue with that. But managing a fleet of nineteen trucks and the staff to take care of the fleet’s routing, billing, and IFTA reports was taking all his time. How was he supposed to track the tires and brakes too?
Her words stung, because he knew, deep down, that he should have been paying attention. It had been easy to let Rob in the garage handle the maintenance. The DOT forms were filled out and never questioned, so Paul figured it was good enough. But for things like tires that need to be rotated after a certain number of miles, just how was Rob keeping track of that? Or rather – how wasn’t Rob keeping track, since three of the on the road repairs had come from tires and wheels?
What Should Fleet Maintenance Management Cover?
The Department of Transportation has a checklist of 13 items.
There are dozens of forms available on the Internet of the DOT inspection list that any mechanic could download and use. But the mechanic will also have to track a truck’s mileage to be sure that some things are checked on a regular basis, such as tires, brakes, and the fuel system. Most mechanics don’t have access to the truck’s mileage records to know when an inspection ought to be scheduled until the truck pulls in – often past the due time. This is what can lead to on the road breakdowns or emergency repairs, or failure to pass a CVSA inspection.* Fleet maintenance management, when done correctly, can save a trucking business thousands of dollars.
Should a Fleet Manager Buy Another Software Product?
In this computer age, it’s pretty easy to jump onto the Internet and look for an app or program that will handle this problem. There are indeed a lot of options out there. However, how could Paul know what was good? That his office manager and Rob out in the garage could use without extensive training? Reviews and testimonials aside, he realized that almost all of the programs he was reading about required duplicate work. The bookkeeper was already copying in the dispatch information into her billing software that the dispatch clerk had put into PC*Miler to determine the route. Another person, putting in the same data? Ignoring the probability of messing up the numbers with each additional input, it just seemed like such a waste of time and effort to enter the same data over and over.
As a fleet manager, have you ever wondered where you could find an integrated system that did all of this – and the fleet maintenance management too?
Paul spent an afternoon trying to decide which program would be best for his business. His boss had come down hard on him, but she was a fair employer and would probably take any recommendation from him seriously. He wanted to prove to her that he was working to solve these problems. After several disappointing clicks, Paul found TruckingOffice trucking management software. He discovered that he could take the program out for a spin for 30 days for free. It had fleet maintenance management but it also would handle dispatches, invoicing, record keeping and, like icing on the cake, the IFTA!
Because it was free for 30 days, Paul and his team started using it right away. Everyone was impressed with the ease of the program. Training was quick and clear and within three days, everyone was complaining about the old system because TruckingOffice was faster and smoother. The routing was done at the point of dispatch and the invoices were created as soon as the bill of lading image hit the bookkeeper’s desktop. The integration with QuickBooks made the firm’s accountant happy. The next quarter’s IFTA wouldn’t take hours to complete. Best of all, Rob in the garage now could keep track of all of the trucks with TruckingOffice’s dashboard alert for scheduled maintenance – and replacing that bad wheel on one cab had probably saved the driver’s load, if not his life.
Paul took TruckingOffice to his boss, along with the reports from the maintenance module and the Company Overview Report, which showed an excellent month’s profits. The staff was happy, the boss was happy.
Are you a fleet manager who needs a way to track your company’s invoices, maintenance, and driver settlements? Don’t you need an integrated software that will manage everything from a single data entry instead of duplicating efforts?
Fleet maintenance management is only one part of the powerful TruckingOffice software. Try it today for free and see what a modern computer system can do for your business.
*The 2016 CVSA is scheduled for June 7-9th. You won’t have to worry if you’re keeping up with your maintenance with TruckingOffice’s maintenance module!