How to Ensure You're Getting Real Value for Money From Your Trucking Fleet
If you own a distribution business that moves goods over considerable distances, then you are likely responsible for some heavy-duty trucks. You know that your company's budget revolves around performance, and you need to be sure that you are maximising this while also paying attention to repairs and maintenance very carefully. If you feel that you are not where you need to be and struggling to meet your efficiency indicators, what could be going wrong and what should you focus on?
The typical heavy truck today is a well-engineered piece of equipment. It is designed to travel extreme distances without very much in the way of mechanical intervention, but you need to configure the vehicle properly and pay particular attention to certain adjustments.
To start, make sure that you train your drivers so that they operate the vehicle as efficiently as possible. If they drive more quickly than they need to, then this will increase fuel consumption by several percentage points. Over the year, this can make a significant difference to your bottom line.
Also, they may not need to go through all the gears in the box to get where they want to and most engines these days are able to perform well in every case. Skipping a few gears up and down can help to use less fuel.
You need to check to see if a variety of different components are adjusted properly on a regular basis, or things could go south very quickly.
Start off at the top of the vehicle and see if the air deflectors are properly set. They're designed to reduce resistance to air as the truck is moving forward and should deflect it over the top of your trailer at all times. The deflectors may have slipped and might need an adjustment if you haven't looked at them for quite a while.
Next, come down to ground level and look at tyre pressures. You need to check every single wheel on the entire rig, unless you want the engine to work harder and add to your costs.
While you are down there, have a look at the alignment (once again on every wheel). These can easily fall out of true whenever the vehicle encounters uneven road conditions or may slip out of adjustment through average wear and tear.
Getting It Done Right
As this can be a very tricky but precise job when done properly, it may be better for you to take your vehicles in to a truck servicing repair shop periodically, so that you can be sure everything is right.