For fleet maintenance professionals, introducing new vehicle technology usually raises concerns about serviceability, reliability and the risk of downtime. While benefits like MPG improvement, safety enhancements, and extending PM’s are promising, all of these can be wiped out by unforeseen service headaches.
So before moving forward with your next green fleet vehicle selection, make sure your service and maintenance team is part of the decision-making process. Chances are, your vehicle service managers will help you more thoroughly assess the pros and cons of a new technology – and save time, money and headaches later.
What boxes need to be checked for your service team? See the list below.
- Crystal clear product warranties. Knowing the details around your product and system warranties, including specifically what’s covered, is critical.
- Untouched OEM warranty. Any green fleet technology must keep OEM warranties intact. If not, there’s an underlying issue to avoid.
- 24/7 1-800 number. When issues pop up in the field (and they will), can your service managers call and speak to a live person? A supplier’s commitment to having 24/7 support shows their commitment to the customer.
- On-board telematics. The ability to remotely monitor and diagnose vehicles is the new normal for fleets. Green fleet technologies should include wireless connectivity to read fault codes in near-real time. If not, then service issues could go undetected.
- Reasonable parts replacement costs. If your vehicle is in accident, what’s the replacement cost? Your maintenance team will want to ensure that your vehicle’s total cost of ownership (TCO) remains manageable.
- Track record of vehicle uptime. A maintenance team’s favorite green fleet vehicle is one they rarely see. Scrutinize the anticipated uptime and reliability of a green fleet vehicle with your provider before purchasing.
- Accessible service facilities. Ideally, vehicles with green technology can also be brought to OEM dealers for regular OEM vehicle service.
Remember, to successfully invest in and deploy a more sustainable fleet, involve your maintenance team to make the best decisions. And don’t be afraid to incorporate the above checklist, or one of your own, into the selection process with potential green fleet technology suppliers. If you don’t take these important steps in advance, your green fleet technology can quickly become a painful drag on your operations – and your service and maintenance team will not be happy.