Winter out, spring in. The days are much longer again in spring, the sun appears more often and the annual spring cleaning is on the agenda. What is the rule in the private household also applies to the vehicle fleet. It’s time for a comprehensive fleet cleaning! March and April are the ideal time to analyze the condition of the fleet, schedule necessary repairs and inspections, and brush up on legal issues.
Organize your fleet: Is the fleet fit for the new year?
1. general inventory and maintenance
Use the spring to take inventory. Which vehicles have sustained damage from heavy winter use and need repair? Are there any vehicles you need to replace? Now is the right time to take stock. This also includes scheduling inspections or statutory maintenance.
By following these steps, you can ensure that your fleet is in tip-top shape and your vehicles are reliable and safe on the road all year long. Check:
- the condition of the tires, brakes and lighting equipment and replace defective parts if necessary
- the oil and coolant levels and top up if necessary
- the functionality of the air conditioner and perform maintenance if necessary
- the condition of the batteries and replace them if necessary
- The functionality of safety equipment such as warning triangles, first aid kits and fire extinguishers and replace defective or expired equipment
- the condition of the vehicle documents and make sure that all documents such as vehicle registration, registration and insurance are up to date
2. review of the leasing contracts
In many cases, vehicle leases expire after three years at the latest. For this reason, leasing contracts should be regularly checked to ensure that they are up to date, so that the fleet can be organized not only in line with requirements, but also as cost-effectively as possible. Spring is a good time to take a deep inventory and plan ahead for your needs. Which vehicles need to be returned to the leasing company in the near future? Do we want to add vehicles to the permanent fleet? Which leased vehicles do we need to purchase new? Talk to your leasing company about this in good time.
3. change to summer tires
Around the end of April, we no longer have to expect ice and slippery conditions on our roads. This is the right time to switch from winter to summer tires. Unlike the obligation to use winter tires, which has been anchored in the Road Traffic Act since 2010, there is no legal regulation as to when summer tires must be used. Nevertheless, changing the tires also makes sense for cost reasons, as they have a flatter tread and thus more grip on dry surfaces. In addition, the braking distance is shorter, the tread wear is lower and you save fuel.
4. the control of the driving licenses
Safety is a key issue for every fleet manager. In addition to the road safety of the fleet, this also includes the driving ability of the drivers and the possession of a valid driver’s license. The control of the driver’s license is not clearly regulated by the legislator, but can be derived from section 21 para. 1 No. 2 StVG and section 28 para. 2VVG.
To ensure that fleet managers are on the safe side legally, driver’s licenses should be checked every six months and then archived in accordance with data protection regulations. Modern software solutions for fleet management provide support in checking driver’s licenses quickly and securely, regardless of location. This way, the driver’s license check will never again become an organizational marathon.
Driver's license verification
With Carano’s electronic driver’s license check, drivers conveniently check their licenses via smartphone app – whether in the office, at home or on the road. All results are fully documented.
5. cleaning of the vehicles
Fleet cleaning refers to the regular cleaning of vehicles in a fleet to keep them in good condition and prolong their life. Cleaning vehicles in the fleet is also important so that employees feel comfortable driving them. A clean body and tires can also help vehicles run safer and look better. Fleet cleaning includes, for example:
- Interior cleaning: This involves thoroughly cleaning the vehicles by removing dirt, dust and other contaminants from the seats, dashboard and floor mats.
- Upholstery cleaning: Upholstery cleaning involves cleaning the seats and other upholstered parts of vehicles to remove stains and odors and extend the life of the upholstery.
- Engine cleaning: Engine cleaning involves thoroughly cleaning the engine and associated parts to remove dirt and oil residue and improve engine performance and efficiency.
- Exterior cleaning: Exterior cleaning includes cleaning of the body and tires including rims.
6. analyze costs
After spring cleaning, you should take enough time for a detailed fleet analysis. A fleet analysis is a thorough review of the fleet to evaluate its performance and efficiency and identify opportunities for optimization. Where are the (hidden) cost guzzlers and how can you avoid them?
Based on the results from the fleet analysis, measures can then be taken to improve the fleet, for example by using more modern vehicles, introducing vehicle management systems or promoting corporate car sharing.
A fleet analysis can include the following aspects:
- Number and type of vehicles in the fleet
- Use of vehicles, including average mileage and drivers
- Costs for the vehicle fleet including fuel, maintenance and repairs.
- CO2 emissions and the emission of other air pollutants
- Fleet safety performance, including accident statistics and traffic violations.
- Compliance with laws and regulations, including tax and social security obligations.
Why you should be mindful on the road even in springtime
Spring not only brings sunshine, but still holds some dangers that company car drivers should be aware of. Winter doesn’t leave without a trace and likes to leave a pothole or two in the road. These were created over the long cold winter months. The tricky thing is that they usually appear in the spring. Drivers should therefore always watch their speed and prefer to drive a little slower on unfamiliar country roads.
After winter, roadsides and roadways can still be very slippery, especially during rain or thaw. Additionally, in the spring, the days can still be short and visibility can be poor, which can make the ride especially strenuous and dangerous. On rural roads, be especially careful of wild animals. Deer and wild boar are no longer uncommon even in densely populated regions and can cause serious accidents resulting in personal injury and property damage. Therefore, the following also applies in this case: A moderate speed can prevent many accidents.
In general, it is important to be mindful on the roads, even in spring, to drive with foresight and to obey speed limits and traffic rules. This is the best way to avoid accidents.
Spring is the perfect time to analyze the condition of the fleet for optimization potential, schedule necessary repairs and inspections, thoroughly clean fleet vehicles inside and out, change from winter to summer tires, and take care of legal issues such as driver’s license checks.
Quite a lot of tasks? Fleet management software helps fleet managers organize the fleet and meet all important deadlines on time and in compliance with the law.