As the age of a vehicle increases, the maintenance costs and depreciation also increase significantly. This replacement journey becomes a hectic job for the rookie fleet managers on the field.
On average, the vehicle replacement cycles last three to four years. The mileage will vary between companies according to the fleet policy – it can cover anywhere between 30,000 miles to 120,000 miles over four years.
Since it is your responsibility as a fleet manager to address the inefficiencies of an old vehicle, introducing or revamping your fleet vehicle replacement strategy can save you all the hassle.
This article provides a complete guide to vehicle replacement cycles that help you operate your fleet as smoothly as possible.
Why Does Your Fleet Need Vehicle Replacement Cycles?
Regardless of the method you use to procure vehicles, optimization is necessary for understanding the nuances of your fleet life cycle and thus make an appropriate decision in repairs and upkeep.
Here’s what optimized replacement cycles for your fleet offer your business in the long run:
Reduced Downtime And Repair Costs
Forward-thinking companies are beginning to take notice of fleet replacement cycles to lower their preventative maintenance costs and increase their resale values.
If you would like to replace a few older vehicles in your fleet, following a fixed timeline will ensure you do so before the truck stalls or undergoes breakdowns out of warranty.
Replacing older trucks before major problems arise also decreases losses due to downtime, thereby improving efficiencies across fleet operations.
Fleet managers understand that modern vehicles will enable truckers to be more productive. The technological improvements and overall comfort of the latest models will drive fleet operators to perform better at work.
Thus, by determining a proper cycle for fleet management, managers can offer employees the ideal support they anticipate and deserve, thus keeping productivity levels high.
Extending your fleet’s life cycle beyond their capacity and quietly suffering through their deteriorating efficiencies means missing out on safer vehicles for your drivers.
Getting trucks with more advanced safety features like forward-collision warning systems and automatic emergency braking keeps your drivers happy and your assets secure.
Lower Fuel Use
Excessive fuel use is not a desirable thing for fleet organizations: it piles on to the company’s operating expenses and also harms the environment.
Vehicle replacement cycles ensure that older vehicles consuming too much gasoline and not offering peak performance are replaced by new vehicles with better miles per gallon.
How To Finalize The Best Vehicle Replacement Strategy
Determining a replacement cycle for your fleet could lead to long-term savings. However, designing a detailed vehicle replacement strategy can be both daunting and overwhelming.
If you have lost all hope of seeking out the most beneficial replacement cycle for your fleet and don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered with these simple tips.
Look At Vehicle Specifics
Start by looking at the typical categories: the number of years you’ve owned the truck, the mileage, monthly/annual repair costs, and the model of the vehicle.
Factor in extras like installing driver cams and custom-made features. These accessories add to your replacement costs should you need to install them in your new vehicle, too.
Turn To Fleet Tracking Devices
If you haven’t already, you should get started on fleet tracking and telematics by installing GPS devices.
The data from these devices can give you key insights into vehicle performance and point towards specific issues that may influence your final decision.
The tracking system collates and creates a simple report, so you get an overview of your vehicle’s annual maintenance expenses, fuel efficiency, compliance with inspections and safety regulations, and downtime.
Change Your Perspective
In a bid to reduce net costs, fleet managers might opt for an extended replacement cycle. They may delay buying newer models or prolong their lease terms to make the vehicle last longer.
Postponing replacement might seem like the cheaper alternative now, especially from a corporate vehicle budgeting standpoint. But interestingly, this strategy is more likely to increase your costs.
Older vehicles come with higher maintenance costs, and finding manufacturer-approved parts for outdated models is also next to impossible. Plus, these trucks may be out of warranty.
Since these factors often add to your overall fleet maintenance expenses, the winning strategy, in the long run, is to replace older trucks with newer, more efficient, and more advanced vehicles.
Vehicle Manufacturer Incentives
Speaking of financial savings, some vehicle manufacturers provide customers with incentives to get them to buy their newer products. These incentives include exclusive lease offers and discounts.
Fleet managers considering getting a new vehicle should take advantage of these aggressive deals to give their fleet a much-needed facelift. Competitive pricing can prove beneficial for your replacement strategy.
Tune Into The Needs Of Your Business
Apart from maintenance costs, it is prudent to create your vehicle replacement policies with the requirements of your business in mind.
If you’ve noticed that some vehicles in your fleet are more often than not left unutilized, chances are you don’t need as many trucks to keep your fleet operations running smoothly.
This stands in contrast to fleets that have too few vehicles and might be overworking their trucks (and drivers) to the point of impacting their resale value down the line.
Even if you’re satisfied with your current vehicle distribution, you may need a bigger fleet size one day, so consider your unique business needs and determine replacement cycles accordingly.
Remember: an older, inefficient fleet merely undermines the sacrifices you’ve made up until this point to keep your company at the vanguard and lower its operating costs.
Devising a replacement cycle strategy that complies with your business and investing in competent vehicles is the way to grow your fleet business as quickly as possible.
Managers can use fleet management software to determine the performance and utility of their existing vehicles and analyze which strategy offers the best returns on investment.
It’s best to update yourself with the right knowledge of newer truck models, competitive pricing and incentives, and technology systems that can give you access to a robust and productive fleet.