Forward planning is essential now to ensure optimum fleet uptime when business starts returning to normal.
The warning comes from ATS Euromaster, which points out that there will be increased pressure on maintenance and bodyshop bays and has provided its top tips to help avoid issues.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll on fleets, ATS Euromaster said that service centres will have been under pressure too, with reduced staff cover due to coronavirus or through staff furlough.
Mark Holland, operations director at the tyre replacement and service centre specialist, outlined: “While we have kept the vast majority of our ATS Euromaster centres open during lockdown and continue to ensure our emergency blue light contracts are fully serviced and prioritised, we have still been impacted by the pandemic and staff sickness, with resultant extension of waiting times.”
To help fleets avoid issues and ensure they are ready to go when lockdown does eventually end, ATS Euromaster has published its top tips for fleets:
- For vehicles that have been laid up or little used for the past year, consider a free Duty of Care service inspection to ensure drivers can return to work safely and securely.
- Consider booking any tyre replacement early – stocks of some tyres will be low and may require a few weeks for order, delivery and fitment.
- Check tyre wear, damage and quality on vehicles that have been sitting for the past few months.
- Ensure vehicle servicing that may have been delayed during lockdown is now booked in to ensure full vehicle maintenance.
- Check the MOT status of vehicles – the coronavirus extension has now unwound. It’s possible that due to oversight the MOT has been missed. So check vehicles to ensure that they are roadworthy; the fine is £1000 and your insurance would automatically be invalidated.
- Some parts and items will require ordering and lead times for replacement parts are extended by weeks.
- Sort out minor accident damage on vehicles sustained during the recent cold snap.
Mark Holland continued: “Ensuring fleet uptime is a critical part of fleet management, so planning and preparation now is essential to ensure a fleet returns to operational status successfully when required. Failure to plan properly could result in unwanted vehicle downtime, which could impact business return to profitability.”