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  • How to keep Vehicle Off Road (VOR) time to a minimum

    Planned or unplanned vehicle downtime remains one of the most frustrating aspects of fleet maintenance and management. Whether it is due to an accident, breakdown or planned maintenance, having to go without certain vehicles can prove incredibly costly by disrupting the service provision as a whole and is a drain on business resources.

    Many companies unfortunately fail to address the potentially damaging long-term consequences of mismanaged vehicle off-road (VOR) time, which can be a big mistake. For this reason we have put together some methods for you to adopt to successfully reduce your vehicle downtime.

    Vehicle Off Road time (VOR)

    8 Methods to reduce VOR time:

    1. Regular servicing, maintenance and repair is the most important method of reducing vehicle downtime. Without this you will find problems arising from lack of maintenance to often cause the largest unplanned disruption to fleet management. Forming a good relationship with your fleet maintenance provider will help to ensure maintenance times are kept to a minimum with quick turnaround times and an understanding of when to complete work in order to maximize time on the road. Often keeping vehicles on the road can be critical to the very nature of the business and in many cases it could be worth considering adopting SLA’s in terms of agreed turnaround times. In addition to this, an efficient and well maintained vehicle will be less likely to encounter problems which may keep you off the road even longer.A well serviced vehicle is also less likely to encounter resulting accidents from poor vehicle health, helping in the long run with fleet insurance premiums.
    2. Daily vehicle checks can help to keep a vehicle maintained and safe as well as catching a potential issue before it reaches more critical levels and potentially needs maintenance at a more difficult time. ‘Duty of care’ inspections carried out across the board by or on behalf of the business are also important as the duty of care ultimately comes down to you.
    3. Leasing vehicles on a regular renewal basis will also help to ensure that you have the most up-to-date, modern vehicles on your fleet. Timely fleet replacement means newer vehicles will incorporate the most up-to-date technology and build standards ensuring less chance of problems, not to mention the warranty cover that will be provided as standard. Obviously this time period needs to be considered carefully in the current economic climate to weigh up the costs and the best replacement cycle for your business.
    4. Opt for vehicles that are easier to repair. Often more expensive vehicles or certain brands will have parts that are harder to get hold of in an emergency. This can potentially increase the amount of VOR time versus an alternative mass-market brand, such as Ford or Vauxhall, where parts are easy to source and come much cheaper.
    5. Courtesy vehicles as part of your fleet insurance package will provide invaluable reassurance and a solution to unavoidable downtime. By insuring your fleet vehicles with a courtesy vehicle incorporated into the policy you can ensure that business can still be completed in spite of unexpected downtime.
    6. Adopt rental vehicles at peak business times. Fluctuations in business can mean that you may not have enough vehicles on the road to cope with demand during certain periods. By understanding these busy periods you can adopt rental vehicles to cope with influxes in demand rather than purchasing additional vehicles that will end up under-utilised later in the year.
    7. Driver training and telematics will help to evaluate driving techniques and encourage safer driving as well as reduced wear and tear on the vehicle. A well trained and evaluated driver will be less likely to be involved in vehicle accidents reducing the need for repair and off road time as well as saving in costs related to repair and fleet insurance.
    8. VOR analysis will help you to understand if there is a driver or vehicle that is regularly involved in accidents or needing repair and maintenance on their vehicle. Perhaps further driver training is required or communications in which regular vehicle checks they should be making to avoid repeated downtime can be incorporated. It is important to assign a daily cost per vehicle due to downtime which should include the downtime and the loss of business as a result. This will help to understand the true cost and value to the business as well as establishing alternatives for planned downtime and ultimately having a figure to improve upon in future.
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