What is breakdown maintenance?

A breakdown occurs when a vehicle stops working properly due to mechanical failure. Vehicle breakdowns may occur during normal operation or while parked. They can range from minor issues such as a loose battery cable to major problems such as a broken transmission.

Causes of Vehicle Breakdowns

Vehicles break down due to various reasons. Some of the common causes of vehicle breakdowns are listed below:

  • Lighting:
    Lighting is one of the biggest sources of breakdowns. In fact, it accounts for almost 40% of breakdowns overall. And, according to our data, the number of breakdowns caused due to lighting decreased by 8%. However, the number of breakdown repairs increased 10%, indicating that there is still room for improvement.

  • Mechanical Failure:
    This includes any kind of damage caused to the engine, transmission, drive train, steering mechanism, suspension, brakes, tires, wheels, axles, body parts, etc. Mechanical failures can be caused due to improper maintenance, aging, misuse, overloading, etc.

  • Electrical Malfunction:
    This includes any kind of damage caused to the battery, alternator, starter motor, ignition system, wiring harnesses, fuses, relays, etc. Electrical malfunctions can be caused due to poor maintenance, aging, misuse or short-circuiting.

Listed below are the reasons why a vehicle might break down

  • Poor road conditions
  • Faulty parts
  • Lack of regular servicing
  • Overloading
  • Improper use
  • Bad weather
  • Fuel system problems
  • Poor driving habits
  • Poor maintenance
  • Theft
  • Accidents
  • Natural disasters
  • Road hazards
  • Environmental damage

Electrical issues account for about half of all breakdowns, while mechanical issues make up another third. Poor maintenance is responsible for 15% of breakdowns.

Process of Breakdowns

There are three phases involved in breakdown management: prevention, detection, and recovery. Prevention is the phase during which preventive measures are taken to avoid breakdowns. Detection is the phase during which breakdowns are detected. Recovery is the phase during which the breakdown is fixed.

Types of Vehicle Breakdown Maintenance

Vehicle breakdown maintenance includes preventive maintenance, routine maintenance, emergency repair, and overhaul. Preventive maintenance is done before the occurrence of a breakdown. Routine maintenance is performed after the occurrence of a breakdown but before the breakdown becomes serious. An emergency repair is done immediately after the breakdown occurs. An Overhaul is done after the breakdown has been repaired.

Breakdowns are costly. They can lead to production downtime, lost work hours, increased labor costs, and reduced customer satisfaction. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the average cost of a motor vehicle breakdown is $1,500.

Effects of Vehicle Fleet Downtime

Vehicle downtime can cause significant financial losses. A fleet manager must plan for vehicle outages and ensure that the loss of vehicles does not affect the overall operation of the organization.

The cost of repairing a vehicle depends on several factors including the type of problem, the age of the vehicle, the location where it needs to be repaired, and the availability of parts. In addition, the cost of repairs increases if the vehicle cannot be moved quickly. For example, if a bus breaks down on a highway, the driver might have to wait for another bus to arrive. This delay adds to the total repair time.

Another factor that affects the cost of repairs is the availability of spare parts. If a part is unavailable, the repair process will likely take longer.

Finally, the cost of repairs varies depending on whether the vehicle is owned by the company or leased. Leased vehicles generally require more maintenance than company-owned vehicles. However, the cost of repairs is usually much lower for leased vehicles because the lessee pays for most of the repairs.

How costly is vehicle downtime for your fleet?

Vehicle downtime costs vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle and its age. Older vehicles tend to experience more problems because of wear and tear. However, newer models often suffer from software issues.

A lack of visibility into downtime causes it to go unnoticed and unplanned. This leads to increased maintenance costs and lost productivity. According to recent data, vehicle downtime ranges from $488 to $760 per vehicle, per day, for an average of $624.

Vehicle downtime costs fleets $2 billion annually, according to FleetCarma. Mechanical issues cost fleets $500 million annually, while driver behavior is the most important thing in keeping vehicles running smoothly. Preventive maintenance helps keep drivers' vehicles running smoothly.

Fleet managers should consider the impact that unexpected downtime will have on their budgets before making any purchase decisions. They must understand what factors contribute to vehicle downtime and how those factors can be managed to minimize costs.

There are many ways to reduce vehicle downtime costs including better planning, scheduling, and management. These measures help you avoid unnecessary repairs and keep your fleet running smoothly.

Tips to Prevent Vehicle Fleet Breakdowns

The average fleet manager spends about $1 million per year on vehicle repair and maintenance.This includes everything from routine oil changes to major overhauls. In addition, there are many unexpected breakdowns that occur throughout the course of a day. These include things like tire blowouts, flat tires, broken windshield wipers, and even dead batteries. All of these events add up to significant downtime costs.

Preventive maintenance is the best way to keep vehicles running smoothly and avoid costly repairs. Preventive maintenance involves regular inspections and adjustments to ensure that components such as engines, transmissions, brakes, steering systems, and suspension systems work properly. By performing preventative maintenance, you can extend the life of your vehicle and save money.

Fleet managers should also make sure that drivers report problems as soon as possible. If something goes wrong with a vehicle, it’s important to let the driver know what needs to be done. For example, if a truck starts making loud noises while driving down the road, the driver should pull over and notify his or her supervisor. A quick response could mean avoiding a serious problem.

Finally, fleet managers should consider replacing older vehicles with newer models. Replacing old vehicles with new ones can often lead to lower maintenance costs. You might find that you can cut your vehicle expenses by half simply by switching out older trucks for newer models.

A daily, monthly and annual vehicle inspection should be performed.

Use of technology to avoid downtime due to breakdown

Fleet maintenance software helps you manage fleets better and reduces downtime. You can automate workflows and schedule jobs to run automatically. This way, you don’t have to worry about it anymore. And because you are notified ahead of time, you can plan accordingly.

Automating tasks and scheduling jobs to run automatically will help you avoid unplanned downtime. When something goes wrong, you won’t be caught off guard. Instead, you will know what needs to happen and how long it takes to complete.

Working with external service providers can also save money and increase productivity. By working together, you can achieve greater efficiency and lower costs.

Uptime is crucial for every fleet operation. Technology can help reduce downtime and keep your fleet running smoothly.

Fleet management software plays a vital role in preventing vehicle breakdowns by providing real-time data regarding the status of each vehicle. With this data, the fleet manager can easily track the location of each vehicle and know if any of the vehicles is out of order. Moreover, the fleet manager can get alerts whenever any of the vehicles stop working. A survey indicates that fleet vehicles in a preventive fleet maintenance program experienced about 20% fewer maintenance-related downtime days.

Why is Preventive maintenance better than breakdown maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is different from breakdown maintenance because it focuses on preventing problems rather than fixing them once they occur. When you schedule preventive maintenance, you make sure your vehicle is well-maintained and ready to go. You don't wait until something breaks down before you take care of it. In fact, preventive maintenance is one of the most effective ways to save money. Here are some reasons why preventive maintenance is better than breakdown maintenance.

  • Preventing Problems Is Better Than Fixing Them After They Occur
    When you perform preventive maintenance, you're making sure everything is working properly. This includes things like checking fluids levels, inspecting belts, and cleaning filters. If there are issues, you'll catch them early and fix them quickly. But if something does break down, you won't know about it until it happens. By that time, it could be too late to prevent downtime.

  • Preventive Maintenance Helps Ensure Safety and Reliability
    If you've ever been involved in an accident caused by a mechanical issue, you know how serious it can be. A broken part can cause a chain reaction of events that lead to a crash. And since automobiles are complex machines, even small mistakes can have big consequences. That's why it's critical to do routine maintenance checks on your vehicle. These checks include looking under the hood, checking tire pressure, and performing fluid level checks. If you find anything wrong, you can correct it before it becomes a major problem.

  • Preventive Maintenance Keeps Costs Down
    One of the best parts of preventive maintenance is that it keeps costs down. For example, if you check your oil every 3 months, you won't have to replace it as often. Also, if you regularly inspect your tires, you'll avoid having to pay extra for replacement fees.

Preventive maintenance vs breakdown maintenance

Preventive maintenance is done before a breakdown occurs. Preventive maintenance helps to avoid breakdowns. Preventive maintenance includes regular checks and inspections. These checks and inspections ensure that all systems work properly. They also check for signs of wear and tear. For example, if there is a possibility of a brake fluid leak, then the mechanic would inspect the brakes before the vehicle breaks down.

Breakdowns are usually caused by problems that cannot be detected until after the vehicle has already stopped. Therefore, preventive maintenance should be performed regularly to prevent breakdowns.