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History & Development

In 1976 for the subject of my thesis in the final year of a 3 years full time course in Motor Industry Management I chose the subject of Managing the Maintenance of a Fleet of Heavy Commercial Vehicles. I am delighted to report that it was well received and achieved high marks.

Having spent some years in the retail garage trade, in 1985 I moved into full time Fleet Management. Since then I have worked in a number of Fleet Management/Leasing Companies on the service / fleet control side. In these roles I have been involved in the running of the maintenance of fleets of 5 to 500 vehicles for these clients.

 

In the last number of years various governments across the world have introduced legislation to ensure that vehicles are maintained to the highest standards and most have introduced annual compulsory safety checks. Many have insisted that the operator of the vehicle/vehicles have a planned maintenance schedule, record defects and the action taken to rectify them, do daily vehicle checks and keep records to prove to inspectors that they have followed their plan.

 

These government regulations mirror very closely my 1976 thesis. However having worked with many Fleet Management Software packages, and researched many more, I could not find a Simple Planning and Recording package that would comply with the government regulations. Many packages assume that a fleet operator has an in house workshop, others want the operator to record each part fitted and its cost and others concentrate on mobile apps for Daily Walk Around Checks or Vehicle Tracking.

 

In my some 33 years of fleet management I have found that the small to medium fleet operator usually subcontracts maintenance work to a small number of trusted suppliers, local to their base of operations. In these cases the operator has confidence in the supplier to carry out repairs/maintainance in a professional, competent and cost effective manner. Many suppliers will offer pickup and delivery, onsite repairs, breakdown and recovery and when necessary work outside of normal hours to keep the fleet on the road. The operator is generally more interested in the service level provided than recording the cost of each item fitted and comparing this with the market. The Operator wants to get on with running their core business and not minutely managing their fleet, however they do want to control the management of the fleet and it’s costs.

 

Operators do have an obligation to maintain their fleet in a way that keeps the vehicles in a safe and roadworthy condition not only for the efficient running of the business but also to comply with the legal obligation of ensuring that they are supplying their employees with a safe tool to carry out their work.

 

To comply with this obligation and with any regulations imposed by Government an operator needs to plan maintenance, deal with defects and do daily safety checks. They need then to be able to prove that they are doing this.

 

Since I was not happy that the Software Packages, I have reviewed, do this in a simple way I have written my own called PLANNEDFLEET.

Michael Reville

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