fleet maintenance services mn

Implementing a Preventative Fleet Maintenance Program

In the trucking and transportation industry, the health of the vehicles in your fleet is critical to your profitability and your company’s reputation. That’s what makes preventative fleet vehicle maintenance so vitally important and why it should be a top priority for fleet managers. 

After all, the last thing you need is for one of your drivers to end up stuck on the side of the road and unable to make a delivery due to a completely preventable problem. 

So how do you go about setting up a thorough semi-truck maintenance program? How do you create truck maintenance schedules? And what items should be on your fleet maintenance checklist? 

Here’s everything you need to know about implementing a fleet maintenance program


What is preventative fleet maintenance?

Preventative fleet maintenance is an integral part of overall fleet management and it’s key to your company’s success and future growth. 

In fleet maintenance, owners, managers, and operators develop robust and detailed processes and schedules to ensure that all vehicles in the fleet are in good operating condition and ready to be driven safely for many miles to come. 


Advantages of proactive (preventative) fleet maintenance

Just as people should go to the doctor before a health concern becomes something more serious, preventative fleet maintenance is a way to identify minor issues and nip them in the bud earlier rather than later. 

The advantages of fleet maintenance are almost limitless, but for the sake of time, we’ll go over the top four reasons why it’s so beneficial:


1. It keeps costs under control

fleet maintenance in mn

When looking at ways to increase your bottom line, developing a preventative maintenance program should be at the top of your list. Sure, a new set of tires for your truck is expensive, but it’s a lot more affordable than a blowout that could lead to even more costly damage. 

The best way to avoid having to sink a lot of money into repairs is to keep your vehicles in tip-top shape with a comprehensive fleet maintenance program. While there are some initial costs associated with developing such a program, the money you’ll save long-term will more than make up for the expenses and as for the peace of mind you’ll gain – well, you can’t put a price tag on that, can you?


2. It ensures safety and compliance

Although even the best fleet maintenance program can’t prevent every accident, it can greatly reduce the risk of something going wrong and causing serious injury to not only the operator but also other nearby motorists. 

By performing proper fleet maintenance, you can ideally keep your company’s accident count low and reduce your insurance premiums, saving you valuable money and protecting drivers – and your reputation. 

Additionally, fleet maintenance can help with compliance-related issues. By identifying and fixing problems before an inspection, you can keep your vehicles on the road and avoid being fined for not complying with state or federal regulations. It’s a win-win!


3. Meet delivery deadlines

As an industry professional, you know that your reputation is everything and when you promise that a shipment will be delivered on a certain day, you need to make it happen. If it doesn’t, you could risk putting your good name in jeopardy and cause your customers to look elsewhere for service. 

By putting in the time to keep up with your preventative maintenance, you’ll be able to rest assured that your vehicles will be ready to go when you need them most – and that your customers will keep coming back to you. 


4. Minimize downtime

When the vehicles in your fleet are off the road, it can mean a loss of productivity and profitability as drivers – and deliveries – have to wait around until a truck is available and that’s definitely not an ideal situation. 

Performing routine maintenance can go a long way in helping minimize downtime by taking care of minor problems before they turn into major issues that will sideline your vehicles and prevent you from doing business. 


Preventative fleet maintenance best practices

fleet maintenance services in mn

Implementing a preventative fleet maintenance program can take time, but the good news is that it’s time well spent, especially when you consider how disruptive and expensive an unexpected repair can be. 

If you’re ready to put a brand-new fleet maintenance program in place or overhaul your current one and aren’t sure where to begin, here are some best practices to get you going:


  • Set up a maintenance schedule based on key metrics

Drafting a checklist of maintenance services is a great place to start – take a look at our list below for ideas – but it’s critical to take things a step further by establishing a schedule to ensure these tasks are completed on time. 

Your vehicle’s owner manual is a great resource for general information about service intervals but it’s also a good practice to employ the use of metrics to determine when preventative maintenance needs to be done. 

Whether using use operating hours, mileage, fuel usage or another benchmark, it’s critical to set up some sort of schedule along with reminders that will alert you when it’s time to perform service. 


  • Invest in fleet maintenance software. 

Why go it alone? Let technology do some of the heavy lifting in keeping your fleet up and running. Even if the only thing fleet maintenance software did was help you with your maintenance schedule, it would be well worth the expense. 

However, it can do just about anything you need ranging from tracking odometer data to generating mobile work orders to managing third-party repairs. Additionally, the software can quickly generate detailed reports that can help you identify patterns, analyze costs, and forecast future maintenance needs. It’s all about working smarter, not harder. 


  • Regularly evaluate your data

Running reports is great but in order for them to be useful, you need to really dive into the information and figure out what it’s telling you. By establishing benchmarks and monitoring them frequently, you’ll easily be able to see if your preventative maintenance measures are working or if you need to re-evaluate your processes.

A few key indicators include vehicle performance (are some vehicle classes breaking down more than others?) and lifespan (is my maintenance plan increasing the longevity of my vehicles?). Studying this type of data can give you the guidance you need to make better, more informed decisions and help you increase both productivity and profitability. That’s what it’s all about, right? 


  • Monitor your operating costs 

You might have the best maintenance program on the planet, but let’s face it – trucks experience a lot of wear and tear, and there comes a point where owning them becomes more and more expensive. 

In tracking the data on your vehicles, you’ll be able to tell how often they’re in need of repair and how much those repairs cost. That information can help you determine whether it makes sense to hold onto the vehicle or if you’d be better off selling it. 

Aside from the data, though, you’ll want to pay attention to trends in the used vehicle market to figure out the right time to sell for maximum profit. 


  • Keep an eye on your inventory

Time is money, and there’s nothing worse than needing a part ASAP and not having it on hand. Use your fleet maintenance software to help you keep tabs on your inventory and set it up to place automatic orders when your supply of key items such as fluids, hoses, belts and filters is running low. 


Developing a fleet maintenance checklist

An effective fleet maintenance checklist is one that is thorough, detailed and precise. This list will help ensure that vehicles get the services they need when they need them and that everyone on the team is on the same page. 

The first thing you’ll want to do is evaluate every vehicle in your fleet so you have some baseline information to work from. In addition to collecting purchase and service records and inspection reports, go over each vehicle with a fine-toothed comb and take detailed notes on its condition as well as its mileage, fluid levels, tire pressure, etc. 

Although it’s a time-consuming task, once you gather this information and load it into your software, it will be a lot easier to keep tabs on your fleet going forward.

As for the fleet maintenance checklist itself, here are some of the tasks that should be performed regularly to keep your vehicles in pristine condition:


Finally, don’t forget to involve your operators in the fleet maintenance process. As the people who drive your vehicles every day, they’re your eyes and ears and likely the first to notice if something isn’t quite right. Have them perform a basic inspection at the beginning and the end of their shifts and report any issues they experience while out on the road. This type of real-time information can help prevent costly and dangerous issues in the future. 

Get help with your fleet maintenance needs

fleet maintenance providers in mnAre you beginning to develop your fleet maintenance program and want to get started on the right foot? Turn to Blaine Brothers. As a leader in fleet maintenance, we work with transportation companies of all sizes across the Midwest and we’re here to provide you with outstanding services at prices that won’t break the bank. 

From our dedicated account owners to our highly trained technicians, our entire team is here to support you on every mile of your journey. That’s how we’ve done business for the last four decades and we’re excited to continue the tradition of excellence for many years to come. 

Contact us today to find out how we can help you keep your fleet operating at peak performance.

Blaine, MN


10011 Xylite Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55449

Cloquet, MN


1325 Hwy 45
Cloquet, MN 55720

Clearwater, MN


750 Heaton BLVD
Clearwater, MN 55320

Baldwin, WI


2500 Alreich Ave
Baldwin, WI 54002



9515 150th Avenue NE
Columbus, MN 55025