ATS Euromaster is advising SME fleets to start planning now to ensure their vehicles are fully operational for when lockdown restrictions begin to ease.
The tyre replacement and service centre specialist is anticipating increased pressure on maintenance and bodyshop bays as commerce begins to get back to normal levels. Forward planning is essential, they say, to ensure optimum fleet uptime when business starts returning to normal.
Mark Holland, Operations Director from ATS Euromaster, explained that usual service centres used by fleets will also have been under pressure from COVID-19, with reduced staff cover due to coronavirus or through staff furlough. So increases in demand on the maintenance bays will potentially impact vehicle uptime.
“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. We would suggest that fleets start preparing to restart as soon as safely possible while most fleets are in downtime, to ensure the fleet is ready to go when lockdown does eventually end,” said Holland.
“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.”
Among ATS Euromaster suggestions for SME fleets are:
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.