How to ensure your fleet stays supplied during COVID-19
The COVID-19 situation has caused a lot of changes for industries across the nation. For those in the heavy trucking business, they have seen an increase in demand for supplies and are working around the clock to get clients their orders quickly. However, this higher level of service means a higher level of wear and tear on your trucks, so you need to make sure that you can find what you need to keep your trucks running safely.
Know your equipment – and its limits
When it comes to your fleet, it’s fairly obvious which parts need regular attention – items like your brakes, headlights, and oil levels are all standard parts to check on every trip. But even though you are aware of these dangers, you need to be more diligent than usual about checking your equipment as your trucks make more trips than they typically do as a result of COVID-19.
This is a great opportunity to call your parts supplier and ask them which parts they replace the most, and what trends they have noticed during the pandemic. For instance, your parts supplier may be seeing an increase in issues with trailer lights, or getting reports that brakes are showing warning signs earlier than usual because of the increased trips and loads. This information will go a long way in helping you stay ahead of any potential maintenance issues before they become dangerous or irreparable.
Find out which parts are in high demand/low supply
It’s never easy to find specific pieces of equipment that are either in high demand or just not as popular among other fleets. Even when you are not dealing with a pandemic, you have likely experienced the frustration of searching high and low for a part you desperately need but isn’t commonly sold. Go ahead and identify each of those parts, and figure how out often you will need them. It’s better to err on the side of caution – you would rather have too much of what you need than too little.
Once you have the information compiled, it’s time to consult your parts supplier again. A reputable company will be able to locate every part you need, and work with you to order enough to make sure your fleet is covered. Now is not the time to be shy – if you have questions or concerns, make them known, so your supplier can cover all potential issues with your order.
Work with other fleets
Even though they are technically competitors, odds are good that you have forged some type of professional relationship with your colleagues in the trucking industry, whether through an industry-related conference, or through other networking opportunities. While you are trying to navigate the new world of COVID-19, consider reaching out to those colleagues and learning what steps they have taken to keep supplies on hand.
This is a win-win for all parties – you will both be exchanging helpful information, like where to order those hard-to-find parts, and your collaboration will lead to a higher level of safety and customer service for everyone involved. You may even want to expand your informal partnership to include multiple fleet managers, especially those located around the country who can give you a better insight on local updates.
Knowing what to do with your fleet during a pandemic is uncharted territory, but there are resources out there for you to use. The company who supplies your truck equipment and parts is a great source of knowledge and advice for keeping your trucks maintained as they add extra trips and new terrain to their routes. Talk with your drivers and other team members to find other ways you can turn this pandemic experience into a positive and educational time for your whole team.
For over 25 years, Automann® has evolved into a leader in the heavy-duty aftermarket truck and trailer parts. With strategic locations across the United States and Canada, Automann® offers a wide variety of products, ranging from air brake and wheel components to steering products, and everything in between. The Automann® brand on your part means you will benefit from the highest levels of quality, service, and value every day. Being “Automann Assured®” means committing to a simple, streamlined ordering process, including superb catalogs, rapid turnaround time, and professional, knowledgeable customer service. Find out how your trucks can benefit from being Automann Assured® today: www.automann.com.