A digital maintenance calendar utilized for truck maintenance scheduling is valuable to a fleet management department for several reasons. Digital calendars keep a maintenance department fully on track and are easily shared, allowing a real-time overview of the maintenance workload. In addition, it leaves a digital trail in case of some catastrophic vehicle failure.
Digital calendars are an integral part of CMMS and fleet management software. With the ability to directly link to sensor information, these maintenance solutions are able to trigger maintenance work orders and update the digital calendar – helping fleet managers manage both planned and unplanned downtime.
All of this is simply the broad stroke of the potential benefits for a maintenance department. There are additional positive effects, both interdepartmental, and facility-wide. Let’s dive into 4 ones that highlight their importance.
Efficiently plan and schedule
Efficient scheduling is vital to fleet management, and it involves a great deal of forecasting and detailed planning on the part of the maintenance staff and coordinator. An effective preventative maintenance program requires a cycle that allows for every fleet vehicle to have scheduled services performed within a specific window of time.
Before the CMMS system introduced the digital maintenance calendar, this planning and forecasting had to be done in spreadsheets, or in long-form on paper. There was no ability to easily share the live schedule with other departments, and many opportunities for maintenance were missed because of a lack of communication between departments. Now, departments can view the active maintenance work orders, check the preventative maintenance schedule for each asset, and plan accordingly – ensuring all routine maintenance tasks are performed on time.
Centralized scheduling between sites
In addition to tracking and planning preventative maintenance for an entire fleet of vehicles, the digital maintenance calendar has multi-site capabilities – meaning that those with motor pools maintained at multiple garages can be centralized in terms of data management. This is vital in record keeping, as multiple locations once meant that each site had separate maintenance records, making data management nearly impossible between the sites.
Digital maintenance systems allow for labor resources to be assigned to multiple locations as well – so, if you have a class 5 technician who travels between sites to perform specific repairs, that technician isn’t limited to a particular site for parts orders, record keeping, and timekeeping functions. Any system capabilities a technician has at one site travel with them to the other motor pool locations.
Share real-time overviews
Excessive downtime is a sign of inefficient fleet maintenance and can be a key indicator that there is a breakdown between the maintenance coordinator and the technicians. However, with a digital maintenance calendar accessible by the entire organization, the coordinator can view the asset that is being repaired, and exactly which technicians are logging time to the job at the moment.
This also means that the asset location, condition, and estimated time to completion can be viewed by the employees facility-wide – reducing the number of calls and emails to the field about the current asset status. By giving real-time updates to the personnel requesting them, a digital maintenance calendar is ensuring that a minute-by-minute forecast is available.
Retain scheduling information inside maintenance software
Gone are the days when files were purged after three years, or tossed into a dark basement to be consumed by mildew. Because the full records are stored in your maintenance software, data generated from a sensor and logged a decade ago can be accessed as easily as data that has been recorded yesterday afternoon.
This is huge assistance with regard to DOT reporting and compliance because there are no lost maintenance records to contend with any longer; they’re at your fingertips within seconds. Not only can the work order against the asset be referenced, but the digital calendar can also be searched to show login and logout times for the service, as well as the technician who performed them.
All in all, a digital maintenance calendar, especially when used as a part of a CMMS or fleet management software, comes with a lot of different benefits and almost no downsides. They are the way of the future and a trend you should jump on as soon as possible.
Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO of Limble CMMS. Limble is a mobile CMMS software that helps managers organize, automate and streamline their maintenance operations.