Why Regular Maintenance is the Key to a Successful Fleet

Image of a truck having some maintenance work complete.

Managing a fleet isn’t just about keeping vehicles running, rather maximising efficiency, reliability and profitability. Maintenance is an investment into the long term success of your business. Through regular maintenance, you can keep your fleet operating successfully and consistently, by preventing breakdowns, reducing expensive downtime and ensuring safety.

Whether you’re a driver, fleet manager, or business owner, understanding the benefits of taking preventative measures through routine vehicle maintenance is the key to the success of your fleet.

What are some of the benefits of regular maintenance for commercial vehicles?

Reduced downtime

Unscheduled downtime can be significantly reduced through daily checks and regular maintenance. Addressing potential issues promptly, decreases the risk of unexpected breakdowns and repairs. Minimising downtime saves your business time, lowers operating costs and improves customer satisfaction, particularly through consistently reliable customer service.

Reduced long-term costs

Detecting and addressing minor problems during maintenance can help prevent them from escalating into significant, and usually expensive issues. There is also reduced risk of disruption to service from issues in transit or unexpected periods of downtime, and the load will be better protected, meaning less money spent on replacement goods. A well maintained fleet enhances operational efficiency, boosting profitability and contributing to long-term cost savings.

Extended vehicle lifespan

Scheduling routine maintenance for your fleet, which incorporates engine oil checks and changes, ultimately extends the life of the vehicle. Maintenance is a preventative measure for corrosion and damage. By protecting the structural integrity, vehicle longevity is increased, contributing to further cost savings and aligning with environmentally friendly practices.

Increase in sale value

Regular maintenance not only extends the overall vehicle lifespan but also plays a crucial role in preserving its market value. A clean and well maintained vehicle will have a higher resale value. This includes keeping service records, which provide proof that the vehicle has been taken care of.

Improved safety

As a fleet manager or driver, you have the responsibility to create a safe environment for all road users as defined by the law. Addressing potential issues during maintenance, such as ensuring brakes function correctly or identifying and rectifying minor defects is paramount to prevent life-threatening incidents from occurring.

Improved fuel economy

A well-maintained vehicle will have improved fuel economy, by operating more effectively. Maintaining proper tyre inflation, and changing engine oil at the recommended service intervals contributes to this. Apart from the financial benefits from improved fuel economy, it also promotes an environmentally conscious business initiative.

Positive brand association

Vehicles often breaking down on the roadside, or service interruptions due to preventable maintenance issues can tarnish your reputation. Maintaining a fleet of branded vehicles that consistently appear clean and in good condition, promotes a commitment to professionalism and reliability for your business.

What to incorporate into your regular maintenance schedule

Regular maintenance should include routine checks, adjustments, oil and fluid changes, tyre and brake inspections, battery replacements, coolant flushes, checking lights and components, suspension, spark plugs, belts and hoses.

Daily checks

Before driving, daily walk around checks should be completed, to ensure the safety and reliability of the vehicle. As the driver is legally responsible for the vehicle while driving, they should conduct their own checks, or have them delegated to a responsible person. This should be monitored to ensure they are carried out properly and signed off.

Daily checks and inspections identify any potential issues, allowing time to report faults, create defect reports, and plan maintenance schedules. If the vehicle is not safe, you risk your life and career, potentially having an accident, being fined, banned from driving and receiving penalty points on your licence.

Lubricant and fluid checks

Engine oil, brake fluid, coolant and other fluid levels should be checked weekly. In some vehicles this can be monitored from the digital display. Changing the engine oil and oil filter should be within the OEM recommended interval. For more severe driving conditions such as, heavy loads or stop-start driving, an earlier interval is advised. This helps to maintain engine health and ensures optimal operational performance. Failure to change your oil may result in the need for a completely new and very expensive engine, or at best, engine component replacement.

What are some of the other fluids and lubricants that need checking?

  • Transmission fluid
  • Differential Oil
  • Coolant
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Washer fluid

Brake checks

Maintaining functioning brakes by completing regular checks and replacements, keeps your vehicle reliable and within the law. Optimal performance is crucial for road safety and efficiently stopping the vehicle, as brakes wear over time, and brake failure could result in an accident or serious damage. Shorter intervals should be implemented dependent on the vehicle use, e.g. carrying heavy loads.

Tyre checks

Tyres should be checked regularly for evidence of damage including cuts, bulges or punctures which are all indicators that a repair or replacement is required. Tyre pressures should match the manufacturer’s recommendation per weight load, and tread depth should be above the legal limit. Potholes and poor road conditions can have an impact on the vehicle’s suspension and alignment, contributing to uneven wear on tyres. Rotating them can extend their lifespan before the additional cost for a replacement is necessary.


Keeping your vehicle clean not only improves the professional appearance of your business, but also reduces the chance of damage and defects caused by dirt and grime. Additionally, a clean vehicle makes it easier to detect issues such as corrosion and rust before they escalate. Cleaning the interior to remove dirt and debris also creates a nicer working environment for the driver and passengers.

Protected by Millers Oils

Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your vehicles reliable, and your services trustworthy as a business. If you want to make the most of your fleet, save money and futureproof your business, incorporate Protected by Millers Oils into your routine maintenance.

The comprehensive programme is already helping fleet operators across the UK to overcome some of their biggest challenges such as, complex oil inventories and product misapplication, vehicle breakdowns and resale values.

Read more in our Smarter Fleet Management blog post.

Or on the Protected by Millers Oils page.

Find more information about commercial vehicle maintenance on the UK Government website.