Unsurprising then that minimising downtime is a key focus when choosing a contract hire or fleet management partner. Track records, processes and the expertise and experience of their maintenance and downtime teams all come under scrutiny when appointing the right supplier.

According to Andy Reed, operations director at Interactive Fleet Management, the Grosvenor group’s specialist fleet management business, there are five key areas for managing downtime and he offers his tips for making swift changes to keep vehicles moving. The first step is to identify your priority vehicles, determining which vehicles your business simply can’t do without.

“Whether it’s vans or high-mileage cars, it will pay to focus on the vehicles on which your business depends,” said Andy. “Giving these vehicles priority will minimise the costs related to downtime, such as replacement cars or vans, and it’s important to have a plan in place to quickly move the drivers into similar vehicles, or swap your fleet around, if these are temporarily out of use.”

Secondly, plan your maintenance. “You can extract a great deal of data from modern vehicles and at Interactive Fleet Management we have a connected technology solution called ARC (Advanced Remote Connectivity) which will provide early warnings of issues. Breakdowns are also, of course, prevented by ensuring routine maintenance is carried out on time, in addition to periodic safety checks.”

Thirdly, engage with drivers. “Your Drivers often hold the key to reducing vehicle downtime. Through careful driving and regular checks, they can ensure that vehicles stay on the road for longer, by reducing servicing requirements, avoiding breakdowns and ensuring parts last longer, such as tyres. They are also the ones who will sense something is wrong or see a warning light flash up on the dashboard. Sadly, it’s not uncommon for drivers to think ‘it’s not my vehicle’ and ignore these, however engaging with drivers can lead to much greater cooperation and communication between them and the fleet team. It’s also important to minimise the chances of vehicle damage through driver risk assessments and training and our Driver Care solution manages all aspects of this.”

Fourthly, obtain data-driven insights. “Gathering data is vital to understanding the costs and causes of unscheduled downtime. Effective use of data is key to tackling breakdowns and collisions. Consider a broad range of data sources, from invoicing through to telematics.”

Finally, work closely with your suppliers. “They can be the best source of insight to drive your strategy to minimise downtime,” continues Andy, “and at Interactive Fleet Management we have regular, active dialogue with our customers to ensure we are working in partnership to keep their vehicles and drivers moving.

“Whether it’s your garage network, fleet management provider, accident management supplier or leasing company, they will have best practice insights and advice, and we take great care in ensuring we do everything we can to help our customers meet their business objectives by minimising time off road.

“At Interactive Fleet Management, we are not a call centre style of business,” said Andy, “which means our customers and drivers enjoy speaking to real people who can offer guidance and support, all of which is underpinned by our award-winning fleet management system and driver App.”


T: 01536 536 590    

Email: info@interactivefleet.co.uk