know your fleet age

Do You Know Your Fleet's Real Age? Why Regular Maintenance Matters

Posted by Stacey Papp

Websites that claim to tell you your “real age” — that is, how old you are health-wise versus the number on the calendar — can either be a lot of fun … or really depressing. (Who wants to find out they have the health of someone 15 years older?)

Turns out, your vehicles have a real age, too – and it’s got very little to do with their model year. Maintenance costs correlate more closely with mileage than with a vehicle’s chronological age, according to a study by the International City/County Management Association. In fact, the organization claims that maintenance costs skyrocket on vehicles that are driven more than 20,000 miles annually. That’s why it’s important to track the mileage on vehicles individually rather than just looking at the age of a fleet as a whole — particularly if your organization bought a bunch of vehicles at the same time. 

So what can happen if you don’t pay attention to your vehicles’ actual age?

Maintenance becomes costlier. We’ve all done it — ignoring a little rattle here, going a thousand miles past an oil change there. But consider this: according to a Car Care Council study , the bill for accidents resulting from mismanaged maintenance is $2 billion a year  — that’s billion with a B. Skipping that $40 oil change doesn’t seem so thrifty now, does it?

Productivity plummets.
You don’t know what you don’t know, so when you don’t perform routine maintenance, you have no idea what’s going on inside your vehicles. If there’s a problem that goes unchecked for too long, well, that’s when breakdowns can occur and work comes to a screeching halt. Regular maintenance, however, helps you plan downtime so you can service vehicles when it works for your business — hopefully not during the height of your busiest season.

Risk increases exponentially. Excessive wear and tear that leads to more expensive repairs is one thing. But letting some maintenance lag too long can become downright dangerous for drivers. Worn out brakes, decaying tie rods and failing engines can have devastating consequences. Looking out for your employees is one of your most basic responsibilities as a business owner. You don’t want an accident that could have been avoided with routine maintenance hanging on your conscience.

Vehicle lifespan shrinks.
And here’s where we get back to your fleet’s real age. Keeping up with maintenance is the best way to preserve its health. You know what your doctor says: eat well, exercise and come in for regular checkups to stay in good health. The same goes for your vehicles. A little routine maintenance can go a long way towards ensuring they live a long and healthy life.

For more tips on vehicle maintenance and keeping those vehicles nice & healthy, check out our blog on maintenance tips you may not be thinking about.

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For more tips on vehicle maintenance and keeping your vehicles healthy, check out our blog on maintenance tips you may be missing.