There are few things more frustrating to a risk management expert then needing to file a vehicle claim for a client only to find out there is very little data about the vehicle available. In order to properly manage your fleet of road, construction, and specialty vehicles, there is certain information you need to catalog and keep readily available at all times.
Serial or VIN Numbers
Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) or vehicle serial numbers can tell a lot about a vehicle. When you buy a new or used vehicle, you need to catalog that vehicle’s VIN or serial number immediately. This data needs to be kept in a spreadsheet that you also share with your risk management company. The spreadsheet should be updated every time you add a new construction, road, or specialty vehicle to your fleet.
Many of our construction clients avoid cataloging the miles on each of their vehicles until we explain why it is important to do so. Logging mileage at least once a month can let you know if your crew is abusing vehicle privileges, and it can also help you to better plan your routine maintenance. There is a great deal of data you can create simply by knowing how many miles your vehicles average per month. Everything from fuel consumption to the proper air pressure in the tires can be determined simply by utilizing the monthly mileage.
Successful construction companies keep a precise log of the routine maintenance done to every vehicle in their fleet. The reason for this meticulous record keeping is to help extend the useful life of your equipment, and to help keep your equipment as fuel-efficient as possible. You will experience lower repair costs and extend the time between replacing vehicles when you make sure to attend to routine maintenance.
Mileage logs can be combined with user logs to improve training and help extend the life of your vehicles. A user log is created when every person who uses a vehicle signs for that vehicle and takes responsibility for it. You can also have each new used catalog the mileage to help keep those records more accurate. If you have drivers that are taking routes that are longer than the other drivers, then you can pinpoint those issues and train those drivers to reduce their time on the road.
What About Rentals?
If you do not keep the same record keeping for your rental vehicles that you do your own vehicles, then what response do you have when the rental company accuses your crew of negligence? By keeping the same data for rentals that you do for your own vehicles, you are protecting your company and making sure to keep rental companies honest.
As risk management experts, we rely on accurate and comprehensive information to protect our clients. When it comes to company vehicles of any kind, good data can protect your vehicles from harm, and help your company to keep operational costs down.
A comprehensive log of vehicle information that is readily available makes it easier for your risk management experts to submit claims when necessary and keep your company on the road. You need to take the initiative and develop a comprehensive record keeping policy for your vehicles to be able to protect your equipment and prevent significant financial loss.