Any oil and gas fleet management professional will tell you, light truck fleet maintenance is a different ballgame when you are out on oil rigs in remote areas.
If you operate a fleet of vehicles under these conditions, working with a fleet management company can help you streamline your maintenance tasks. As a result, you’ll save money, and your vehicles will stay out in the field, doing their job more effectively.
He also shared insights on how working with a fleet management company has helped Savanna Energy resolve challenging fleet management issues. In the end, the company is able to keep their talented people in the field delivering their services.
INTERVIEW WITH TROY MATTIE: EFFECTIVE LIGHT TRUCK FLEET MAINTENANCE FOR THE OIL & GAS INDUSTRY
What are some issues specific to light truck fleet maintenance in the oil and gas energy sector?
Some of the biggest issues we face are the conditions the vehicles are driven in. The terrain on lease roads is rougher and is mainly made up of dirt roads. These conditions are not your typical highway driving, so as a result, the vehicles end up with atypical wear and tear.
This, in turn, requires atypical maintenance.
One of the challenges we initially had in setting up our preventative maintenance schedule was creating one that was suited to our specific vehicles. For example, often our drivers need their vehicles’ fluids changed at shorter intervals than is normally necessary for non-energy sector vehicles.
Once we communicated those needs to Foss National Leasing, they resolved the issue by adding in extra maintenance activities to our schedule.
What did you wish you knew about oil and gas vehicle maintenance before that you know now?
One thing is, I didn’t realize how much upselling maintenance and repair businesses do. They’ll say you need something done, but you never really know for certain if the work is actually needed.
Working with Foss National Leasing, and their service technician who oversees related purchases, helps us understand what maintenance is actually required on the vehicles.
They have the vehicle’s complete maintenance record in front of them. As such, they ask the repair shop to validate the service request. This is an expertise we rely on daily as our internal team does not have the capacity. It has saved us thousands of dollars a year.
How else has Foss National Leasing helped you address your light truck fleet maintenance issues more effectively?
A big part of it is being able to see our vehicles’ maintenance history.
Working with Foss National Leasing makes it easier to see our historical maintenance reports. For example, we can now look closely at recurring issues, and also see if certain drivers have higher maintenance costs than others. We can also look back to see whether maintenance was ever even done on a given vehicle.
You can’t do those things if you don’t have a good historical maintenance record. Foss National Leasing also gives guidelines about whether certain activities should or shouldn’t be included in your maintenance program.
Any parting advice for other energy sector fleet managers in regards to vehicle maintenance?
Maintenance records are a big piece.
A fleet maintenance program may need to comply with regulatory or customer requirements in order to demonstrate the proper maintenance activities are being performed.
There are unscheduled, surprise audits that can happen at any time. So having the vehicles’ maintenance schedules and history can help when these audits occur, as you’ll have all of the information in one place, and can provide it to the auditor easily.
Light truck fleet maintenance for the oil and gas industry requires special consideration. There are many factors, such as terrain conditions and regulatory requirements, that oil and gas fleet managers must contend with.
Working with a vehicle fleet management company can help you successfully navigate these situations, helping you save money and stay productive out in the field.
Article by Hussain Dhanani