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Discover how implementing effective planned maintenance strategies within a trailer dealer management framework can improve operations.

Ever notice how trailers dominate our highways? They’re like the workhorses of transportation, hauling goods all over the place for companies big and small. Without them, our supply chains would be in chaos.

Now, think about it: if trailers aren’t rolling, neither are the profits for their owners. That’s why trailer dealerships and service shops are laser-focused on getting them back on the road pronto. But how do they stay on top of it all?

Well, that’s where planned maintenance steps in. It’s like giving your trailer a regular check-up to catch any potential issues before they become big problems. And guess what? Trailer Dealer Management Software (DMS) tools like Softbase are the unsung heroes here.

In this blog, we’ll break down why planned maintenance is crucial for trailer fleets and how DMS software, such as Softbase, makes it all happen seamlessly.

Understanding Planned Maintenance in Trailer Fleets

Planned or proactive maintenance involves making repairs and updates before problems arise. It’s the best way for dealerships to ensure they provide customers with reliable trailers that won’t break down during transit. However, let’s now examine some challenges that trailer dealerships encounter in maintaining their fleets.

Diverse Fleet and High Volume of Units

Trailer dealerships typically offer a variety of trailer types, such as flatbed trailers, drop deck trailers, lowboy trailers, and custom trailers. It’s rare for dealerships to specialize in just one type. As a result, they face the challenge of managing a diverse range of trailers, each with its own unique maintenance needs. 
 
With large fleets encompassing multiple trailer types, dealerships are also tasked with maintaining a high volume of trailers. Without efficient systems in place, keeping track of maintenance schedules, inspections, and repairs for numerous trailers can quickly become overwhelming.

Scheduling and Downtime

Finding the optimal time for maintenance presents a challenge for trailer dealers. They must balance minimizing downtime for their clients with ensuring prompt maintenance and repairs for trailers.
 

Data Management

Finally, all this work and information must be stored somewhere. However, managing maintenance records, service histories, and other data for a large fleet of trailers isn’t easy with manual processes. Without proper organization and documentation, dealerships may struggle to keep track and provide accurate maintenance information.
 

Features of Softbase DMS for Planned Maintenance

Softbase’s DMS covers all parts of your dealership from sales and rental to customer relationship management and what we’re discussing now is planned maintenance. 
 
Softbase Evolution as a DMS was designed with challenges of trailer dealers in mind. Being much larger vehicles than a car or van, Softbase believes that a car DMS would be too simple and not diverse enough to handle the needs of trailers. For example, trailers have unique maintenance requirements compared to cars. They may need specialized checks and repairs, such as for braking systems, axles, and trailer-specific components. A DMS tailored for cars may not have the necessary features to handle these specific maintenance tasks.
 
Let’s now explore three features of Softbase’s Planned Maintenance Module perfect for maintaining a fleet of trailers. 

Advanced maintenance tracking capabilities

Our system records detailed maintenance histories for each trailer in the fleet, including service dates, performed tasks, parts replaced, and technician notes. This comprehensive record-keeping ensures transparency and accountability in maintenance procedures.

Automated scheduling and reminders for maintenance tasks

The system also automatically generates alerts and notifications for upcoming maintenance tasks, service intervals, and inspection deadlines. This proactive approach ensures that no maintenance task falls through the cracks and helps dealerships stay ahead of schedule.

Customizable reporting and analytics for performance evaluation

Dealerships can access comprehensive performance analytics and reports, providing insights into maintenance trends, costs, and resource utilization. This data-driven approach enables informed decision-making and continuous improvement of maintenance processes.

Benefits of Utilizing Softbase DMS for Planned Maintenance

What do you get in return when you use Softbase Evolution as a trailer dealer management software for planned maintenance? Let’s discuss. 

Reduced downtime and operational disruptions

When trailers undergo regular and proactive maintenance, the likelihood of unexpected breakdowns and failures decreases significantly.
 
Think of it this way, by consistently maintaining your trailers, you’re essentially addressing potential issues before they have a chance to escalate into major problems. This proactive approach helps to identify and fix minor issues early on, preventing them from causing unexpected breakdowns during transit.

Increased lifespan of fleet vehicles

When trailers are properly maintained on a regular basis, it significantly extends their operational lifespan.
 
It’s very similar to how you take care of your own health through diet and exercise. By regularly servicing and addressing any potential issues with your fleet vehicles, you’re essentially prolonging their overall lifespan.  For instance, preventing wear and tear on critical components, such as engines, brakes, tires, and suspension systems will make them last longer. 
 

Cost savings through optimized maintenance schedules

At the heart of it all is the pursuit of cost savings. Taking care of issues before they escalate not only saves on labor, parts, and equipment but also prevents the need for pricey emergency repairs, which can disrupt operations. Through proactive maintenance, businesses can ensure their trailers remain in optimal condition, prolonging their lifespan and maximizing the value of their equipment investment. This approach ultimately reduces the frequency of costly replacements and contributes to long-term savings.
 
 

Improved compliance with regulatory requirements

The trailer industry has regulatory requirements for trailer maintenance and inspections. By optimizing maintenance schedules, businesses can ensure compliance with these regulations, avoiding fines and penalties associated with non-compliance.
 
 

Conclusion 

Trailer dealerships often grapple with the challenge of implementing proactive maintenance strategies due to the complexities of managing large fleets and coordinating maintenance schedules, along with the associated data management tasks. However, with a robust Trailer Dealer Management Software equipped with advanced maintenance tracking, automated scheduling, and customizable reporting features, the burden is significantly lightened.

If you’re a trailer dealership currently without a DMS, or if you’re unsure about the efficiency of your existing system, we encourage you to request a demo of Softbase Evolution. Our comprehensive solution is tailored specifically for the trailer industry, and we’re confident it can improve your operations. The demo is completely free, and we’re flexible to accommodate your schedule for a chat at your convenience. Reach out today to stay ahead of planned maintenance and streamline your dealership’s processes.