Creating an Effective Bus & Coach Fleet Maintenance Plan

You may already have a maintenance plan in place for your bus/coach fleet, but is it up to task? With any transport operator, fleet is a vital aspect of your business, so making sure that you are able to prevent any issue before it arises is essential. That’s why making sure that you have a good maintenance plan in place helps make sure this is the case. This article covers what to look for in a good maintenance plan, whether it’s one you put together yourself, or one that you consider from a third party

Understanding the Scale of the Issue

It may sound obvious, but knowing what the problem is and understanding it fully will help ensure your business remains an efficient operation. Around two-fifths of businesses don’t know the cost of vehicle downtime caused by unplanned maintenance when it is required (and even the best maintenance plans can’t stop unplanned maintenance from time to time).

Being able to predict how long your vehicles will be off the road for will allow you to make necessary changes in order to ensure your business is operating day-to-day without incurring too much loss. One way of ensuring you understand the scale of any issues that arise, is by also understanding the difference between scheduled and unscheduled maintenance.

Scheduled and Unscheduled Maintenance. What’s the Difference?

It’s important to understand the difference between scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and which one your fleet depends on and why.

Firstly, unscheduled maintenance is usually the more expensive of the two and normally results in significant downtime which will negatively impact your fleet. This type of maintenance is typically something that you can’t plan for, for example, there could be an incident on the road; which is often the result of underlying reasons such as drivers not looking after their vehicles.

On the other hand, scheduled maintenance is the better practise out of the two. This is because the methods used with scheduled maintenance are proactive and preventative and can be planned for. Some of these methods include:

  • Inspections
  • Spot checks
  • Routine services

These methods help detect an issue before it arises, allowing you to repair the small issues before they turn into serious and more expensive problem. Getting your drivers to make a habit out of making regular routine checks on their vehicles will also help you to detect any faults, allowing you to schedule those vehicles for repairs, allowing you to make changes to ensure that your fleet remains working as efficiently as possible.

Create A Detailed Fleet Maintenance Plan

Implementing a regular fleet maintenance check-up schedule for your bus/coach fleet, whether undertaken during one of your vehicle’s annual services through an inspection or through the use of telematics, is vital. By doing this, you will be able to receive detailed diagnostics and fault reports.

Following on, the regularity of your check-ups will should really depend on mileage and usage of your bus and coach fleet. For example, if one of your vehicles is fairly old and has a high mileage, you should make sure that it is in for regular check-ups to ensure that any problems can be sorted before they turn into something bigger. Even when in use, encouraging your drivers to do regular checks will allow you to know if any issues arise; allowing you to book that particular vehicle in for an extensive check-up.

In order to create fleet maintenance program, you should work closely with your suppliers to draft a checklist that states what vehicle should be looked at and when. This allows you to prioritise vehicles that may need more regular checks. Your checklist should include:

  • Engine oil
  • Engine filters
  • Tyres
  • Brakes
  • Glass
  • Lights (exterior & interior)
  • Exhaust
  • Fuel system
  • Cooling system
  • Transmission fluid

As an example, engine oil is something that we think is an obvious aspect of maintenance any vehicle, but ensuring that you use the correct engine oil for your vehicle will ensure that your bus/coach fleet vehicles run efficiently.

Weighing Up the Facts

Having an effective bus and coach fleet maintenance plan in place is essential in ensuring that your business runs efficiently on a daily basis. By having this essential plan in place, not only are you saving yourself a mountain of headaches and sleepless nights, you will be saving time and money.

To find out how Exol can help make sure that your bus and coach fleet continue to run efficiently, get in touch and speak to a member of our team today on 0121 568 6800 or send us an email on