12 tips for a fitter fleet

Renault Business Development Manager (Fleet Aftersales) Carl Miller gives his expert advice on how to keep your fleet on the road and running more efficiently.

1 Day Care

Take a two-minute walk around the van to check the tyre tread, tight wheel nut bolts, bodywork and fluids. It is always good to visually check the washer fluid to ensure you can keep a clear windscreen, and a visual inspection of coolant levels, the Adblue tank and a quick check on the dipstick would be recommended to ensure the oil level is sufficient.

2 Keep Fuel Full

Try not to let the fuel go down to empty. As the fuel gets low there is an element of sediment that will sit at the bottom of the tank. The pump will be working harder to use all the fuel and it then will start to pump the sediment at the bottom of the tank. Over time this can block the fuel filter up, causing a lack of performance and ultimately the failure of the pump, meaning your van will be off the road.

3 Have a Health Check

Have a vehicle health check every 12 weeks, free of charge at participating dealers, to ensure your van is kept in roadworthy condition and small issues don’t become big. It is easily booked in with your local dealer and should take around 15 minutes to complete.

4 Get Great Service

Ensure the van is serviced regularly and genuine parts and correct oils are used. Check all belts and pulleys.

5 Under Pressure?

Check tyre pressures weekly to ensure that your tyres don’t wear unevenly or quickly and that they last longer. Renault offer Tyre Pressure Monitoring System on most of vans as an option.

6 Clean and Simple

Keep it clean – wash off corrosive materials (salts) which will reveal possible damage points to be fixed.

7 Drive with Care

Train drivers with online courses on driving with care - ensure the van is in neutral at drops and red lights, putting less strain on the gearbox and clutch, extending its life. Many fleet companies offer this as it helps with many issues faced.

8 Screen Out Problems

Repair small windscreen chips to stop them becoming cracks, costing you more money. This is a service offered by most windscreen repair/replacement companies.

9 Don’t Overload

If a van is overloaded, it can cause a number of issues: increased fuel use, lack of stability, structural stress, and increase in braking distances. If drivers are caught overloaded, the van can be seized by the police/VOSA and the driver, whose responsibility it is, can be fined. Don’t take declared weights as gospel: if the load looks heavy, make sure you weigh it before setting off. Local weighbridges can be found online from the RAC.

10 Secure your Load

In 2013, DVSA issued over 2,000 prohibitions to vehicles that presented a risk to road safety due to how poorly their load was secured. In the same year, the Highways Agency reported over 22,000 road incidents as a result of objects falling from vehicles. A van’s load should be secured safely using the appropriate strapping - the weight of the load itself is not enough to keep it secure. Where possible, place the load between the axles in the van to avoid overloading the front and rear axles.

This is why we offer up to 14 lashing/anchorage points in a Kangoo, up to 18 on a Trafic and up to 10 on a Master, depending on version.

11 Fit a Speed limiter

This will save stress on the engine and save you fuel. It can be added as a new option, however for an aftermarket product, specialist van repairers can add it. You could also add Telematics to your vans (Renault offers this through iCare) and you will be able to get real time data on your van fleet, ensuring you can predict when your vans will need to come in for servicing. You can also monitor your drivers’ driving style, techniques and time of use, ensuring your vans are not being used when they shouldn’t be.

12 Slam Dunce?

Do not slam you side and rear doors, as this could cause damage to the doors, increasing vehicle off road time and parts costs to you or your business. Ensure all runners are regularly lubricated to minimise the risk of them jumping off the runners too.

Renault iCare: pay-as-you-go maintenance

  • Fleets receive full maintenance cover that is charged on a simple ‘Pence per Mile’ basis. Therefore, they only pay for mileage they covered in any given month based on a pre-agreed fixed pence per mile charge.

  • All routine servicing, maintenance and repairs are included (excluding damage, neglect or abuse) with the option to include all tyres (fair wear and tear only) for the life of the agreement.

Based on vehicle mileage (or time if applicable) Renault iCare will:

  • Automatically co-ordinate your vehicle’s routine servicing and MOT through the Renault dealer network, allowing you to concentrate on your business.

  • Manage the repairs required for any defects reported, whether during or between any routine servicing, and will ensure that all repairs are carried out fully by the Renault Dealer Network.

  • Maintain electronic copies of all service, maintenance and repair work carried out plus MOT documents to ensure the vehicle is compliant with legislation.