It may not be the most exciting part of managing a fleet — but cleaning your vehicles is an essential part of regular maintenance.
And you might not realise just how important it is.
Here’s what you need to know about keeping your fleet in top condition — from safer driving and lower costs, to the way your teams and your customers see your business.
Keeping your vehicles in top condition can have a huge effect on the safety of your fleet — from your brakes and your steering to your tyres and suspension.
But the cleanliness of your vehicle can also have an impact on how safe you are on the road. And it’s an easy one to overlook:
Your windscreens and wing mirrors need to be spotless to give your drivers the best possible view of the road and other vehicles. Even a small build-up of dirt in a single location could create a blind spot that causes an accident.
Similarly, the cleanliness of your vehicles can have an effect on how visible your vehicles are to other drivers. With dirt and grime on some of your most crucial areas — such as your headlamps, brake lights, and indicators — it becomes harder for other road users to see both your vehicles, and the decisions that your drivers are making.
But it’s not just about the safety of vehicles on the road. Your drivers themselves have their own safety concerns inside the vehicle, too:
Without regular and thorough cleaning of your vehicles, you’re creating the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and mould, which can lead to a risk of respiratory problems for your drivers over the long term — especially when it comes to a neglected AC system.
So as well as the standard cleaning you’d expect on the outside, your vehicles need a regular and hygienic clean of the inside — ideally using a dedicated air conditioning disinfection system.
Any commercial vehicle that spends time out on the road gets put through some serious punishment over its lifetime. But we’re not just talking about bumps and scrapes — we’re talking chemical corrosion and slow decay. Between dirt and dust and salt and water (and every other chemical that’s out on the roads and in the air), the surface of your vehicles gets more contaminated with every mile you drive. And when those chemicals and minerals get left uncleaned, they act like sandpaper — progressively corroding the protective paint and vulnerable components that are exposed to the elements.
So what does that mean for your vehicles in the long run?
It means more frequent repairs, more time out of service, and significantly higher costs that come with extra maintenance and continual repair.
Now here’s the good news:
All of that can be avoided (or significantly delayed), with regular cleaning of the outside of your vehicles.
For the most part, it’s as simple as spending some time in the wash bay, with a thorough cleaning of the body and paint to remove as many impurities as possible.
But some of the worst damage happens on the undercarriage of your vehicles — which is why a washbay-ready vehicle lift can make a huge difference to the life expectancy of your fleet.
With a galvanised vehicle lift that’s IP-rated for wet conditions, you can give your commercial vehicles the complete 360° clean they need — so they can stay healthy and protected from top to bottom, and stay out on the road for as long as possible.
And as a welcome bonus:
Once you get into the habit of regular cleaning, you’re automatically getting into the habit of regular inspections. With a close eye on your vehicles checking the details every week, your teams can spot potential issues at an early stage — helping you to save money on your maintenance and repairs before they spiral into costly bigger problems.
As if the long life and safety of your vehicles wasn’t enough, there’s a whole other aspect to keeping a clean fleet that isn’t obvious:
And that’s the way you present your business and its reputation.
Every vehicle on the road is an advert for your brand. It’s a representation of your company and its teams, and the values and work ethic that you all work hard to preserve. So, when you’re sending out a fleet that looks grubby and neglected, people will notice — and they’ll assume that your company is just as grubby as your vehicles. But with a committed and disciplined cleaning schedule for your fleet, that’s exactly the message you’ll send to your customers:
They’ll see your company as committed and disciplined — as an organised business that’s on top of every area of its equipment and its operations. And that’s the sort of image that makes your company seem trustworthy.
But beyond the customers themselves, you’re also sending a message to your drivers and your teams:
A clean fleet gives your employees an orderly working environment. It shows that you care about the health and safety of your teams while they’re working — and it gives them an extra sense of self-respect and pride while they’re out there representing your company.
Whether you’ve got a handful of vehicles or a fleet of a hundred, you need to make sure you’re keeping them in top condition.
And if you want to make your vehicle cleaning as efficient as possible, you’ll need the right equipment to help you get the job done properly.
So whether you’re shopping for a vehicle lift that works in a wash bay — or you need an affordable and compact mobile vehicle wash — take a look through our online shop, or talk to one of our experts to help you find what you need.
This article was originally published by Totalkare Ltd.
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