Why your fridge van maintenance should be preventative, not reactive

It doesn’t take an expert to know that having the ability to keep your refrigerated van in top condition is vital to the smooth running of your business. However, the type of maintenance matters too – namely, in that it should be preventative rather than reactive. Reactive maintenance involves dealing with problems as and when they come up, whereas preventative maintenance involves regularly scheduled check-ups to nip developing problems in the bud. Here, we explain the other crucial differences between the two, and how a plan for preventative maintenance is the key to saving yourself time, money, and stress.

The problem with reactive maintenance

While reactive maintenance can be a valid strategy to deal with issues, it’s often more costly in terms of time, money and effort than preventative maintenance. Actively fixing problems is more difficult and expensive than taking measures in advance to prevent them, and just to complicate things, every unplanned second that the van spends off the road is time that it spends not doing its job. The administrative scramble to find replacements, the time and cost spent re-routing another van, and even the potential for missed deliveries – all these can inflict rising costs to the business.

What’s more, this time pressure means that there’s the potential for the technician to miss other problems with the van. All too often, reactive maintenance tends to involve fixing only the most pressing issue, before the van is then rushed back out onto the roads as soon as feasibly possible to minimise the lost time. If further problems start to quickly develop (as can sometimes happen), then either the driver has to battle through them, or the van must be returned once again to be repaired. This instantly doubles the cost of lost productivity – not to mention the actual cost of the extra repairs! And of course, if the issue affects the insulation or internal temperature of the van, it can result in the entire shipment being spoiled, levying a further unwelcome toll on your business.

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The importance of preventative maintenance

With preventative maintenance on the other hand, the fridge van’s time off the road is scheduled well in advance, so that all its normal activities are covered by other vehicles and members of staff, including deliveries of sensitive cargo. That provides peace of mind for you, and saves on man-hours for your staff. Crucially, there will be no sensitive cargo hanging around that requires urgent transport or storage.

It also means the technician involved has plenty of time to examine the condition and function of the van as a whole, rather than giving a narrow focus to one issue in particular. Having time to go over the van in detail gives them more time to identify and fix any potential problem regardless of its apparent severity. This is vital because as all car owners know, sometimes it’s the seemingly smallest issues which can end up having the biggest consequences!

Having a plan for preventative maintenance is particularly important for refrigerated vehicles and new freezer vans, as their refrigeration systems and insulated linings require particular care to ensure that they’re always in a serviceable condition.

That’s why we provide a refrigerated van maintenance service right here at CoolKit, alongside our range of new and used fridge vans from leading manufacturers such as Renault, Peugeot and Mercedes. Feel free to call our sales team for more details about how we can help you, whether that’s repairing your existing fleet, or providing advice on the best vehicles you can use to expand it!

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