Why store your vehicles properly during downtime?

An armoured vehicle is a significant expense. At a time when missions are either reduced dramatically or stopped altogether, fleet managers need to ensure that they do their best to protect that investment.

In May 2020, we joined forces with Fleet Forum to present a webinar on storing your armoured vehicle during downtime. Hosted by our Senior Sales Lead, Rowan Carpenter and our Head of Through Life Support, Carl Kenyon, we covered the preparation, storage and re-commissioning of vehicles to help ensure they stay at the peak of their performance.

“Some fleets might still be operating at a reduced level, whilst others are likely to be dormant for some time,” said Rowan Carpenter. “And the knock-on effect of economical pressures arising from the COVID-19 crisis means that organisations that had been thinking of investing in new fleets or replacing older vehicles may now be looking for ways to extend the lifespan of existing armoured vehicles. That means storing and maintaining them properly so that they are in the best possible condition when you need them again.”

According to our vehicle support experts, there are several key things to do if your vehicle is going to be off the road for some time. This is general advice, and each fleet is different, so if you have a particular concern or query about your fleet – whether or not it is supported by Jankel – you can email us at tls@jankel.com to find out more.

If your fleet is still in partial operation

Operational fleets will need the same regular and ongoing maintenance and checks as are specified for the vehicle in the Standard Operating Procedures. However, where there are some vehicles not in operation, they will either need to be stored separately, following the guidance below, or you could consider cycling the vehicles, so that you use different vehicles on a regular basis, helping to keep batteries charged and the vehicles in good working order.

If your fleet has been stood down

If your fleet is completely out of operation, you should store the vehicles safely and securely. Our general advice for this is:

  • Clear the interior of the vehicle, including foodstuffs and personal belongings.
  • Carry out the next maintenance service – the vehicle may need to be ready to use with 24 hours’ notice.
  • Prepare a report for each vehicle on condition and storage details so that you have a clear paper trail. You will need this to make sure your vehicles are safely recommissioned.
  • Check insurance requirements for storage and safekeeping and make sure you comply with them.
  • Order new parts now – batteries, tyres and other parts may need replacing. Ordering now, with potential delays in delivery due to the virus, will ensure you have the parts when you need them.
  • Disconnect batteries and put on trickle chargers or store safely
  • Check tyres for damage and re-order if necessary.
  • Remove wheels and put vehicles on axle stands. Check wheels for damaged rims.
  • Protect ballistic glass – this glass degrades under UV light, so do not store in direct sunlight. Store inside or under cover if at all possible. If not, use a high-quality vehicle cover which will ensure the whole vehicle is protected.
  • Check for cracks and delamination – if your ballistic glass is already damaged, you might want to consider replacement. Order as soon as possible, as there is a delay on producing ballistic glass at present.
  • Park away from rubbish bins – the underside of vehicles makes a great nesting spot for rodents.

“Once your vehicle is prepared and stored, make sure you set up a regular checking regime,” says Carl Kenyon. “This will help you to spot and fix any leaks, or problems with wiring. It will also mean that when you need to put the vehicle back on the road, you are ready to do so.”

Getting back on the road

It’s the fleet manager’s responsibility to have the fleet safe and ready to go as soon as it’s needed. Provided the vehicles have been properly looked after during downtime, this should be straightforward – replace batteries, wheels and tyres and reconnect any power cabling that you disconnected at the start.

Perform a basic service and test drive the vehicle to make sure there are no unexpected noises, leaks or vibrations.

Contact us to find out more

We are responsible for fleet support on a range of armoured vehicle types worldwide, with thousands of vehicles in our care. To find out more about our specialist vehicle support packages or to ask about something specific for your own armoured fleet storage, email tls@jankel.com today