Tony here and I’m back today to talk about maintaining your taxi fleet.
But first I have a confession to make, and it’s a bit embarrassing.
Although I had I have been driving all types of taxis in and around Memphis for nearly 2 decades, it just recently dawned on me recently how much time I was spending on unscheduled repairs and breakdowns.
With introspection I realized that most of my breakdowns and issues could have been avoided if I had followed a rigid maintenance plan for maintaining my taxi and limo vehicles.
So today I wanted to take you with me on my journey from a maintenance “delayer” to a maintenance “go-getter”. The transition has not only saved my taxi business money, but time, and piece of mind.
So let’s get to it…
Form a bond with the taxi
This might seem like a weird thing to say about an inanimate object but this extremely important.
At least it was for me.
In order to find the motivation to take good care of my taxi in the way it deserved, I needed to form a personal bond with the car. So what did I do? I named my first taxi Minnie.
I don’t know, it just sounded good, and my wife was a big Disney fan.
I am not asking you to name your taxi like I did, or to fall in love with it, but you must find a way to respect it as the means by which you and many others earn their livelihood.
Also keep in mind that it will be playing an important part in many people’s lives who will end up hailing it at some point.
The point is: Looking at a taxi as more than just a machine and something that holds an underrated but significant place in modern society will give you all the motivation to keep it in top-running condition
Clean the taxi regularly
Your taxi will be your home for the duration of your work while also serving as the temporary homes for people every time they take a ride in it.
Cleaning it regularly both inside and outside will prolong its life. It will make the paintwork and the upholstery last much longer.
It will also make your passengers feel more comfortable and that can lead to better interactions and happy customers. This will result in a good reputation for you and your company.
It also doesn’t take too much effort.
Keep a few microfiber cloths with you and wipe down the exteriors every day before setting out. Do not forget to give the seats a wipe down as well as the windshield and all the windows.
Once a week get it washed thoroughly, and once every year get the car detailed. You’ll feel much better driving in it as a bonus – trust me.
Dealing with passenger “Accidents” Another unfortunate truth you just have to accept as a Taxi driver is that people will have accidents in your car. Everything from spilled coffee, to puking, to dirty diapers (true story). DON’T keep driving the cab as is after such an incident as it is both unhygienic and unprofessional. Take it to your favorite detail shop or car wash and get it cleaned professionally.
Most livery-designed vehicles have been designed like tanks and will last many years as long as you do not get into a crash.
So avoid crashing your car by driving safely and defensively.
Time is money, and it is inevitable that you will get some passengers who are in a hurry who will urge you to drive faster. Help them out as much as you can but ensure that you stay within speed limits, don’t tailgate, run red-lights, and don’t push the limits of both the car’s and your driving capabilities.
Being in an accident can be traumatic for you and your passenger while also putting your job in jeopardy. It also reduces the life of the taxi by a lot.
Prevention is better than the cure here every single time.
Follow the servicing schedules fastidiously
Owing to their rather hardy nature, many cab drivers end up abusing the car beyond the point of no return. Keep an eye on all the scheduled maintenance and servicing requirements of the car.
Keep reminders so you do not skip any of these and delay a routine maintenance by even a single day. It is quite easy to become lackadaisical with the servicing and maintenance of your taxi.
Delaying it by a day becomes a week, a few weeks and then months leading to the car suffering permanent damage. Never do that and religiously get the car maintained. Also, if you notice any driving trouble then do not wait for the taxi to become undrivable.
Instead, get it fixed at the first sign of trouble. These can include leaks, overheating, unbalanced steering and wheels, problems with the AC or problems with starting the taxi.
Find a good service provider
Despite your best efforts, “stuff” happens, and sometimes for no good reason other than you ran over a pothole and destroyed your tires.
In cases like these it’s a good idea to have a mechanic and / or towing service company that you can trust to quickly get your vehicle fixed and back on the job.
In Memphis, we can vouch for Trustworthy Towing Company. They are friends of ours and have many years of experience in the auto repair and transportation fields.
Well, there you have it.
Like any good business resource, your taxis need some time, money, and attention. By following my recommendation, I hope you too will have your taxis reward you many times over!