To keep your trucks and pneumatic systems properly maintained, pre and post-trip inspections combined with thorough reporting are important elements of your preventative maintenance program
Periodic, scheduled preventative maintenance is what preserves the condition of your vehicles and your bottom line. Proper maintenance is the best way to avoid costly repairs and as fleet manager, there is no doubt you have implemented a maintenance plan that is consistent, compliant, and protects your important logistics assets. It’s a plan based on the type of trucks you run, mileage, trailers and attached equipment, and manufacturer recommendations.
This blog will examine further ways you can maintain your fleets, through driver participation. Where proactive, scheduled maintenance requires a calendar to track all the trucks in your fleet, driver maintenance is an important responsibility before and after every trip.
One element of preventative maintenance often overlooked by fleet managers is the drivers’ input. They are, after all, in the cab for long hours, making them in tune with even the slightest shimmy, noise, or failure to perform. They are the first line of every preventive maintenance program. They are first to notice issues while on the road and very often they need to make decisions about these issues, whether to stop and call for maintenance or continue to their destination.
The two major ways drivers can contribute to proper maintenance of your on the road trucks is through pre and post trip inspections and through proper reporting of issues.
In addition to being required by law, pre and post trip inspections are critical elements to making sure your vehicles are safe for the road. These inspections are done outside of scheduled maintenance actions and need to be documented and standardized throughout your fleet. Every driver in the fleet should be properly trained about how their vehicles work and what clues the machinery will give to indicate a problem, or potential problem. Before every trip, drivers should check:
- Oil condition
- Fluid levels
- Windshields and safety mirrors
- Tire condition
- Air hoses
- Brakes, suspension and shocks
These inspections are critical to identifying patterns of recurring maintenance issues that are perhaps based on a particular vehicle or driver that would indicate a training or ongoing mechanical issue.
Inspections also allow the driver to make sure their vehicle is prepared for inclement weather or seasonal issues. Trucks should be able to handle wet or snowy roads, rain, or hot, dusty conditions often found on highways.
While inspections are important to making sure the vehicles you put on the road are safe, you must have the proper procedures to record the results of inspections and what was done to remediate them. This recording system should be accessible throughout your fleet and the systems you use should have the ability to report and notify everyone along the supply chain to warn of delivery issues or equipment that is not performing as it should.
Drivers are crucial elements in the reporting of maintenance issues. Anything done before, during, or after a trip to maintain a vehicle needs to have supporting documentation, no matter how slight.
Proper reporting is the element that brings your entire preventive maintenance program together so you know, at a glance, the exact condition of a particular unit, its expected lifespan, major maintenance issues, and exactly what was done to repair them.
The best ally you can have to make sure your vehicles are performing as they should is a dedicated truck maintenance specialist. For years, White Tank & Trailer has helped carriers of all sizes design, implement, and maintain proper preventative maintenance procedures for their on the road truck fleets. A preventive maintenance program from the White Tank team can detect potential issues with your vehicle before they turn into costly problems. We use advanced technology along with time-honored techniques to help keep your carrier equipment running smoothly. During every PM service, we thoroughly inspect the entire vehicle and report our findings. This is the perfect supplement to any driver-based inspection and PM plan.
It is your job to ensure that the vehicles that leave the lot are safe, legal, and ready for the road. Trucks take a beating, they run for long hours, they are asked to pull heavy loads, and the right preventive maintenance plan keeps them optimal and ready for service.
If your fleet needs any assistance running or implementing a PM plan, call White Tank & Trailer today for more information.