Why does preventative maintenance matter? Because it could be the major mitigating factor when it comes to the safe operation of your fleet’s heavy-duty commercial motor vehicles.
The fact is, fleet vehicles need to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Without proper preventative maintenance, your operation could be spending wasted dollars on reactive maintenance, which does nothing to help your bottom line.
For professional truck drivers, preventative maintenance should be a constant fact of life. When one works with a vehicle day-in and day-out, they need assurances that the safe operation of that vehicle is paramount.
Avoiding Unscheduled Maintenance
Routine vehicle servicing shouldn’t be in question. It is unscheduled maintenance that can cause problems on the road. What if a tire blows out because it wasn’t noticed that a lug was at risk for blowing out?
If that tire blows while on the road, the truck driver could be at a greater risk for accident. The last thing your fleet needs is a safety issue because you weren’t able to discern when a tire needed to be replaced.
The Department of Transportation regulates preventative maintenance under Section 3496.3 of the FMCSRs. This means that you are required to have a preventative maintenance program in place at all times.
The Key Steps to Road Safety
For every fleet or motor carrier in operation, road safety is the number one priority. Road safety includes everything from frequent maintenance to scheduled services and vehicles repairs and inspections.
Trucking companies make significant and valuable investments into their fleets. Investing similarly in preventative maintenance saves a fleet from paying costly regulation violation fees. As a result, preventative maintenance should be an integral part of every fleet truck driver training program.
A scheduled fleet maintenance program will focus on ensuring that the vehicles in the fleet are in good condition 100% of the time. Although your maintenance schedule may vary, a calendar or checklist will help you keep track of which vehicles are in need of attention, whatever the kind.
What to Tell Your Truck Drivers
But how do you train a truck driver to take preventative maintenance seriously? It starts with the senses. When you explain to your truck operators the incentives behind operating their truck at peak operational efficiency, it isn’t hard to get their buy-in on the program.
Tell them to consider the following questions:
- Do you smell something strange coming from inside or outside the vehicle?
- Is there water trapped underneath the carpet?
- Does their appear to be an electrical malfunction?
- Are you hearing any strange sounds coming from underneath the hood or within the cab?
- Are there any fluids leaking out from underneath the vehicle?
- Do you hear any rhythmic clicks or taps at any point during vehicle operations?
What is most important is that your fleet implements a road safety program as soon as possible. However you address the individual needs of your fleet, make sure safety is at the top of the list. Ensure you are keeping adequate records and that you put a capable person in charge of the program.
Are you wondering how to take your safety initiatives to another level? Consider preventative maintenance as an essential key in this process. By ensuring your trucks are in good working condition and your truck drivers are trained, you’ll ensure safe marks for your fleet for some time to come.