Preventative trucking maintenance keeps you on track.
“Keep on truckin” was one of the first meme/slogans originating from the 60’s meaning – never stop. Well, at some point trucks have to stop, it’s just predicting the stop date that can be tricky. Some unforeseen stops cause accidents, large expenditures and sometimes loss of life. There is a way to limit those happenings.
Fleet managers are laser focused on service. They will point to a Preventative Maintenance schedule as the most important form to have in your toolbox. Managers who run a well-maintained fleet with a PMS will have trucks with fewer break downs, save more fuel and reduce the frequency of unwanted capital expenditures.
Create a Preventative Maintenance Schedule
Repairing a truck when it should be earning money certainly doesn’t help the bottom line. Neither does a major repair that removes it from the road completely. Can these events be prevented? Yes! Create a Preventative Maintenance Schedule for truck or fleet.
Start with what you know now and schedule on a PMS calendar…
- Your Safety Inspections Schedule know it in advance. Schedule each truck.
Commercial vehicles must be inspected regularly to ensure they are safe to drive. There are different types of inspections:
- safety standards certificate, annual, and semi-annual inspections must be completed by a licensed motor vehicle inspection technician at an inspection station that is licensed by the Ministry of Transportation
- preventative maintenance inspections must be part of an operator’s maintenance plan and schedule and must be done by a qualified technician at prescribed intervals.
- daily inspections completed by the driver or other person on behalf of the operator.
2. Safety standards certificate inspections
You will need a safety inspection anytime you:
- register a rebuilt motor vehicle.
- transfer a used motor vehicle to a new owner as fit.
- register a motor vehicle in Ontario that was previously registered in another province or country.
- change the status of a vehicle from unfit to fit.
If your vehicle passes the inspection, you will be given a safety standards certificate and a vehicle inspection report as proof.
Record – maintenance work and inspect vehicles daily.
- last oil change
- last time tires were changed.
- All other maintenance work on wheels and trailer
- Tracking maintenance work manually on paper maybe outdated.
- Use fleet management software programs they will save you time keeping track of complete and incomplete maintenance.
- Scheduling preventative maintenance during off-hours or during meetings will help make sure your fleet runs properly without leaving your drivers short on vehicles.
- designate an employee to inspect any vehicles planned to be on the road at least once per day. This inspection should come with a checklist asking the employee to look at and maintain…
TIP: Recognize wear and tear early, it will mitigate issues down the road.
TIP: Change or swap out batteries and check brakes even more frequently.
Some examples of the extra costs associated with truck breakdowns:
- Repair work is much more costly when things get to the point of breaking.
- Repair work must often be done away from homebase by unknown potentially poor mechanics leading to more problems and costs.
- Delivery delays can lead to lost revenue, lost business, and potentially lost contracts.
- Potential litigation for incidents that damages to other people’s property or other people. (including hurting the driver if you operate a fleet)
When you consider the big downsides of not doing regular maintenance, it’s easy to see a PMS keeps you out of trouble and will save you a lot of money in the long-term.
And then there is this if you aren’t safe…
Enforcement and penalties
Ministry of Transportation and police officers inspect commercial vehicles to make sure qualified drivers are operating vehicles safely. If your vehicle or trailer is found to be in such an unsafe condition that it endangers other people on the highway, you may be prohibited from operating it until repairs are made. You can also face fines up to $20,000.
Under Ontario’s commercial motor vehicle impoundment program, critically defective commercial vehicles are impounded for a minimum of 15 days. If an officer finds one or more critical defects on a bus, truck or trailer, the officer will remove the plates and inspection stickers from the vehicle and impound it.
Keep on truckin’…with a helpful Preventative Maintenance Schedule to keep you and others safe and $ave while doing so.