Truck maintenance service is paramount, and it is hard to overstate the importance. Whether you have one truck or hundreds, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that you inspect and maintain all. But managing a fleet of trucks requires diligent attention to your maintenance service. These include daily inspections, scheduled maintenance, repair services, and many more.
Maintenance is essential for the success of trucking companies. It ensures trucks run smoothly without spending extra time, labor, and money.
Proactively servicing your trucks satisfies federal regulations and extends the lifetime of your trucks. It also lowers the chance of costly emergency repairs and increases uptime for your entire fleet. Read on as premium truck and trailer repair inc explains how to schedule truck maintenance and employ relevant checklists.
UNDERSTANDING MAINTENANCE SERVICE
Trucks require some level of regular maintenance to keep operating at peak performance. Maintenance can include many tasks such as cleaning, oiling, checking fluid levels, and even doing simple visual inspections. Truck maintenance also typically includes regularly replacing parts that wear down over time. These include windshield wipers, brake linings, tires, and air filters. Replacing these parts saves costs in the long run by preventing expensive issues from arising.
It also decreases the possibility of an unexpected breakdown, ensuring no impact on the truck’s ability to operate while reducing downtime. For example, monitoring and changing truck oil when it goes down is paramount. Changing the oil when the tank is empty can lead to engine problems. These can become a big issue since an engine repair is more costly than a regular oil change. Plus, the downtime is more prolonged when compared to oil changes.
HOW TO MANAGE TRUCK MAINTENANCE SERVICE
Truck maintenance is a lot of work and can easily fall through the cracks if you do not have a plan and system. When looking for ways to improve truck maintenance, it is essential to set schedules and stick to the manufacturer’s service intervals. Recording and documenting your maintenance activities is also paramount. Here are tips for managing your truck maintenance. They will help you create a complete system for executing your maintenance strategy.
MAKE TRUCK INVENTORY
The first step when planning a maintenance service is to take note of each truck in your fleet. The maintenance of trucks differs significantly from one another, and mixing them can multiply complexity.
Consider the following factors when planning truck maintenance service.
- How far the truck is driven.
- The fuel system it uses and
- The weather conditions of where it typically operates
These avoid complexity and improve safety. It also saves time and costs.
Also, the FMCSA mandates trucking companies to maintain accurate maintenance records for each truck in their fleet. The logbook should contain information such as owner name VIN, model, year, tire size, fleet number, current, past maintenance schedule, etc. Furthermore, the records must be kept for one year if the truck still operates, and a minimum of six months if not used.
ADHERE TO THE MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE
Minimizing premature wear and tear and reducing the risk of sudden breakdowns that cause unplanned downtime can only be achieved with preventive maintenance. Therefore, you must ensure your trucks receive service at the required intervals. Developing weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual maintenance schedules is mandatory. Also, consulting your manufacturer’s manual and sticking to a routine maintenance schedule ensures your warranty remains valid. It also helps reduce repair and replacement costs.
Truck drivers are the eyes and ears of your operation, and they should also be responsible for conducting truck checks necessary to maintain maintenance services. Therefore, you must equip your drivers with the knowledge to perform a pre-trip inspection. Truck drivers should inspect the following part of the truck before hitting the road.
Truck brakes are vital and life-saving parts of trucks. However, they also deteriorate over time with use. So, they must undergo a comprehensive inspection before going on a trip.
The truck tires are one of the most frequently used and replaced parts of any truck. These make checking them before hitting the road necessary. An over-worn tire can be hazardous if not appropriately addressed.
Leaking fluids can be problematic and costly. So, inspect the fluid levels, antifreeze, and fuel. Also, checking below the undercarriage can help drivers determine if leakage has occurred. Furthermore, check the air pressure, oil pressure, and temperature to ensure the fluids are not leaking.
The electrical system of your trucks keeps drivers safe by conveying their presence to other drivers. Therefore, check the warning lights, turn signals, brake lights, and flashers to ensure they are working correctly. Also, ensure all wires are tightly connected and functioning.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Developing a strategic maintenance plan is one of the most vital investments you can make. Staying on top of maintenance and repair services reduces unplanned downtime and retains your truck’s value and longevity.