The U.S. Department of Transportation 2018 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics showed that in in 2017 the most frequent vehicle inspection violations included 488,895 violations of the vehicle not having the required operable lamps, 138,399 with oil and/or grease leaks, 88,687 with inoperative or defective windshield wipers, 63,241 with flat or audible leaking tires, 52,441 damaged or discolored windshields, and 57,889 with brake problems. And these are just a small sample from the long list of violations.
Don’t be a statistic. Developing a fleet maintenance program is critical to the success of your business. Following a maintenance checklist will keep your commercial trucks in good shape and on the road.
Unscheduled Fleet Maintenance
Unscheduled fleet maintenance is what happens when something goes wrong. Blown tires, oil leaks, blown transmissions, breakdowns, refrigerated systems that don’t cool, and more can impact the efficiency and reputation of your business. Unexpected maintenance is usually more expensive than routine checkups, and can cause hiccups in your routine that are difficult to address.
Scheduled Fleet Maintenance
Scheduled fleet maintenance are those things done on a regular, recommended basis to keep the delivery vehicles in top shape. It helps detect minor problems before they become major.
To make sure each truck in your fleet receives the care it needs, develop a checklist that meets the needs of your fleet. The following areas should be included in regular maintenance checks:
- Engine oil and filter changes
- Engine and transmission mounts
- Transmission fluid
- Driveshafts or CV joints
- Fuel system
- Cooling system
- Belts and hoses
- Exhaust system
- Fluid leaks
- Electrical system components
- Auxiliary systems
- Seatbelts and seat structure
- Braking system
- Steering and suspension system
- Tires, wheels and rim
- Undercarriage and frame
- Exterior and interior lights
- Body, glass, and mirrors
- Windshield wiper system
In addition to standard maintenance, you may need to take it a step further if you have temperature controlled trucks that transport frozen, refrigerated, or other temperature-sensitive products. In those cases, you have cooling systems that must be maintained.
Procure your drivers’ assistance in preventative maintenance. They are the ones behind the wheel and will likely notice any problems with the vehicle. Give each driver a daily maintenance checklist to complete before heading out on the road.
Set up a system to keep track of the maintenance done on each vehicle. This helps you stay on time with scheduled maintenance. It will also draw attention to a vehicle that is having a large number of problems and may be at the end of its life.
Plan for Maintenance Costs
How much truck maintenance will cost depends on the age of the truck. A good formula uses the age of the truck and miles driven to help figure average cost:
- New Truck – 5 cents per mile
- 1 year or 150,000 miles – 6 cents per mile
- 2 years or 300,000 miles – 7 cents per mile
- 3 years or 450,000 miles – 8 cents per mile
- 4 years or 600,000 miles – 10 cents per mile
- 5+ years or 750,000 miles – 15 cents per mile.
Fleet Maintenance Pays Off
The benefits of having a fleet maintenance program are triple fold. You will likely pass federal, state, and local inspections with ease. If you are in need of upgrades to your refrigerated delivery fleet request a quote. We have 30 years’ experience and will make sure you have a fleet you can rely on.