Does preventative maintenance really make a difference? Definitely! Then why do so many drivers just get in and drive never thinking about things like correct fluid levels or condition of tires. We have all driven past people standing on the side of the road with the hood up, shaking their heads and staring at the engine as if they had never seen this part of their vehicle before. I don’t know about you but I’ve been there a few times myself. I’ve learned over time not to make this mistake anymore.
A daily vehicle inspection is an inexpensive way to keep your delivery vehicles up and running. That’s not to say it is a cure all for vehicle maintenance. You should still have your regularly scheduled maintenance performed by a qualified mechanic, but overall preventative maintenance is a quick and easy way to keep your vehicles on the road.
The U.S. Department of Transportation instituted pre-trip inspections as a way of preventing breakdowns and saving lives and is a daily part of a commercial truck driver’s life. Pre-trip inspections are required by law for all commercial drivers’. The reason for this is safety first. Equipment that is not working properly is a hazard on the road and can cost lives. Just because state and federal laws don’t require you to do a daily pre-trip inspection (Most trucks under 26,001 pounds are exempt from this) doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
Performing a daily pre-trip inspection only takes about ten to fifteen minutes and can save your company thousands of dollars in vehicle maintenance. Not performing a daily inspection can do severe damage to your vehicle such as a seized engine and flat tires that can stop your deliveries until repairs are made. It can cost as much as $8000 to rebuild the engine on even a small delivery truck. How can you make deliveries when your truck is in a garage being repaired? Truck rental fees can add up to quite a large amount of money because it can take a week to two weeks to rebuild an engine in most cases. Another side effect may be towing fees that can run as much as $300.
Spending just a few minutes each day on preventative maintenance can keep your deliveries running smoothly and save you a lot of money and aggravation for so little effort. Here are a few things you should require your drivers to check daily to prevent a costly breakdown. This is only a partial checklist you should get a complete pre-inspection checklist and make sure all drivers fill one out everyday.
Check all headlights, brake lights, hazard lights and turn signals.
Check under vehicle for any leaks or puddles.
Check all fluid levels. Oil, coolant, brake, windshield washer and transmission fluids.
Check all belts and hoses for cracks and wear.
Check tires pressure and condition, look for any cracks or worn areas.
Check that lug nuts are secure and rust free. (Rust can indicate loose nuts.)
Check fuel level.
“Keep on Truckin.”